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  #1  
Old 09-11-2006, 07:06 PM
geoff geoff is offline
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Default don't wear a helmet?

There was a new study published that says 'Wearing Helmet Puts Cyclists At More Risk.' The story is below:

http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?s..._at_more_risk_
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2006, 08:27 PM
jds,md jds,md is offline
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Lightbulb hmmmm, I think I'll keep mine

Interesting article. I wonder if he wore the same the clothes for the whole test; did he wear lycra with the helmet and more street-like clothes without it? That could also have an effect. Maybe I should just wear an old dirty jean jacket over my jersey .

When I was in France this summer, I noticed that almost no Brits or Europeans wore helmets. All the Americans and Aussies did. Our tour guide, who was a Brit, explained to me that he never wore a helmet on his weekend training rides with friends, but did wear one on his commute. Maybe he had it backwards. Coming from racing, I feel naked without a helmet. In a race it makes absolute sense to wear it. But maybe traffic is a different story. I'm reluctant to try it though. The first day I ride without it will probably be the first day I need it...
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2006, 08:34 PM
Medic_Pilot Medic_Pilot is offline
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OK, so this guy says vehicles won't pass as close to you if you're not wearing a helmet. Maybe this is only a UK thing, but whatever. Let's assume it's a fact.

Regardless, you're more likely to survive a head injury (or prevent life altering brain damage) by wearing one.

Interesting to note that he was hit twice by different vehicles in his study, both times wearing a helmet. He didn't bother to mention that he was probably able to write his report only because his head remained intact.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2006, 09:31 PM
dan dan is offline
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the article claims that wearing a helmet poses more risk than not, based only on the fact[sic] that drivers will pass closer if you are wearing one. let's just pretend that it is a fact...still, you might want to consider the fact that if a car does hit you, a helmet can save your skull from cracking open. also, you might want to consider that if a driver makes the assumption(unconscious or not, it doesn't matter) that you are more experienced/skilled/predictable because you wear a helmet, they are alert enough to your presence that they aren't going to hit you. really, how often does someone hit a cyclist when they are fully aware of there presence? i'm not saying it doesn't happen(it's happened to me), but i wear a helmet in case someone doesn't see(notice) me.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2006, 12:19 AM
andrew andrew is offline
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So let's see, you're 50% more likely to get hit by a car if you're wearing a helmet, and 100% more likely to die if you get hit by a car when you're not wearing a helmet.

I'll take my chances with the helmet.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2006, 10:55 AM
Rixtir Rixtir is offline
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I prefer to wear a helmet. However, there's one thing about helmets that the manufacturer's don't really talk about. A helmet will protect you if you hit your head in a fall from your bike; however, in a collision with a car, where the speeds are greater, a helmet probably won't protect you if you hit your head on impact.

Still, I'll take my chances that I'm better off with the helmet than without.

If you'd like to read more, here's the source:

http://www.bhsi.org/limits.htm
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2006, 11:37 AM
L8er L8er is offline
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Talking goofy lookin' beats lookin' messed up

I was a messenger in DC and I will say that my helmet saved my ass...well my head...nothing like slammin' your head on the road after spillin'. Yeah helmets are a good thing. You might look a little goofy, but beats lookin' messed up. L8er
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2006, 01:09 PM
SEA_poseur_n_PDX SEA_poseur_n_PDX is offline
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Default scientists....

sounds like a typical scientist study; chock full of useless measurements and statistics that you can't apply to real world situations. he might have done himself a favor collaborating with a few experienced cyclists. coming from a cyclist who has been hit by way more than his fair share of cars (8 that I can remember) it's very hard to come up with a canned situation like having a car pass you on the left as a means of testing the validity of helmet safety.

let's use my personal experience as a small sample set to validate his study: three of my eight hits occurred in the situation that he tested. although one of those was an intentional hit. (couple of yahoos in a big truck who I'll bet didn't take my helmet into consideration when they hit me). five of the hits came from oncoming cars taking lefts in front of me or coming from a direction other than passing on the left. whoops – maybe he should change the title of that study to "Helmets could be dangerous to cyclists as cars are passing them on the left." which, I'll admit, is a situation that cyclists face more than any other. just didn't happen to be where my accidents came from.

here are the results of my study: my study started when I bought my first Giro helmet back in 1989 after receiving a stern lecture from an older roadie that I had passed at 50+ mph down highway-9 above Saratoga, CA. that same helmet saved my life a month later on that same road going around 40+ mph. first time I got hit by a car (my first hit and run too, incidentally). the first thing that touched the ground in that wreck was my helmet, and it was in tattered pieces hanging around my neck when I stopped rolling 50 yards down the road. I've had four helmets since then, and one of those saved my life as well. (yep, the yahoos in the truck)

you say that cars drive closer to me when I wear a helmet? fine. I can live with that. I can't control the cars. I can't control the idiot taxi driver that pulls in front of me in my lane on a steep down hill and then slams on his brakes because he sees a fare. I can't stop people from taking left hand turns in front of me because they think a bike couldn’t possibly be going that fast – and then slam on their brakes, stopping their car in the only path I have to go, insuring that I have absolutely No option but to fly over the hood of their car. so what's my point? my point is that cars irrational and dangerous behavior is a known quantity. (for me at least). there are a LOT of idiots in the world – they don't know or follow the rules of the road, they don't empathize in the least bit with cyclists, they don't even understand simple physics - and those idiots somehow convince the state to give them drivers licenses. I accept that I have no control over that.

but I can wear a helmet. that's something I do control.

and when I hit the ground on the other side of that idiot's car I have a much higher chance of survival with a helmet on my noggin. plus – you can only tear someone's head off when your'e alive…… "I'm sorry – DID I DISTURB YOU PUTTING YOUR MAKE-UP ON?!!!" "hey – was that AN IMPORTANT PHONE CALL?!!" etc.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2006, 02:59 PM
nishiki nishiki is offline
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Sea poseur,

IMO, you are confirming what the article stated; helmet = 8 accidents.
Me, no helmet no accident.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2006, 03:12 PM
SEA_poseur_n_PDX SEA_poseur_n_PDX is offline
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hahaha! that's it! maybe what I meant to say was that helmets were for idiots like me who can't avoid accidents.

I did neglect to mention that one of my over the hood accidents happened during a rare day when I wasn't wearing a helmet. (and I was being passed on the left at the time, hmmm). but that's still 7 to 1 in the article's favor.

drat!
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