Helmets - pros, cons and controversy

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
On Air Force One
Cycling isn't foolproof, but is an inherently safe activity. Your chances of acquiring a serious head injury or dying through a serious head injury are less than for car drivers, and arguably less than for pedestrians.

That being the case, does it not seem a little bizarre that of those three groups it is cyclists that society pressures into wearing lids. I don't know what the origin of that is or why it should be, but it does seem rather odd.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I read all the posts on the first page. Lots of words.
It started getting interesting somewhere around page 50. Stick with it.

The helmet topic sits at the intersection of risk assessment, materials science, public health policy, physics, psychology, fashion, commerce, celebrity, statistics and medicine.
 
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classic33

Legendary Member
The only serious non-collision single-bike crash that I remember being near, the casualty was bleeding from his head - but it did seem rather like he'd been cut by an edge of his cracked-to-bits helmet!

If cuts is what worries you, I think a tough soft hat is a far better way to protect against them than something hard enough to cut you.
On that basis we should stop using paper.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
My take, as per various comments here, is each to his own and only the insecure get snotty about others's choices. The fundamental difference between the two position, it seems to me, is the considerable pressure out their to deny some people their right to choose 'their own'. A lot of people out there, for one reason or another, are keen to make helmets mandatory. I've never encountered anyone advocating banning them.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
You've never had a paper cut.
It's hard enough to cut you, making its use possibly unsafe.
I've had paper cuts. That's why I don't wear a paper hat while cycling. Well, that and it's too silly.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
I've had paper cuts. That's why I don't wear a paper hat while cycling. Well, that and it's too silly.
It's the ability to be hard enough to cut that's the problem, as you stated. Not helmets that may be made from it.
 

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
I assume you mean it renders your headlight invisible, not you! Presumably that's when the viewer is in front of you? So it doesn't matter too much because they'll not want to be hit by the car behind you. I wouldn't worry about that.
This is nothing to do with helmets but everything to do with safety.
I need to put you right on that point.
A cycle whose light is in line with a car behind it is more vulnerable not less .

Many years ago , I knocked a motorcyclist off his bike for that reason.
He was on a black bike, dressed head to toe in black.
I was turning right from a side road into a main road.
I could see a car coming towards me and I could tell from the movement of the headlights that I head plenty of time to turn before it reached me.
As I turned, there was a motorbike almost on me.
His light had been in line with the righthand light on the car.
We both took evading action but still collided.
He landed on his hand and broke his wrist.

I was very very shocked by how I hadn't seen him when I was obviously looking through him as I was tracking the movement of the car.
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
My take, as per various comments here, is each to his own and only the insecure get snotty about others's choices. The fundamental difference between the two position, it seems to me, is the considerable pressure out their to deny some people their right to choose 'their own'. A lot of people out there, for one reason or another, are keen to make helmets mandatory. I've never encountered anyone advocating banning them.
This is true...... I've never heard a non helmet wearing cyclist, telling a helmet wearing cyclist that they shouldn't wear a helmet.
It should work both ways.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Indeed the brightness of car headlights causes all sorts of dangerous situations. It has been an arms race for little if any benefit. Reducing the maximum brightness of car headlights would go a long way yo improving safety. Headlight traditionally were only meant to be used on unlit roads not in town, that is what sidelights are for.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
This is nothing to do with helmets but everything to do with safety.
I need to put you right on that point.
A cycle whose light is in line with a car behind it is more vulnerable not less .

Many years ago , I knocked a motorcyclist off his bike for that reason.
Motorcyclists don't have bobbing amber reflectors, so I'm not massively troubled by that anecdote.
 
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