Lesson learned NEVER ride without your helmet !

Shortandcrisp

Senior Member
I believe this is different, there is proof that smoking is bad for you, there is no proof that wearing a piece of polystyrene on your head will have any benefits, the OP for instance didn't sustain any less injuries due to wearing/not wearing said polystyrene.
I had a serious off in 2016. Over the handlebars. Head into the ground, neck bent back resulting in bruising to the spinal cord and long term rehabilitation. Front of helmet cracked with the impact. Mercifully no head injury to compound an already very serious situation. I, for one, believe that small piece of polystyrene had a significant role to play in the lack of a head injury.
 

winjim

Iron pony
I think possibly there is some comparison with smoking. The tobacco companies colluded and conspired to suppress evidence that smoking was harmful, in order to sell their product. In the case of helmets there seems to be an overstatement of the evidence that helmet wearing is beneficial, so more are sold.

I'm not saying it's on the same scale or using quite the same techniques, with helmets it seems to be letting people use 'common sense' and then not correcting them, but it is an interesting comparison.
 

Shortandcrisp

Senior Member
Done something I vowed never to do - comment on a helmet debate! On reflection. Winjam, I think it’s more comparable to the debate over the compulsory wearing of seatbelts I remember from the ‘70’s.
 

Phaeton

Guru
Location
Oop North (ish)
Done something I vowed never to do - comment on a helmet debate! On reflection. Winjam, I think it’s more comparable to the debate over the compulsory wearing of seatbelts I remember from the ‘70’s.
Again I'll take issue with this, there are scientific results that show seatbelts save lives, there is an International standard that they need to be made to, after the first 3 years they are tested annually. But each to their own wear one of it gives you a sense of safety.
 

swansonj

Guru
When I hear people argue against the compulsory use of cycling helmets I’m reminded of the arguments used by smoking lobbyists a few years ago. But each to his own.
There's a deep irony here about the nature of epidemiological evidence. Epidemiology studies fall broadly into two sorts - ecological, looking at patterns and rates at the population level, and case-control or cohort, looking at the individual level. It was ecological observations - rising lung cancer rates - that led Sir Richard Doll (blessed be his name) to start the hunt that led to smoking as the cause. With cycle helmets, it is the ecological evidence that provides the clearest evidence that helmets are a net detriment to health and safety. So by raising that comparison, you are in fact highlighting the evidence that helmets (viewed in the total) don't work.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
There's a deep irony here about the nature of epidemiological evidence. Epidemiology studies fall broadly into two sorts - ecological, looking at patterns and rates at the population level, and case-control or cohort, looking at the individual level. It was ecological observations - rising lung cancer rates - that led Sir Richard Doll (blessed be his name) to start the hunt that led to smoking as the cause. With cycle helmets, it is the ecological evidence that provides the clearest evidence that helmets are a net detriment to health and safety. So by raising that comparison, you are in fact highlighting the evidence that helmets (viewed in the total) don't work.
...and I'm very disappointed that you didn't discuss seatbelts.
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
I had a serious off in 2016. Over the handlebars. Head into the ground, neck bent back resulting in bruising to the spinal cord and long term rehabilitation. Front of helmet cracked with the impact. Mercifully no head injury to compound an already very serious situation. I, for one, believe that small piece of polystyrene had a significant role to play in the lack of a head injury.
One might argue that the helmet could have played a significant role in the severity of your neck injury.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
I had a serious off in 2016. Over the handlebars. Head into the ground, neck bent back resulting in bruising to the spinal cord and long term rehabilitation. Front of helmet cracked with the impact. Mercifully no head injury to compound an already very serious situation. I, for one, believe that small piece of polystyrene had a significant role to play in the lack of a head injury.
Due to the significant increase in volume a helmet creates you are far more likely to

A. Hit your head, calculated at 70% more probable.
B. Cause a rotational brain injury, the most serious type. MIPs is an attempt to mitigate something helmets make far far worse.
C. Suffer spinal injury
D. Cycle helmets works by absorbing a small amount of impact forces through compression. A cracked helmet shows it did not work or at beast the forces / energy of the impact far exceeded its design capability.
 

Poacher

Gravitationally challenged member
Location
Nottingham
I had a serious off in 2016. Over the handlebars. Head into the ground, neck bent back resulting in bruising to the spinal cord and long term rehabilitation. Front of helmet cracked with the impact. Mercifully no head injury to compound an already very serious situation. I, for one, believe that small piece of polystyrene had a significant role to play in the lack of a head injury.
I had a serious off about 8 years ago, when I was returning from work along the Colwick Loop Road cycle track and a pedestrian who'd been looking in the opposite direction suddenly ran straight across in front of me, still looking in the opposite diresction, and totally ignoring my shouted warning. I braked hard and tried to swerve around him, but just clipped him with the left side of the bars. He was spun round and fell to the floor relatively unscathed; my front wheel pringled and I went over the handlebars, pivoting on my right forearm, with the bike going over my head. I ended up on my back, with feet pointing in the direction of travel, and the bike and panniers several yards further forward.
If I had been wearing a helmet, my head would have hit the ground and bent my neck back, resulting in (at best) bruising to the spinal cord and long term rehabilitation, at worst a broken neck and death or tetraplegic injury.
Mercifully no head injury, as my head didn't make contact with the ground; I walked the remaining 4km home with my bike balanced on the rear wheel, bleeding from the right forearm and a few abrasions on my left knuckles.
After a couple of days, my right arm was black from wrist to shoulder, but I was back on my bike commuting to work again, after a day on the bus.
I, for one, know very well that I wouldn't still be posting on this forum if I'd been wearing a polystyrene hat.
 

swansonj

Guru
...and I'm very disappointed that you didn't discuss seatbelts.
Two days of cycling a tandem along the North Sea cycle route in Holland, with waffles for breakfast, pancakes for dinner and such authentic Danish staples as prosecco and amaretto at frequent intervals has clearly mellowed me.

Oh, go on then. There is naf all evidence at the ecological level that seat belts have much of an effect on overall safety. If anyone wants the details, use the search function.
 

Bazzer

Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
Done something I vowed never to do - comment on a helmet debate! On reflection. Winjam, I think it’s more comparable to the debate over the compulsory wearing of seatbelts I remember from the ‘70’s.
Cyclists tend not to be travelling at speeds in excess of 30mph and have a hard plastic/metal/glass combination less than a metre from the front of their body, which in the event of a rapid deceleration such as caused by a collision, their face/head/chest will be unable to avoid.
 
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