Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

For all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmet usage will be moved here.
Vorpal
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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby Vorpal » 13 Jul 2020, 4:33pm

mikeymo wrote:
RickH wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
It seems to me that "focus on the topic" originates from those whose opinion is that helmets haven't been proved to save lives, in "whole population studies".

I don't think most helmet wearers are at all "focussed" on it. They put a helmet on, then cycle somewhere.

Why is it then that on social media, whenever someone posts a cycling picture containing someone without a helmet, you can pretty much guarantee there will be "you/they should be wearing a helmet" within the first 5 comments. That's not the non-helmet wearers getting focused on the subject.


I'll take your word for it. I must not spend enough time on social media where helmets are discussed. So are you saying these "should be wearing a helmet" comments are coming from helmet wearers? I must say on my local cycling forums where actual photos are posted I don't think I've read that comment even once.

When I was doing cycle campaigning, I wore a helmet most of the time, and it was still the first thing people brought up, about 80% of the time. I even had someone who worked in road safety for a county council tell me that my argument for better infrastructure was invalid because I did not push for helmets *first*.

When I taught Bikeability, I tried to pushback on the every student must wear a helmet rule. Kids could often borrow bikes from their friends, but not always helmets, and I wanted to be able I was told that I could only make exceptions for religious or medical reasons, and with a doctor/religious leader's note. I was also told in no uncertain terms not to make noise about the issue.

Focus on helmets also comes from charities (i.e. Headway) that push for mandatory helmets, raod safety campaigners, non-cyclists, and just about anyone else who thinks they are useful. As RickH says, I see it all the time on social media. There are also posts from well meaning friends when I or another friend tlak about cycling, "I hope you wear a helmet", or Mini V's friends telling her that cycling without a helmet is *dangerous*, because I'm sure that's what their parents have told them.
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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 13 Jul 2020, 4:38pm

Hi,
tatanab wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:As per usual, nothing is made of consequential escalation. For example, a helmet less rider, is hit in the head, by an object, whilst riding. Loses control, due to being stunned, goes under a truck, the death is attributed to multiple injuries, no one looks at what started the chain of events, because of the ending.

Alternatively - a helmeted rider faints due to the heat stress of riding with insulating material on their head. Loses control etc ------ nobody looks at the cause.

Yes, I've see (and experienced) heat stress when using a helmet - even a modern one.

Funny Some Well Respected person on CUK (not old me :P ) who is a high poster said that the helmet keeps the head cooler.
I believe this is the case for me too.

My helmet and peak-
Directs flies out of my eyes.
Keeps sun out of my eyes.
Sun off the head?
Helps to block high beam on cars etc.
Even with slots keeps my head dryer and water does no stream down the face when raining....stationary though water will penetrate.
Warmer in winter even with slots.
As for head injuries....knocks..................I normally buy a new one when it has visibly damaged the thing.
Head heavier...................I am sure there are stats some where for that.

For an adult its simply a person choice.
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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby mikeymo » 13 Jul 2020, 4:38pm

Vorpal wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
RickH wrote:Why is it then that on social media, whenever someone posts a cycling picture containing someone without a helmet, you can pretty much guarantee there will be "you/they should be wearing a helmet" within the first 5 comments. That's not the non-helmet wearers getting focused on the subject.


I'll take your word for it. I must not spend enough time on social media where helmets are discussed. So are you saying these "should be wearing a helmet" comments are coming from helmet wearers? I must say on my local cycling forums where actual photos are posted I don't think I've read that comment even once.

When I was doing cycle campaigning, I wore a helmet most of the time, and it was still the first thing people brought up, about 80% of the time. I even had someone who worked in road safety for a county council tell me that my argument for better infrastructure was invalid because I did not push for helmets *first*.

When I taught Bikeability, I tried to pushback on the every student must wear a helmet rule. Kids could often borrow bikes from their friends, but not always helmets, and I wanted to be able I was told that I could only make exceptions for religious or medical reasons, and with a doctor/religious leader's note. I was also told in no uncertain terms not to make noise about the issue.

Focus on helmets also comes from charities (i.e. Headway) that push for mandatory helmets, raod safety campaigners, non-cyclists, and just about anyone else who thinks they are useful. As RickH says, I see it all the time on social media. There are also posts from well meaning friends when I or another friend tlak about cycling, "I hope you wear a helmet", or Mini V's friends telling her that cycling without a helmet is *dangerous*, because I'm sure that's what their parents have told them.


Thank you for sharing your personal experience.

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby profpointy » 13 Jul 2020, 4:40pm

Some of the comments from those involved in training children are very telling. Children are often excluded from training if they don't have a helmet yet (I am give to understand) training improves their safety considerably whilst helmet benefits are at best debatable

Logically then the helmet advocates involved in training are willing to sacrifice children's lives to get their point across. Clearly they don't themselves think like this, but the logic is inescapable, despite it sounding like an extreme argument

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby mikeymo » 13 Jul 2020, 4:43pm

profpointy wrote:Some of the comments from those involved in training children are very telling. Children are often excluded from training if they don't have a helmet yet (I am give to understand) training improves their safety considerably whilst helmet benefits are at best debatable

Logically then the helmet advocates involved in training are willing to sacrifice children's lives to get their point across. Clearly they don't themselves think like this, but the logic is inescapable, despite it sounding like an extreme argument


The "logic" is the precise opposite. But you need to have perspective to be able to see that.

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby profpointy » 13 Jul 2020, 4:49pm

mikeymo wrote:
profpointy wrote:Some of the comments from those involved in training children are very telling. Children are often excluded from training if they don't have a helmet yet (I am give to understand) training improves their safety considerably whilst helmet benefits are at best debatable

Logically then the helmet advocates involved in training are willing to sacrifice children's lives to get their point across. Clearly they don't themselves think like this, but the logic is inescapable, despite it sounding like an extreme argument


The "logic" is the precise opposite. But you need to have perspective to be able to see that.


how so ?

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby RickH » 13 Jul 2020, 5:16pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:My helmet and peak-
Directs flies out of my eyes.
Keeps sun out of my eyes.
Sun off the head?
Helps to block high beam on cars etc.
Even with slots keeps my head dryer and water does no stream down the face when raining....stationary though water will penetrate.
Warmer in winter even with slots.

A simple cycle cap (casquette) does pretty much all of those. In very cold weather I simply slip a beanie type hat over the top.

Vorpal wrote:When I taught Bikeability, I tried to pushback on the every student must wear a helmet rule. Kids could often borrow bikes from their friends, but not always helmets, and I wanted to be able I was told that I could only make exceptions for religious or medical reasons, and with a doctor/religious leader's note. I was also told in no uncertain terms not to make noise about the issue.

Ironically they get all uptight about wearing helmets on bikes where it is almost completely unknown for anyone to bang their head.

Yet children are allowed to run around at playtimes without any such insistence. They accept it as normal & just send the child home with a note to the effect "Johnny banged his head today please watch out for symptoms of concussion & seek medical advice if you notice any".

A friend's son who I did the school run with for most of his primary school years would get one of those notes at least once most weeks! Happily he is still alive & seems to be thriving despite such obvious dangers. :wink:

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby drossall » 13 Jul 2020, 10:06pm

mikeymo wrote:My experience of other cyclists is that they don't "focus" on it.

They don't have to. My club is not in the least focused on helmets. I don't wear one and it's hardly mentioned. But, even without any kind of focus, at least one AGM to my knowledge has discussed making them mandatory in club rides and events.

That kind of thing gets passed because a few people think that it's a good idea, and a load of others who wear them anyway but aren't focused on them say, "Why not?"

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby RickH » 14 Jul 2020, 10:36am

Irish Transport Minister rules out mandatory helmet law (link)

After the Fine Gael politician Alan Dillon made calls for a mandatory helmet law for cyclists in Irish parliament last month, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has now categorically ruled it out after citing "international evidence" that such a law could lead to a drop in cycling numbers.

Ryan said: "International evidence is that mandatory helmet legislation acts as a major disincentive to cycling such that the net impact of the legislation on public health is significantly negative." (my bold)

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Jul 2020, 11:00am

Hi,
In no way am I suggesting that mandatory wearing be brought in or I would never tell someone they need to wear a helmet either.

But it's all a bit silly isn't it it's a bit like sleeping bags, I believe this puts people off camping, don't like sleeping bags feels restrictive et cetera et cetera.
My partner says couldn't survive in the cold camping, but its simple isn't it you just need the right sleeping bag and of course a mat.
Okay so I'm being a bit simplistic over the whole thing.
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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby Jdsk » 14 Jul 2020, 12:04pm

pjclinch wrote:Part of the problem is that good science is reproducible, and one thing you find looking through all the stuff that shows a benefit is that the degree of benefit is actually all over the place...

There's a lot I agree with in that post. But on:
pjclinch wrote:There should be a methodology most people are happy with which when applied gives you reproducible answers. I haven't seen any such thing in the decade or so I was looking hard, and in the decade since when I've kept in touch with the subject but in less detail there haven't been any noises that any such thing has appeared. Looking briefly in to ones that make the most noise (e.g., Olivier's work), they don't seem to have got past the usual confounders.

I'd say that there is a strong methodology: evidence-based reasoning. The weakness is that there aren't enough strong studies. If there were we could fire off the systematic reviews, and the meta-analyses, and the cost-effectiveness calculations.

Same point as the G & S paper.

The first rule of decision making based on evidence is to be aware of how good it is. Or bad according to taste.

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby pjclinch » 14 Jul 2020, 1:16pm

Jdsk wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Part of the problem is that good science is reproducible, and one thing you find looking through all the stuff that shows a benefit is that the degree of benefit is actually all over the place...

There's a lot I agree with in that post. But on:
pjclinch wrote:There should be a methodology most people are happy with which when applied gives you reproducible answers. I haven't seen any such thing in the decade or so I was looking hard, and in the decade since when I've kept in touch with the subject but in less detail there haven't been any noises that any such thing has appeared. Looking briefly in to ones that make the most noise (e.g., Olivier's work), they don't seem to have got past the usual confounders.

I'd say that there is a strong methodology: evidence-based reasoning. The weakness is that there aren't enough strong studies. If there were we could fire off the systematic reviews, and the meta-analyses, and the cost-effectiveness calculations.


I think we're probably in Furious Agreement here, but are really only differing semantically. I was meaning methodology there as in what the individual studies do, where I'd say you're looking at the broader "how we do science". Sort of the difference between strategy and tactics.

Jdsk wrote:The first rule of decision making based on evidence is to be aware of how good it is. Or bad according to taste.


Aye. I'll take advantage of being in Scotland to cast my verdict on cycle helmet efficacy as "not proven". Not good enough for a policy, but perfectly adequate for an individual decision.

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby pjclinch » 14 Jul 2020, 1:18pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:it's a bit like sleeping bags


Errrrr, No. Not really.
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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby Jdsk » 14 Jul 2020, 1:20pm

pjclinch wrote:I think we're probably in Furious Agreement here, but are really only differing semantically. I was meaning methodology there as in what the individual studies do, where I'd say you're looking at the broader "how we do science". Sort of the difference between strategy and tactics.

Furious Agreement here.

: - )

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Re: Evaluating the impact of cycle helmet use...

Postby RickH » 14 Jul 2020, 1:22pm

pjclinch wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:it's a bit like sleeping bags


Errrrr, No. Not really.

I agree. I would say it is more like mandatory carrying of mountain survival kit for any form of walking, even just down the road to the local shops.