Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:45 pm

Kronos wrote:...and I'm telling you now if you had actually lived that experience you wouldn't be speaking the way you are now.

And I do wear a helmet most of the time because I know they are important. But by your argument helmets are a necessity in ALL riding situations. This clearly isn’t true for most parts of the world because the do t have MHL and they dont have significantly worse safety stats than us.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:53 pm

bychosis wrote:
Kronos wrote:...and I'm telling you now if you had actually lived that experience you wouldn't be speaking the way you are now.

And I do wear a helmet most of the time because I know they are important. But by your argument helmets are a necessity in ALL riding situations. This clearly isn’t true for most parts of the world because the do t have MHL and they dont have significantly worse safety stats than us.


This kind of too and fro isn't going to go anywhere. It's 9:00 at night and I have better things to be doing at this point. You may want to chew on this and get back to me about helmets:

"We collected data from 40 different studies using data from over 64,000 injured cyclists," he said.

"We found that helmet use was associated with about a 50 per cent reduction in head injuries of any severity, about a 70 per cent reduction in serious head injuries and those are usually skull fractures and inter-cranial injury or bleeding in the brain."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-22/c ... ay/7867904

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:01 pm

Kronos wrote: If a helmet saves one life like my own that's reason enough to have them mandatory.


Between 1 July 2016 and June 30 2017, 291 Australians drowned.

In 2017 (sorry to compare calendar year to financial year but that's the stats I found) 28 pedal cyclists died on Australian roads.

I have a video you might like:



If it only saves one life . . .

Hmm, 824 occupants of motor vehicles died in 2017 too, mandatory helmets for them I reckon, could save hundreds of lives.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:09 pm

As you go off on another tangent as I've previously reminded you before it was frittered away by one of mods here. Cars on our roads generally at least have some of these features including but not limited to ESP, ABS, traction control, airbags (side, curtain, front, etc) some of the newer cars even have sensors on them so you can't hit people or things. They also have seat belts which should (if you're wearing them) stop you from being ejected from the vehicle which bicycles do not have, and even if they did it probably wouldn't help. Before you go any further and faff up statistics, there are also generally more cars on the road in Australia because we are a car dominant society.

Your argument about helmets in cars for average road use doesn't wash. The argument for helmets as practically the only safety measure that a cyclist has on a bike does wash. But you can continue down that pathway of drumming up a false argument about nothing. I'm done with this thread for tonight and you wont get any more responses from me.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby London Boy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Kronos wrote:You're not going to get the point, I've said what needs to be said, and you've already taken a stance. and your strawman doesn/t work here, we're talking about Australia not the rest of the world. I sincerely hope you never have to go through a road trauma accident, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

It's your worst nightmare
It's utterly life changing from the second it happens
It's chilling

and

You never really get over it.


Well, I did. Being doored as a teenager, while travelling at around 20 mph (downhill), destroying the car door as well as my bike. Damaged a wee bit of face as well, though not as much as when I was a pedestrian being hit by a car, when I was nine. No helmet in either case, mind. It didn't do lasting harm.

The most objectively dangerous thing that ever happened to me was being in a car that turned on its roof. I was lucky in that as it rolled, I rolled with it so didn't bash my head against the metal of the car or the tarmac of the road. There was not a lot of space, once the roof had collapsed in. My mate Paul S was killed in a very similar crash at about the same time, so quite how helmets are not compulsory in cars I don't know.

Of course there are many things that cause lifelong disability. My wife, for example, got ill. Just that. Not even anything serious, until it ate her spinal cord. I say that just so you understand that I do have that perspective. I understand full well how things go when you can't walk, when you can't even take a leak in the usual way. I know what it is like when you have to continually watch out for the slightest graze, because when you can't feel it, before you know it you are ulcerated through to the bone.

But we can all quote unfortunate anecdotes, which is why the only valid way to deal with these things is with statistics. The statistics point towards three things:

  • Thing one is that more cyclists equal fewer accidents of all kinds. Participation fell when MHLs were introduced.
  • Thing two is that cycling injuries are not even on the scale compared with the problems caused by obesity and lack of exercise.
  • The third thing: motor vehicle occupants are by far the greatest victims of traumatic head injuries, even with all the airbags, safety belts and so on. But no helmets. Is it just that it is politically convenient to attack cyclists but not motorists?

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:15 pm

To be completely honest and on that matter... I would not be against the use of head and neck supporting devices in cars either. Blunt force trauma to both your head and neck are two of the major problems that a lot of people go through in car accidents. It's been almost 30 years since we've had the idea, and the availability of such devices available to race cars, although it would take a fatal accident in 2001 for them to be required at most levels of motorsport and its been mandated by the top level of motorsport at the FIA since 2009. Where the statistics are clear that it does save lives in motorsport I don't see what the issue is with incorporating head and neck restraints into cars.

This rather graphic link of the difference between the driver and navigator shows the difference of having HANS and not having HANS in rally cars, which can then be extrapolated as you so will into real life situations. Click on it at your own interest. The driver has no HANS device but the navigator does.

https://youtu.be/g40YatgE_CE

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:14 pm

Kronos wrote:This kind of too and fro isn't going to go anywhere. It's 9:00 at night and I have better things to be doing at this point. You may want to chew on this and get back to me about helmets:

"We collected data from 40 different studies using data from over 64,000 injured cyclists," he said.

"We found that helmet use was associated with about a 50 per cent reduction in head injuries of any severity, about a 70 per cent reduction in serious head injuries and those are usually skull fractures and inter-cranial injury or bleeding in the brain."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-22/c ... ay/7867904


I don’t think here is any argument against the effectiveness of helmets (well, there is the whole rotational forces thing, but that’s another story). Most would agree that helmets prevent head injuries. The bit that the argument is about is that the incidence of head injuries per km ridden are so low that we’d be better off focusing on other things.

Putting it another way, how many pedestrians suffer head injuries as a result of falls? We aren’t trying to get them to wear helmets because ‘one life lost is too many’. Maybe nights out on the town should have mandatory helmets because of all the coward punch attacks or drinks falling over that result in head injuries. Both those examples are more relevant than the car occupant example and we aren’t even considering putting helmets on little old ladies and nightclubbers.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:51 pm

Event, this coming Saturday - Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Wellington (NZ).

Details for Melbourne's ride
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:30 am

Kronos wrote:Nah your whole extended monologue about some other countries that aren't Australia is a classical strawman.

How so? Why is the experience of VERY SAFE cycling across many countries without MHLs a strawman argument?

Kronos wrote:What I'm saying that is quite clear, if you had any idea at all of what can happen even in your own neighbourhood where you pretend that your safe, where statistically its often close to home that people actually die on the road, you probably wouldn't be thinking like this.

I think most of us are adults and can comprehend injury, and head trauma. We have the idea you don't need to go on about it. What you don't seem to get is how RARE it is.

Kronos wrote:If a helmet saves one life like my own that's reason enough to have them mandatory.

That is a terrible argument. And could be used to justify countless other laws. How about making alcohol illegal. That would probably have a far bigger impact. Not that I want that, but it was just the first thing that came to mind.

Also we need to forget about the unintended consequences. In the case of MHLs the health impacts have been negative. And it my later example ask Al Capone about how many lives he saved.

Back to the point. MHLs don't save lives. There is no evidence of this.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Kronos » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:37 am

human909 wrote:
Kronos wrote:Nah your whole extended monologue about some other countries that aren't Australia is a classical strawman.

How so? Why is the experience of VERY SAFE cycling across many countries without MHLs a strawman argument?


I already pointed to the countless amounts of statistics that are out there to prove the usefulness of helmets. Seems you want to resort to using statistics in the Netherlands. Considering I am a post-grad research graduate who achieved the second highest mark you can get in his honors I kinda like statistics also. So while this is not my exact area of specialisation, a quick Google says that From 2007 to 2012, the number of fatal accidents decreased in the Netherlands from 850 to 600 yet the number of cycling fatalities remained roughly constant across said period. So to say while there were less accidents, the ones that happened were just as catastrophic, In 2015, cycling deaths made up 30% of road deaths in the Netherlands. From what I also gather the number of bicycle accidents in Australia has been fairly constant since mandatory helmet laws were introduced, and they dropped considerably with the introduction of them. However, in recent years both the number of fatalities has increased as has the percentage of representation of cyclists represented in fatal traffic accidents. This can probably be attributed to a bifold effect of having more cyclists on the road, and more lackadaisical inexperienced road cyclists who need better training and understanding of road dangers. On this matter I can only go by anecdote from what I see on the road every day these days vs. what I have previous memories of. It's great more people are riding but my hunch is these people need better education and protection, not less education or protection.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/databl ... -australia

Then there are these statistics from the government that also support the upward trend in road trauma in relation to cyclists.

https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/

Kronos wrote:What I'm saying that is quite clear, if you had any idea at all of what can happen even in your own neighbourhood where you pretend that your safe, where statistically its often close to home that people actually die on the road, you probably wouldn't be thinking like this.

I think most of us are adults and can comprehend injury, and head trauma. We have the idea you don't need to go on about it. What you don't seem to get is how RARE it is.


This is what you don't get... A significant road trauma event like that never really goes away, it scars your body and your mind, it leads to questions in who you are as it changes your physical and mental identity of yourself. I am not the same person I was before I had that accident and probably never will be. I have a number of "strange" OCD things about bikes, and not trusting what is otherwise an inanimate object for many hundreds of kilometres (sometimes counted) until I know it probably randomly wont kill me somehow even if its been serviced properly. It's not like a horse or something but hey... those habits give life to the bikes I ride. I probably will always have that OCD tendency particularly with new bikes. What I see in the mirror and what I think of myself despite the facts there is very little visible scarring are two things entirely different to what they are. The self loathing effect of trauma survival is common. The world of trauma survivors is probably something you don't get until you've been there yourself.

Kronos wrote:If a helmet saves one life like my own that's reason enough to have them mandatory.

That is a terrible argument. And could be used to justify countless other laws. How about making alcohol illegal. That would probably have a far bigger impact. Not that I want that, but it was just the first thing that came to mind.

Also we need to forget about the unintended consequences. In the case of MHLs the health impacts have been negative. And it my later example ask Al Capone about how many lives he saved.

Back to the point. MHLs don't save lives. There is no evidence of this.


If you look at the sharp decrease in deaths in the graph since the 1990s when mandatory helmet laws were introduced, that I posted above in The Guardian article you would see this is bollocks. There has been a sharp decline in the number of deaths related to cycling related injuries.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:03 am

Particularly in the MHL debate, statistics are a brilliant way to fight all of the opposing statistics.

I understand the position of ‘helmet choice’ and Australia is remarkable with the helmet laws because they have been used as an excuse and bandaid solution as the government has not prepared to solve the cycling safety problem properly. So improving safety will have a greater effect on reducing injury and death and is where the focus should be.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:34 am

Kronos wrote:If you look at the sharp decrease in deaths in the graph since the 1990s when mandatory helmet laws were introduced, that I posted above in The Guardian article you would see this is bollocks. There has been a sharp decline in the number of deaths related to cycling related injuries.

As you are a research graduate you should also know that you cannot consider one aspect in isolation. The fatality rates need to be compared to participation rates, kms travelled etc. then you should also compare them against obesity and cardiac health issues. It is a big picture with lots of contributing factors.

Ok so the Netherlands might have had an increase in cycle fatalities, but what percentage were high risk vs low risk cycling (eg mtb, racers, bmx stunts vs going to work) what percentage involved cars etc.

I dont know the answers, but it seems that getting more people on bikes is one way of reducing other health impacts and if we can get a few more on bikes by relaxing helmet laws what is the net benefit? Might save twice as many heart attacks as creating head injuries.

It’s jusr not a simple argument that ‘one head injury prevented’ is worth stopping thousands of people riding and increasing gntheir health overall.
Last edited by bychosis on Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Comedian » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:05 am

Kronos wrote:As you go off on another tangent as I've previously reminded you before it was frittered away by one of mods here. Cars on our roads generally at least have some of these features including but not limited to ESP, ABS, traction control, airbags (side, curtain, front, etc) some of the newer cars even have sensors on them so you can't hit people or things. They also have seat belts which should (if you're wearing them) stop you from being ejected from the vehicle which bicycles do not have, and even if they did it probably wouldn't help. Before you go any further and faff up statistics, there are also generally more cars on the road in Australia because we are a car dominant society.

Your argument about helmets in cars for average road use doesn't wash. The argument for helmets as practically the only safety measure that a cyclist has on a bike does wash. But you can continue down that pathway of drumming up a false argument about nothing. I'm done with this thread for tonight and you wont get any more responses from me.


So address this?

https://www.monash.edu/muarc/research/our-publications/atsb160

Why don't you wear a helmet in a car? Really? If you're so worried about it.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Cyclophiliac » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:04 am

Kronos wrote:If you look at the sharp decrease in deaths in the graph since the 1990s when mandatory helmet laws were introduced, that I posted above in The Guardian article you would see this is bollocks. There has been a sharp decline in the number of deaths related to cycling related injuries.

Yes, there will always be a sharp decline in cyclist deaths where there's a sharp decline in the number of cyclists. Try looking at rates, not absolute numbers.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:08 am

Kronos wrote:Before you go any further and faff up statistics, there are also generally more cars on the road in Australia because we are a car dominant society.


and one of the reasons that we are so car dominant is because people don't ride bikes enough which declined significantly when MHL were introduced. MHL is one of the reasons share bike schemes don't work well in our capital cities, if you aren't 'carrying', you can't ride.

Comedian wrote:So address this?

https://www.monash.edu/muarc/research/our-publications/atsb160

Why don't you wear a helmet in a car? Really? If you're so worried about it.


or when you go bush-walking?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:03 am

Kronos wrote:Considering I am a post-grad research graduate who achieved the second highest mark you can get in his honors I kinda like statistics also.

Except you seem to completely lack ANY objectiveness in this debate. I hope you didn't conduct your research in a similar fashion.

You consistently refer to personal experience and emotion rather than a more sensible analysis (such as cost/benefit). You misrepresent the statistics you do use. I'm not sure whether it is deliberate but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you are human and prefer to find arguments to support preexisting views rather than consider the full issue in its entirety.

Kronos wrote:This is what you don't get... A significant road trauma event like that never really goes away, it scars your body and your mind, it leads to questions in who you are as it changes your physical and mental identity of yourself.

You are continuing to make this claim yet there is no evidence on what I 'get' and don't 'get' about trauma.

I voluntarily wear helmets for many activities I do. Why do you think that is? Why are thinking you are the only person in this room who understands that head injuries are terrible and should be avoided?


But it does seem that no amount of debate, logic, analysis or real world realities will change your preconceived view. Meanwhile people like myself and others can do our tiny bit to help change so that Australian cyclists can enjoy basic freedoms that the rest of the world enjoys.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby bychosis » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:23 am

human909 wrote:I voluntarily wear helmets for many activities I do. Why do you think that is? Why are thinking you are the only person in this room who understands that head injuries are terrible and should be avoided?

Many people wear helmets for 'dangerous' activities. It is not uncommon for skiiers and snowboarders to wear helmets. Skateboarders wear them in skate parks and when performing tricks, rock climbers, hang gliders etc. There are heaps of sports where helmets are not mandatory, but they are a bloody good idea and most people will choose to wear one to avoid said head injuries.

I believe that our culture has evolved, thanks to workplace safety, to a point where helmets are not seen as pointless and are used by lots of people without mandating them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:46 am

bychosis wrote:I believe that our culture has evolved, thanks to workplace safety, to a point where helmets are not seen as pointless and are used by lots of people without mandating them.


Personally, I would put minimal emphasis on that as sporting protective equipment is still very common in places that have vastly more relaxed workplace safety rules. (Australia has some of the most prescriptive and strict rules, Europeans are frequently shocked by our approach.) But dissecting the cultural safety evolution across countries isn't easy.

Helmets have been around for millennium. Where choice is given, people have always weighed up the risks, the need and inconvenience of helmet use. The only thing that has changed is the types of activities and the technology of helmets.

I had small rocks raining down on me this weekend while hanging off the side of a cliff. I had a helmet because I chose to use one.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:15 pm

human909 wrote:MHLs don't save lives.


This is the current understanding in the literature, including the BMJ (Goldacre, B; Spiegelhalter, D (2013) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f3817).

The last five years worth of research has been into why.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:27 pm

Just chill...... get out there and ride; helmet-free or not as you wish to choose.


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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:30 pm

Thoglette wrote:
human909 wrote:MHLs don't save lives.


This is the current understanding in the literature, including the BMJ (Goldacre, B; Spiegelhalter, D (2013) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f3817).

The last five years worth of research has been into why.


My theory is that is yet another example of reverse-psychology in action. Right up there with "riding single-file is safer", and "bike paths are always safer than riding on the roads".

What seems so 'right and sensible' often very much just ain't so!

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby eldavo » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:59 pm

human909 wrote:
Kronos wrote:Considering I am a post-grad research graduate who achieved the second highest mark you can get in his honors I kinda like statistics also.

Except you seem to completely lack ANY objectiveness in this debate. I hope you didn't conduct your research in a similar fashion


Nice. A bit like I'm an engineer, therefore I know everything.
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PS: I'll try to get to the Perth Freestyle Riders Helmet Optional ride.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:10 pm

1988-90 - "I am a neurosurgeon so of course I know EVERYTHING there is to know about bicycle road safety".

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby hunch » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Kronos wrote:To be completely honest and on that matter... I would not be against the use of head and neck supporting devices in cars either. Blunt force trauma to both your head and neck are two of the major problems that a lot of people go through in car accidents. It's been almost 30 years since we've had the idea, and the availability of such devices available to race cars, although it would take a fatal accident in 2001 for them to be required at most levels of motorsport and its been mandated by the top level of motorsport at the FIA since 2009. Where the statistics are clear that it does save lives in motorsport I don't see what the issue is with incorporating head and neck restraints into cars.

This rather graphic link of the difference between the driver and navigator shows the difference of having HANS and not having HANS in rally cars, which can then be extrapolated as you so will into real life situations. Click on it at your own interest. The driver has no HANS device but the navigator does.

https://youtu.be/g40YatgE_CE


Speaking from experience and using them on stage transports, I'd expect a Hans and to a lesser extent, a helmet to actually increase accidents with the lazy smidsy crowd. Tethers reduce rotation, so less easy to scan surroundings, they're less effective in side impacts, without appropriate seats too - and those rally car ones weren't the right ones. Proper winged ones limit intersection vision massively.

Did question a few of the surgeons up here at RNSH during my recent stays. Head trauma wasn't such a huge factor, 17% of orthopedic ward bed occupancy were bicycle riders though, mamil or oamnil (moi!) :lol: mostly, which was pretty shocking!

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:17 pm

bychosis wrote:Many people wear helmets for 'dangerous' activities. It is not uncommon for skiiers and snowboarders to wear helmets. Skateboarders wear them in skate parks and when performing tricks, rock climbers, hang gliders etc. There are heaps of sports where helmets are not mandatory, but they are a bloody good idea and most people will choose to wear one to avoid said head injuries.

I believe that our culture has evolved, thanks to workplace safety, to a point where helmets are not seen as pointless and are used by lots of people without mandating them.


Helmets are only used in a large scale by skiers in the nations that have this whole safety-fetish and have actually made helmet use for all, or some, bicycle riders the LAW (ie, Aus, NZ, and the US). In many parts of the skiing world helmets for all (other than competition and extreme sports) are STILL virtually absent. The safety-fetishist disease is spreading though :roll:

Most of the sports you have listed actually have NO mandatory law about helmet-use (hang-gliding I'm not sure about), and regardless, to compare the risks of these activities with just riding a bicycle along a city, suburban, or country road is facetious to an extreme.

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