"You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

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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Cunobelin
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby Cunobelin » 14 Feb 2017, 3:37pm

CJ wrote:
Mick F wrote:I do have a scull cap for under the helmet that I used to wear in the winter, so I could possibly wear it and the helmet now, but I can't see why I should wear a helmet when it's cold, but not when it's warm. Dual standards?

Or hypocrisy? I don't think so.

I also find my helmet, a top-of-the-range Giro model chosen for it's 'excellent' ventilation, too hot and uncomfortable to tolerate - except when the ambient temperature is below or near to freezing. But since ice DEFINITELY increases the risk of a fall, I think that's entirely logical.

I will also wear the otherwise horrid thing when test-riding a new or unfamiliar bike, one that's been assembled by somebody else, a tandem with a blind stoker, or when mountain-biking, or any kind of riding I consider to be unusually risky.

But I don't do any of those things very often. And if you could convince me that a helmet was necessary for what I call 'normal', 'low-risk' travel and transport cycling, you will only have convinced me that ALL cycling activities are too ridiculously hazardous for any sensible person to consider 'normal', or undertake on a daily basis.


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CJ
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby CJ » 27 Feb 2017, 4:18pm

mjr wrote:
CJ wrote:I also find my helmet, a top-of-the-range Giro model chosen for it's 'excellent' ventilation, too hot and uncomfortable to tolerate - except when the ambient temperature is below or near to freezing. But since ice DEFINITELY increases the risk of a fall, I think that's entirely logical.

I will also wear the otherwise horrid thing when test-riding a new or unfamiliar bike, one that's been assembled by somebody else, a tandem with a blind stoker, or when mountain-biking, or any kind of riding I consider to be unusually risky.

Is that risk compensation?

Probably. I'm not so arrogant as to claim immunity from usual human weaknesses. But I think I would still do those things if I did not have a helmet. I certainly did them before such headgear was invented, particularly the ice thing, on one occasion riding a mile or so UPON the frozen Coventry canal - much less bumpy than the usual towing path!

Do you take precautions when ice is likely?

Of course. See above. (I got off the canal when I heard cracking noises).

I'm surprised that CJ acts as if helmets can be expected to reduce injuries, which is far from shown in real-world data AFAICT.

I don't believe the most extreme arguments put out by either side, but consider that the truth lies somewhere in-between. So I believe that helmets do offer some protection, just nowhere near as much as their proponents would have us believe. An exaggerated belief in their protective benefits, leading to a higher level of risk compensation (than that to which I admit of myself), may well explain why the "real-world data" shows no net benefit of increased helmet use.
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Mike Sales
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby Mike Sales » 27 Feb 2017, 7:02pm

Risk compensation is not human weakness, it is how we [and animals] work. We balance the risks and rewards in an environment to decide our course of action. We are not machines but interact with the environment. If the engineers remove a bend we drive faster. Safety interventions which do not alter our propensity to take risks are inevitably frustrated.

landsurfer
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby landsurfer » 27 Feb 2017, 7:19pm

Mike Sales wrote:Risk compensation is not human weakness, it is how we [and animals] work. We balance the risks and rewards in an environment to decide our course of action. We are not machines but interact with the environment. If the engineers remove a bend we drive faster. Safety interventions which do not alter our propensity to take risks are inevitably frustrated.


Totally agree ... Risk Compensation is one of my pet issues .....
Volvo's in the 80's were not dangerous .( despite what you may read in EVERY motor cycle mag of the time ).. to the drivers, they provided the protection of an AFV .... So the drivers became less skilled .... they would not be hurt ... whatever happened.

I ride with a helmet in wet or icy conditions and with my head in dry and warm conditions .....If i get hit by a 32 Tonne HGV above 18mph the helmet issue is just that ... an issue ... i'm dead ! That applies to both my cycling and driving ...... It's that mass x speed = ? thing ... :)

BUT .... if your target is longevity ... wetting yourself in a care home .... eating mushed up "food", not recognising your family, then live a risk free life .... don't cycle, don't be a pedestrian, don't live .....
Think we have been here before ..........
The Road Goes On Forever

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pjclinch
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby pjclinch » 27 Feb 2017, 7:50pm

mjr wrote:I'm surprised that CJ acts as if helmets can be expected to reduce injuries, which is far from shown in real-world data AFAICT.


For Some Values of "injuries" and "real-world data"... Bang your head against the ground with and without a helmet and that will happen in the Real World, and it will be data, and if you do it hard it enough you'll have some injury too.

What isn't shown is that serious injuries fall across a population. What isn't even tried to be shown is that minor injuries are affected, because there aren't any reliable data sets rather than it doesn't happen. The sort of fall CJ is guarding against is the ones that may produce a nasty headache. Nobody much goes to A&E with a nasty headache, but that doesn't mean they're not worth avoiding if the risk of one is considered high enough (against the certainty of faff a helmet will produce). If you've ever banged your head on something unyielding a bit lower than you expected it to be, and have been caving in a helmet, you'll see the value. Cavers don't wear helmets to save their lives, they wear them so they don't associate their hobby with continual headaches. Cyclists wouldn't hit their heads so often, but some flavours hit the deck often enough it's worth considering.

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landsurfer
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Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

Postby landsurfer » 27 Feb 2017, 7:58pm

I think we all have come across the "Paramedic syndrome" ... you come off you bike ... your fault .. you injure your ankle ... Paramedic turns up " Were you wearing a helmet?" If the answer is "no" it will be recorded as an accident that had a "no helmet" ...... and added to the list of accidents that may have have been reduced if a helmet had been worn ...... Or am i just being cynical .. and reading too many newspapers ....or even the wrong newspapers ... :D
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