How many of you always wear a helmet?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Postby Millhouse » 12 Mar 2008, 10:32pm

I have had bicycles since I was a child. It is only in the last 4 years that I have taken to always wearing a helmet.
I had a serious horse riding accident, just over 4 years ago, in which I damaged my body quite badly. My head was smashed into a telegraph pole, what saved me from certain severe head injuries, or even death, was the helmet I was wearing. The helmet was cracked from front to back as a result of the impact.
The ride started out like any other but ended with serious life changing consequences.
I believe helmet wearing should be personal choice, but on the above occassion I believe I made the right choice. None of us know what is around that corner.

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Postby thirdcrank » 12 Mar 2008, 10:58pm

drossall wrote:AFAIK no attempt to reduce compensation for non-helmet-wearing has succeeded, at least where the victim and his/her lawyers knew enough to challenge it?

I think the relevant point in that report is that because cases are generally settled by negotiation, rather than proceedings and insurers generally include no publicity as part of the settlement, nobody really knows.

I don't think that's the point. The problem is even if you are vindicated, the road to vindication can be a long and cruel one. In particular, I would not want my grieving next-of-kin to have one more thing to suffer. I certainly should not want to be the subject of the inevitable test case.

There are various others besides insurance companies mentioned in that report, coroners spring to mind as an example, who are is a strong position to influence the outcome of both civil and criminal proceedings, who approach the issue of helmets from their own 'common sense' (i.e. ignorant) point of view. Unfortunately, this is the reality.

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Postby Mick F » 12 Mar 2008, 11:14pm

ncutler wrote:I always wear one.

But, if I'm more than about 300 yds. away from home and discover that I have forgotten to put it on I don't go back for it.


BTW, I have to wear one. SWMBO insists.

Funny, but she doesn't ......
Something to do with distance and speed.
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Postby meic » 13 Mar 2008, 12:31am

I dont have a cycle helmet

but I always wear a helmet on the motorbike!

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Postby hubgearfreak » 13 Mar 2008, 12:41am

i never leave home without my ear defenders on, nor my electrically insulated gloves, nor my steel toecap boots, nor my welding mask, nor my chainsaw trousers, when i'm on my bike and especially as a never know what's around the next corner


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Postby Jeckyll_n_Snyde » 13 Mar 2008, 5:41am

iaincullen wrote:I never wear one. I find them uncomfortable and believe the protection they give is exaggerated. If anyone wants to wear one? No problem, it's a free country.

I have a very expensive Jet-Fighter-Pilot styled motorcyle helmet which i love wearing; have never worn a cycle helmet and was considering getting one but i've changed my mind after reading that article on the above url.
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Postby eileithyia » 13 Mar 2008, 7:58am

No helmet has ever saved me from sustaining; broken wrist (first encounter with a car), severely bruised hip (second encounter), broken bone in hand (when chain jammed) and now #clavicle and #scapula.
In 30 years (touch wood) have never had an accident that led to a head injury as it has always been some other rather larger area that hits the deck first.

I don't impose my thoughts helmet wearing on others and do not expect others to impose theirs on me. I do worry that helmet wearing will be become compulsory by the back door, of course the helmet manufacturers will claim all sorts but then they stand to profit from compulsion.
Then where wil they go; full body armour and helmets for pedestrains to protect us from the onslaught of careless drivers.
I also feel there is an element of unnecessary risk taking because of helmet wearing.


Postby reohn2 » 13 Mar 2008, 8:28am

Is this another helmet thread by the back door? :(

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Postby pwward » 13 Mar 2008, 8:44am

Non wearer and must admit dislike seeing them on others... though my line is 'if it persuades you to cycle , wear one, if it puts you off don't bother'. I'm in New Zealand at present where it is compulsory unless you have an exemption.

I think they create a huge problem for ordinary recreational and utility cycling. How can you get people on bikes if it's so dangerous you should wear body armour? Here in NZ workmates are horrified that I even cycle, they consider it way too dangerous. A product I fear of their publicity to get cyclists to wear them. If I wore one I'd feel I was colluding with the carbound masses and the dangerising of cycling.

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Postby aesmith » 13 Mar 2008, 8:49am

reohn2 wrote:Is this another helmet thread by the back door? :(

Not really by the back door, unless I've put it in the wrong forum. Sorry if you think it's been discussed to death before. "Search" didn't suggest that it had, hence my post. I wondered where it was not discussed because everyone took helmets for granted (I can't remember the last time I saw a cyclist without around here).

Any, there have been some interesting comments, and I've seen my own views put into words more clearly than I could have done. In particular ...
glueman wrote:They're just another barrier to getting on the bike and going out.

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Postby Si » 13 Mar 2008, 8:56am

I'd rather forget my helmet than my track mits.

So far:
helmet saved me from injuries 0 times.
helmet caused injuries: 2 times (although neither were on the road).

but for some (illogical?) reason I keep wearing it. Assumption being that one day it might just be the straw that saves the camel's back.

Certain times I would always wear it: MTB, commuting (through two university sites with their world-of-their-own students happily walking out into the road without looking), on the fixie as I'm still coming to terms with certain aspects of it) and on the tandem. Other times I'm tempted to go without as I do tend to perspire more than most inthe hot weather, plus it can give me neck ache on long rides (despite being the lightest I could find).

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Postby fatboy » 13 Mar 2008, 9:12am

Si wrote:I'd rather forget my helmet than my track mits.

So far:
helmet saved me from injuries 0 times.
helmet caused injuries: 2 times (although neither were on the road).

I'm intregued, how did the helmet cause and injury?
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Postby steve climpson » 13 Mar 2008, 9:52am

I always wear a helmet. The reasoning is simple - they probably won't save your life in a severe accident but if they lessen the brain damage resulting from a head trauma by even by a small amount then it's worth it.

My experience is as follows:
In August 2006 I was hit on the crown of the head by a single rock whilst mountaineering in the Alps. For some reason I was not wearing a helmet.

Multiple skull fractures with severe brain damage. Operated on by top Italian surgeon who didn't expect me to survive. Considered to a be a vegetable by the doctors. Unable to talk. Total right side paralysis for 6 weeks then right leg movement returned. Learnt to walk, feed and wash myself. Right arm dropped out of socket but after 12 - 14 weeks started moving again. Severe neurological shoulder, arm and hand damage (partial paralysis) persists. DVT and swelling of leg and hand. Severe mood swings and depression. Poor balance and movement. Epilepsy, high blood pressure and heart rate. The list goes on and all caused by one rock.

After discharge from the NHS physios (but still getting regular NHS treatment) I've spent at least £10,000 of our savings on private neuro physio. I'll be treated by them for another year at least.

Before the accident I was a successful commercial photographer with a thriving business, overnight that disappeared. It's unlikely that I'll work again but fortunately have been able to take early retirement - I'm 53.

Of course I see worse cases of head trauma every week at physio so consider myself lucky. I can ride a bike but not always think clearly.

It's my belief that my injuries would have been considerably less had I been wearing a helmet, even 10% less would make a difference. So don't confuse "saving your life" with " reducing the impact force and consequent damage". This is difficult to quantify or prove but makes sense to me.

IMO the people who don't advocate wearing a helmet should see the effects of not wearing one.

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Postby byegad » 13 Mar 2008, 9:55am

I have three helmets two with a mirror mounted and one with a visor. I normally wear one with a mirror on my uprights, mainly for the mirror, but not if it's hot. Then I use a mirror mounted on my glasses.
On my recumbent bike and trike I either wear the one with a visor or none and a glasses mounted mirror.
I am not convinced that they do any good and so think nothing of riding without one.
Last edited by byegad on 13 Mar 2008, 11:14pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby pioneer » 13 Mar 2008, 10:54am

Never. I used to until I discovered that for them to do any real good they'd have to be almost as big and heavy as a motortcycle helmet.
Ergo, cycling would cease to be enjoyable.

One day it probably will be compulsory. But then,where do we stop this nannying nonsense?

Will pedestrians have to wear non-slip shoes just in case the pavements' wet and slippery? Let us exercise common sense and decide for ourselves.