Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thread)

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:27 pm

notwal wrote:
damhooligan wrote:
If helmets where effective, they would not need to be mandatory, everybody would wear them..


Do you really believe human beings are that rational?


yes.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:35 pm

notwal wrote:
damhooligan wrote:...

I like the link, it has a very realistic vieuw of the helmet.


My favorie bit :
cyclehelmets.org wrote:If the styrofoam is compressed, it still doesn't prove that a helmet had a protective effect. This can be demonstrated with a fist and a brick wall.

If you 'shadow box' at the wall but carefully stop your fist about 50 mm before it reaches the wall (be sure it's limited by your arm's length), no harm will come to your fist. If, without changing your position, you slip a 75 mm thick piece of styrofoam against the wall and repeat the punch, you'll get compressed (and cracked) styrofoam and false 'evidence' that it saved you from harm. In other words, many impacts of helmets would be near misses with bare heads.


That's pure sophistry.



Why?

It is not made up or anything, it is actually true...
But we don't want facts to destroy our precious believe of our life saving helemets , now do we...
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:50 pm

notwal wrote:
damhooligan wrote:...
cyclehelmets.org wrote:If the styrofoam is compressed, it still doesn't prove that a helmet had a protective effect. This can be demonstrated with a fist and a brick wall.

If you 'shadow box' at the wall but carefully stop your fist about 50 mm before it reaches the wall (be sure it's limited by your arm's length), no harm will come to your fist. If, without changing your position, you slip a 75 mm thick piece of styrofoam against the wall and repeat the punch, you'll get compressed (and cracked) styrofoam and false 'evidence' that it saved you from harm. In other words, many impacts of helmets would be near misses with bare heads.


That's pure sophistry.

In what way is it fallacious or invalid?

Have a look at this video of a series of icy bike path falls. A whole lot of falls but almost none that resulted in any head impact. The shoulders and forearms are marvellous at reacting to protect the head. Many falls have the head very close to the ground, but just not contacting. An inch is as good as a mile in this case.





And before you comment that these are all slow speed falls, well that is what helmets are designed to provide protection from. Once the impact speed gets up around 40-50kmh they have very little effect in mitigating the impact speed.

http://hubpages.com/hub/bicycle-helmets

Due to its limitations it is not expected to protect the rider´s head from impacts with another vehicle. Hard shell helmets may do this better but are heavier and less ventilated.


The arguments raised by medicos in the 80s in favour of helmet compulsion usually involved the tale of the child who takes a tumble at slow speed on a bike path and hits their head, resulting in a bleed on the brain and death/life support.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Comedian » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:40 pm

tristen wrote:Perhaps the compromise would be to initially keep helmets mandatory for the young 'uns, say 16 or maybe 18 and under. This would allay the fears of the all-important parent-voters. The mandatory law for adults could hopefully then be dropped without upsetting too many people (or should I say voters). The government can continue to address the concerns of the public (I mean the voters) by the ongoing maintenance of the helmet safety standards which are of course already in place.


Firstly, welcome to the forum Tristen :)

As to this - it's the easy option. However, one of the areas of greatest benefit comes by getting the young generation to ride so by excluding them from the exemption we're in fact just stuffing it all up(again). As we've seen, the helmet laws are spectacularly effective at stopping young people cycling (unlike MAMILs) and the young people are the ones we need to encourage - setting a pattern for the rest of their lives.

At the same time it's virtually no risk to young people so it's a win win. It should be optional for everyone!

greyhoundtom wrote:Mmmmm it’s simple really.........wear lycra cycling gear ............must wear helmet.............wear casual clothes............no helmet required.

That will teach those darn lycra clad road warriors and their clicky shoes going round pretending they are Lance Armstrong. :mrgreen:


That's exactly the point isn't it - we're not asking for helmets to be banned. If you want to wear one there are times when it may actually make you feel safer and you should wear one. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby jules21 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:18 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:An analysis by Norwegian researchers of existing studies has suggested previous scrutiny was biased towards helmets and relied too heavily on research into 1980s ''stack-hat'' style hard-shell helmets. They argued that today's ''soft-shell'' helmets were less effective at reducing brain injuries.

i thought modern helmets needed to have a plastic 'hard' shell? they all seem to.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:15 pm

Hard shell helmet on the left, soft-shell (microshell) helmet on the right

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When my old lexan-shelled MSR helmet was retired I took to it with a ball peen hammer. Just because I could, and to see if I could bust it up. It spat it out :shock: . Don't think any modern microshell helmets would survive that.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:33 pm

damhooligan wrote:
notwal wrote:


That's pure sophistry.



Why?

It is not made up or anything, it is actually true...
But we don't want facts to destroy our precious believe of our life saving helemets , now do we...


It's an invalid argument because it makes the logical error of extrapolating from the specific to the general.
The author points out a mode of accident whereby a helmet can be damaged when there was no danger of impact to the head.
This example may be true of a very small number of accidents but is in no way typical of all head impacts.
Its farcical to use that as an argument against the efficacy of helmets.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:00 pm

il padrone wrote:
Have a look at this video of a series of icy bike path falls. A whole lot of falls but almost none that resulted in any head impact. The shoulders and forearms are marvellous at reacting to protect the head. Many falls have the head very close to the ground, but just not contacting. An inch is as good as a mile in this case.





And before you comment that these are all slow speed falls, well that is what helmets are designed to provide protection from. Once the impact speed gets up around 40-50kmh they have very little effect in mitigating the impact speed.

http://hubpages.com/hub/bicycle-helmets

Due to its limitations it is not expected to protect the rider´s head from impacts with another vehicle. Hard shell helmets may do this better but are heavier and less ventilated.


The arguments raised by medicos in the 80s in favour of helmet compulsion usually involved the tale of the child who takes a tumble at slow speed on a bike path and hits their head, resulting in a bleed on the brain and death/life support.


A competent adult can be expected to take lots of falls without being killed. However it only takes one good hit to be fatal. It certainly is beyond the ability of helmets to protect against all impacts. After all they just offer a few mm of decelerative cushioning. However the anti helmet website makes the claim that they are effective in at least 15% of head impacts. (They put it the other way 85% ineffective)

Children are less able to protect their heads than adults because they have a proportionally higher head mass and less neck muscle tone so yes they are more vulnerable. They also have less experience of hazards. It seems valid to classify them differently from adults. That doesn't mean that adults are immune.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:08 pm

notwal wrote:A competent adult can be expected to take lots of falls without being killed. However it only takes one good hit to be fatal.

And you talk about spurious arguments :shock:

That's the 'shark attack' argument. We all take lots of swims in the sea, however it only takes one shark attack to be fatal :|

In the real world we all take risks. Life is one big game of risk. That doesn't mean we should all go about in bubble wrap, especially not in just one slightly hazardous activity that happens to have two wheels and be an 'out' activity.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Xplora » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:29 pm

il padrone wrote:
notwal wrote:A competent adult can be expected to take lots of falls without being killed. However it only takes one good hit to be fatal.

And you talk about spurious arguments :shock:

That's the 'shark attack' argument. We all take lots of swims in the sea, however it only takes one shark attack to be fatal :|

In the real world we all take risks. Life is one big game of risk. That doesn't mean we should all go about in bubble wrap, especially not in just one slightly hazardous activity that happens to have two wheels and be an 'out' activity.

Extremely powerful parallel, and it bears repeating - more people will die from skin cancer standing on the beach than people drowning or getting eaten by sharks. In the same manner, more people will die of obesity related heart disease because we don't push people to reject their cars for transportation. These people are getting the melanomas on the sand while they pretend they are going to get eaten by sharks :oops:

I've been riding to work for around 6 months, had three stacks, and I'll still ride because its faster, better for me and gives me total freedom of mobility, with virtually no cost. I could put a new groupset on the bike every 12 months and still be way ahead. I am unusual... trips under 5km really should be a bike job. But the helmet law is discouraging people.

Does anyone think skateboarding is dangerous? How many people gave that up after helmets and pads were required?
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby damhooligan » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:44 pm

notwal wrote:
damhooligan wrote:

Why?

It is not made up or anything, it is actually true...
But we don't want facts to destroy our precious believe of our life saving helemets , now do we...


It's an invalid argument because it makes the logical error of extrapolating from the specific to the general.
The author points out a mode of accident whereby a helmet can be damaged when there was no danger of impact to the head.
This example may be true of a very small number of accidents but is in no way typical of all head impacts.
Its farcical to use that as an argument against the efficacy of helmets.


How would you know it is an invalid argument ?
How many accidents have you seen? what would you consider a 'typical head impact' ?
If you look at the video il padrone posted, count those that actually hit their head.
The person who wrote that statement did do proper research he did not plucked those statements out of thin air.

Believe it or not, wearing a helmet actualy influense the circumstances of the accident, and not always in a good way.

You are turning a blind eye to the facts that are right in front of you, the fact that helmets are not black and white 'safe'.
If you want to ignore that that is fine by me, but it also makes a discussion impossible.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby martinjs » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:26 am

Believe it or not, wearing a helmet actualy influense the circumstances of the accident, and not always in a good way.


The problem with a wide sweeping statment like this is it could be applied to Motorcycle Helmets, ie in some case the helmet might hit the ground when with out one you wouldn't have.

Yet the case for motorcyle helmets has been proved big time. (execpt for a minotiry to still cling to the argument "rights" and the ones who still try for medical exemptions)

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:40 pm

i have some sympathy for both sides of the helmet debate.

but one thing is that humans are notoriously poor at is assessing risk. this is especially the case with high severity/low incidence risks. most of road safety falls into this category - "i know my behaviour is dangerous, but it won't happen to me" syndrome. of course, it inevitably happens to some people, if not you.

helmet wearing is in this category - you can get away without wearing a helmet for 30 years. but that doesn't make it smart - some people won't get away with it and the consequences are catastrophic.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:03 pm

^^^ +1
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:13 pm

il padrone wrote:
notwal wrote:A competent adult can be expected to take lots of falls without being killed. However it only takes one good hit to be fatal.

And you talk about spurious arguments :shock:

That's the 'shark attack' argument.


Sounds that way but no. Facts are that many more people are killed in traffic accidents than by sharks,
and you can't prevent or ameliorate shark attacks by the something as simple as wearing a cycling helmet.

So it's really not a good analogy.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:55 pm

Martin, the motorbike is completely different though - you get a similar acceleration from a motorbike as jumping off off a cliff, and I'm not even kidding. A motorbike has the capacity to get you to incredible speeds without effort or control, a bicycle just can't do 100kmh in under 5 seconds. There is a risk to the rider of a motorbike without any outside forces due to the power of the bike. A cyclist doesn't have the same internal risk pattern, so the argument for a helmet is completely different.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby martinjs » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:15 pm

Again, I relise there is a difference I have a Motorcycle License have had it for over 25 years. I was commenting on the open argument used. As stated I've heard almost all the same arguments used when I was involved in Motorcycle action groups.
Didn't wash then and in my option dosn't wash now.
It is my personal option only but there it is.

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Xplora » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:18 pm

jules21 wrote:but one thing is that humans are notoriously poor at is assessing risk.
..... but that doesn't make it smart - some people won't get away with it and the consequences are catastrophic.

jules, wars are being fought RIGHT NOW for the liberty of humans who want to decide how they live their lives. Libya isn't have a civil war because it's a cool way to pass the time. The rebels want the right to decide how they live. Yes, it's a big risk compared to doing nothing and accepting Gaddafi's rule... some will fight and some will die. That's life.
If risk assessment was the sole arbitor of human freedom, then we'd be under lock and key until we were 70 years old. ALL attempts to repress humanity's natural tendencies will fail, because you can't force people to wear helmets just like you can't force people to drive safely.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:23 pm

Xplora wrote:you can't force people to wear helmets just like you can't force people to drive safely.

a. i wasn't specifically debating the law for mandating helmet wearing, just making an observation about people's (in)ability to make sensible decisions on their own behalf, and
b. what you can or cannot force people to do is not at issue, rather what you can hold them accountable for. we certainly can and do hold people accountable (sometimes, anyway) for safe driving.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:50 pm

yep, not disputing anything, but i think i can clear this point up a bit.

il padrone wrote:Once the impact speed gets up around 40-50kmh they have very little effect in mitigating the impact speed.


helmets are only designed for and tested/approved at speeds ranging from 24km/hr down to 18km/hr.

the following statement is key, which is why i've bolded it, please don't think i'm being rude:

no-one, repeat no-one, should ride their bicycle with the expectation that a helmet will save their life if they're involved in an impact above 18km/hr.

if you ride your bicycle at speeds greater than 18km/hr or where you may be impacted at speeds greater than 18km/hr you must be aware that your helmet will not prevent death or head-trauma.

if you're wearing a helmet in an impact that's 18km/hr or above then the only realistic expectation a cyclist can have of their helmet is the reduction of cuts and abrasions in the area of the head covered by the helmet.
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The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby Comedian » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:53 pm

notwal wrote:
il padrone wrote:
notwal wrote:A competent adult can be expected to take lots of falls without being killed. However it only takes one good hit to be fatal.

And you talk about spurious arguments :shock:

That's the 'shark attack' argument.


Sounds that way but no. Facts are that many more people are killed in traffic accidents than by sharks,
and you can't prevent or ameliorate shark attacks by the something as simple as wearing a cycling helmet.

So it's really not a good analogy.

That's just not true. If we were to mandate that every swimmer had to wear a light chain-mail suit then I could guarantee that more people would survive shark attacks and have more limbs attached afterwards. It would be a far more effective way to mitigate the risk than bike helmets.

Sure probably less people would swim but I guess it's about minimizing injuries at whatever the costs. Yep, lots of parallels there.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Comedian wrote:Firstly, welcome to the forum Tristen :)


cheers :) i've only made a couple of posts and already i'm bolding statements. "feisty".

yeah, generally politicians can't make "radical" decisions without compromise. i was thinking about how they could "sell" the dropping of the mandatory helmet law to the average, er, d***head.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:35 pm

Comedian wrote:That's just not true. If we were to mandate that every swimmer had to wear a light chain-mail suit then I could guarantee that more people would survive shark attacks and have more limbs attached afterwards. It would be a far more effective way to mitigate the risk than bike helmets.

Sure probably less people would swim but I guess it's about minimizing injuries at whatever the costs. Yep, lots of parallels there.


wait, that's exactly it. there would be less shark attacks because there would be a sharp decrease in the number of people swimming, ie: hardly anyone would bother "suiting up" just to take a casual dip in the ocean.

the mandatory helmet laws have been declared successful and necessary on exactly that basis. it's lunacy.
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby tristen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:50 pm

jules21 wrote:you can get away without wearing a helmet for 30 years. but that doesn't make it smart - some people won't get away with it and the consequences are catastrophic.


yes, but that will always be true for everyone doing anything you care to name, not just cycling.

why isn't there isn't a mandatory helmet law for taking a shower or a bath? heheh, don't scoff - that question is not as ridiculous as you may initially think.

to be specific to transport: pedestrians share a similar risk as cyclists (slightly more risk than our footed friends, but similar). i don't mean any disrespect, but if i continued along your line of logic it would mean that pedestrians should be made to wear helmets too. there's more chance of sustaining head-trauma in your car, yet there aren't mandatory laws for wearing a helmet in your car.

or even sports: there's seven (seven!!!) times the chance of sustaining head trauma playing footy, but there's no mandatory helmet laws in football.

it's interesting that: how can we as a nation accept our kids playing footy without helmets? it's incredibly backwards.

anyway: the perception is that cycling is dangerous. cycling is _the_ safest form of mechanised transport known to man and is only slightly more dangerous than walking (not counting public transport of course).
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Re: The one (and only) HELMET THREAD

Postby notwal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:40 pm

Comedian wrote:
notwal wrote:
il padrone wrote:And you talk about spurious arguments :shock:

That's the 'shark attack' argument.


Sounds that way but no. Facts are that many more people are killed in traffic accidents than by sharks,
and you can't prevent or ameliorate shark attacks by the something as simple as wearing a cycling helmet.

So it's really not a good analogy.

That's just not true. If we were to mandate that every swimmer had to wear a light chain-mail suit then I could guarantee that more people would survive shark attacks and have more limbs attached afterwards. It would be a far more effective way to mitigate the risk than bike helmets.

Sure probably less people would swim but I guess it's about minimizing injuries at whatever the costs. Yep, lots of parallels there.


Your guess, I think is wrong. It's not about minimising injuries at whatever cost. You appear to be trying to characterise me as deluded.

I think you miss my point. Its not a good analogy because a) although the hazards can both lead to fatalities the risks are nowhere near equivalent, and b) your example of a chain mail suit does not equate to the simplicity and convenience of a helmet.

It's a colourful analogy not worthy of a rigorous debate.

I doubt that you'd argue that riding without a helmet is not more dangerous than riding with one.

You appear to reject MHLs for reasons that are pretty dubious. Without putting words in your mouth the arguments seem to be :
a) Helmets are ineffectual
b) MHLs stop people riding
c) MHLs are an infringement of personal liberty.

I have no doubt that varying degrees of truth attach to each of those notions, but in balance the few lives that are saved easily justify the trivial imposition.
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