Lawmaking by the bereaved?

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Oct 2016, 7:46pm

Take away helmets from those racing in competition (and also from the Sunday chain-gang/Strava lot) and I'd bet my last penny they would crash less often.
On asking a friend whom got into cycling just 8 years ago whom has crashed twice really badly (single rider incident both times) if he would have ridden more cautiously had he not being wearing a helmet "well of course, but..."
he is no novice when he had the incidents and has ridden LEJoG, attempted London to Paris in 24hr, Mt Ventoux, week long holidays etc and is a keen Sunday club member. I rode with he and his pals one Sunday through Aylesbury Vale and frankly their attitude to road riding and other road users (some of them had being around as well) and general risk taking was astonishing. Yes I was the only one not wearing a helmet to which some were most disgruntled/annoyed and yet somehow I wasn't the one riding like a pleb but still managed to ride swiftly/not get dropped :roll:
Last edited by The utility cyclist on 7 Oct 2016, 7:53pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mjr
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby mjr » 7 Oct 2016, 7:50pm

Vorpal wrote:
mjr wrote:And persuading others to use helmets is encouraging injury, both because helmet users seem to crash more and because it seems to reduce beneficial-for-health cycling.

Is there any evidence that people wearing helmets reduces the level of cycling? Or that one persuading another to wear a helmet does so?

I know there is (limited) evidence that helmet promotion campaigns reduce the amount of of cycling, but it seems a bit of stretch to extrapolate that to Psamanthe wearing a helmet frightening away potential cyclists.

That seems to be confusing two points I made:
firstly, using a helmet erodes a strong defence against compulsion (that a large majority don't use them);
secondly, that helmet promotion reduces cycling and if helmets turn out to be net-harmful even for those who keep on cycling, then promoters will have even hurt those who used helmets and I hope that gives them sleepless nights.

I didn't say that helmet use in itself is helmet promotion because I'm not sure of the evidence about it. I have my suspicions, but let's deal with the stronger points first :-)

Vorpal wrote:I think after leaving sport. I'm sure about his company. But he wore a helmet before they were a requirement.

He may have been required to wear one by sponsorship contracts, like Lance was.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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meic
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby meic » 7 Oct 2016, 7:55pm

He is also wearing gloves.
You can wear a helmet because you think it will help to prevent some gashes and grazes on your scalp without believing or promoting that they will be effective at saving your life or sanity.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Oct 2016, 8:02pm

It's a wonder hardly any of the pre-helmet racing bods lived to tell the tale, those dying on the roads sans helmet must have being at epidemic like numbers BITD. :roll:

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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby axel_knutt » 7 Oct 2016, 8:20pm

horizon wrote:This is the bit that I find difficult (in all the helmet debates). Compulsion for me is a red herring - I cannot accept that wearing a cycle helmet is a matter of choice: they either work or they don't, you either need one or you don't. And that as far as I'm concerned must apply to everyone unless someone has an unusually strong or vulnerable head, which as far as I know they don't.

If risk compensation occurs, then the degree to which the helmet affects your behaviour, and consequent risk of an accident, is dependent on your perception of the benefit of the helmet. Someone who perceives the helmet to be of great benefit is likely to change their behaviour more, and therefore benefit less, than someone who regards them as of little use.
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Oct 2016, 9:18pm

bovlomov wrote: ... Someone on another thread ...


As an aside, these few words have explained to me why my own earlier post on this thread prompted replies which I hadn't expected. There was a time when I read practically everything on this forum (except the off-road stuff) in close detail from top left-hand corner down to bottom right. Not any more I fear. Some sort of forum fatigue where the eyes glaze over much sooner. Just one of several signs of edging towards the seventh age of man. :oops:
========================================================
PS Forgot to mention that I've just been out for a short walk and come as close as I ever want to being knocked down by somebody driving like an idiot.

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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby Vorpal » 7 Oct 2016, 10:42pm

/
horizon wrote:
This is the bit that I find difficult (in all the helmet debates). Compulsion for me is a red herring - I cannot accept that wearing a cycle helmet is a matter of choice: they either work or they don't, you either need one or you don't. And that as far as I'm concerned must apply to everyone unless someone has an unusually strong or vulnerable head, which as far as I know they don't.

You could try and split the wearers into groups: racers versus leisure cyclists, children versus adults, people with cold heads etc. But none of that reflects current reality - what people are saying is that cycling needs a helmet. Or not.

Or you can say that the evidence is so unreliable that you might as well wear one as not or vice versa - which is where we seem to be at.


I don't think all of the evidence is unreliable. Although the most unreliable ones get talked about a lot on here, there are various studies that show limited benefit, and some that show benefit for children wearing helmets. The safety benefits for adults are at least partly offset by risk compensation, and perhaps some other things. It seems to me that the evidence comes out slightly on the side of helmets.

For most cyclists, the chances that a helmet will make any difference one way or the other are so tiny as to be akin to a singularity.

For cyclists who do riskier riding, they may be more likely to benefit, but it's currently all but impossible to untangle the relationship between risk exposure, risk compensation, risk acceptance, etc.

Cycling doesn't need a helmet. But there are circumstances where a cyclist may benefit.
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 8 Oct 2016, 3:40pm

Vorpal wrote:I know there is (limited) evidence that helmet promotion campaigns reduce the amount of of cycling, but it seems a bit of stretch to extrapolate that to Psamanthe wearing a helmet frightening away potential cyclists.

Yes, I know that it contributes to the 'dangerisation' of cycling (or whatever you want to call it), but I seriously doubt that a single individual has any significant impact on that.


Yet we come to be in a position as a society where we probably have more people believe that cycling on the roads is too dangerous for them to want to participate in it than those that actually participate in it. We have arrived there without the government needing to tell anybody that cycling is so dangerous that all cyclists need to wear helmets, its blatantly obvious it's dangerous because so many of the people that do it are wearing helmets. Add to that many thousands of people whose helmets definitely saved their lives every year and it can only reinforce the perception that cycling is dangerous. In my opinion any change in overall risk that the widespread use of helmets makes to the remaining cycling population probably has more to do with those that aren't cycling than those that are.

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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Oct 2016, 4:43pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I know there is (limited) evidence that helmet promotion campaigns reduce the amount of of cycling, but it seems a bit of stretch to extrapolate that to Psamanthe wearing a helmet frightening away potential cyclists.

Yes, I know that it contributes to the 'dangerisation' of cycling (or whatever you want to call it), but I seriously doubt that a single individual has any significant impact on that.


Yet we come to be in a position as a society where we probably have more people believe that cycling on the roads is too dangerous for them to want to participate in it than those that actually participate in it. We have arrived there without the government needing to tell anybody that cycling is so dangerous that all cyclists need to wear helmets, its blatantly obvious it's dangerous because so many of the people that do it are wearing helmets. Add to that many thousands of people whose helmets definitely saved their lives every year and it can only reinforce the perception that cycling is dangerous. In my opinion any change in overall risk that the widespread use of helmets makes to the remaining cycling population probably has more to do with those that aren't cycling than those that are.

That fair enough, although I know several people who had a go at cycling on the roads in the last few years and were scared off it by close passes and other aggressive driving. Nothing to do with helmets. One of them makes the effort to take her bike to the country park once every couple of weeks and ride on the Flitch Way. But she won't ride on the roads. And there are plenty of other people doing to the same thing, with and without helmets. That sort of thing has very little with whether cyclists wear helmets.

Secondly, I do accept that cyclists wearing helmets contributes to the perception that cycling dangerous. This is one of the reasons that I seldom wear one myself. But I don't honestly think that the behaviour of a single individual changes that. It is the behaviour of populations that leave that impression.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 11 Oct 2016, 8:03am

Vorpal wrote:That fair enough, although I know several people who had a go at cycling on the roads in the last few years and were scared off it by close passes and other aggressive driving. Nothing to do with helmets. One of them makes the effort to take her bike to the country park once every couple of weeks and ride on the Flitch Way. But she won't ride on the roads. And there are plenty of other people doing to the same thing, with and without helmets. That sort of thing has very little with whether cyclists wear helmets.

Secondly, I do accept that cyclists wearing helmets contributes to the perception that cycling dangerous. This is one of the reasons that I seldom wear one myself. But I don't honestly think that the behaviour of a single individual changes that. It is the behaviour of populations that leave that impression.


I suspect that these people already hold the perception that cycling is dangerous and that the experience of cycling simply acts to reinforce that view. The observations of people wearing helmets told them it was dangerous, experiencing close passes confirmed the danger, and it was clear that a plastic hat was never going to provide protection against the threat, why would anybody risk it, just take the car.

Populations are composed of individuals, so if people that make choices based on what they observe in the population, whilst nobody can be held solely responsible anybody that has contributed to the observations that resulted in the choices cannot consider themselves blameless either.

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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby Adam S » 11 Oct 2016, 9:56am

I suspect that these people already hold the perception that cycling is dangerous and that the experience of cycling simply acts to reinforce that view.

I suspect that too. People in the UK almost invariably regard cycling as significantly riskier than it actually is. Even many cyclists often talk of it being dangerous.
The observations of people wearing helmets told them it was dangerous, experiencing close passes confirmed the danger.

Probably not just helmets, but helmets are part of it. They are both a product of the perceived dangerousness and something which reinforces that perception.

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Re: Lawmaking by the bereaved?

Postby meic » 11 Oct 2016, 10:20am

There is an element of "cycling is perfectly safe, so long as you are good, alert and never make any mistakes, have esp, are perfectly sober, have a perfect bike, can do and have practiced a judo roll to protect your head in a fall, can control a high speed skid on gravel, see around corners all at 20mph with a sprint left in reserve" but if you are not up to those standards then it is all your own fault when a car or lorry breaks the law and kills you.
At least on this forum.

I can understand why anybody but an urban warrior in search of honing their road combat skills might choose to take the car instead.
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