Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

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.
KTM690
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby KTM690 » 6 Feb 2011, 1:19pm

snibgo wrote:It may be worth saying that cycling is generally considered good for not only the cyclist, but society in general.

A personal anecdote: I banged my head on the pavement yesterday evening. it was only a slight tap, which might not have happened if I hadn't been wearing the cycle helmet. I also banged the hip I broke last year, which wasn't clever.

It wasn't a bike accident. I had parked the bike and was walking to the community centre, stupidly didn't see the downstep in the path, and crashed down.


That'll learn you,

Take the car next time.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2011, 1:25pm

KTM690 wrote:
snibgo wrote:It may be worth saying that cycling is generally considered good for not only the cyclist, but society in general.

A personal anecdote: I banged my head on the pavement yesterday evening. it was only a slight tap, which might not have happened if I hadn't been wearing the cycle helmet. I also banged the hip I broke last year, which wasn't clever.

It wasn't a bike accident. I had parked the bike and was walking to the community centre, stupidly didn't see the downstep in the path, and crashed down.


That'll learn you,

Take the car next time.


Into a Community Centre?

You are Stephen Lewry AICMFP!

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Cunobelin
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2011, 1:30pm

KTM690 wrote:
Prove to me that it's better that a child's head hit's the floor at 20 mph without a lid as opposed to with one and I'll agree that helmet law is daft.



Will you be promoting the THudguard in your "professional capacity"?

After all if you can't prove to me that it's better that a child's head hit's the floor without a Thudguard as opposed to with one then the failure to make them compulsory must be daft, and you will be supporting and promoting their use?

Steady rider
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby Steady rider » 6 Feb 2011, 3:19pm

regarding
Robinson DL; Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws; Accid Anal Prev, 28, 4: p 463-475, 1996 http://www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-head-injuries.pdf

table 5, provides the equivalent number of head injuries for level of cycling activity for children in Victoria, 88, 90 and 91 are the figures shown, so helmets have not provided much if any benefit. all injuries increased 809, 937 and 944.

For Victoria road deaths reduced from 777 in 1989 to 396 in 1992. In Decemer 1989, 22.8% of vehicles were exceeding the speed threshold limit, by 1993 3.8% were. Vehicles colisions reduced from 52182 in 1989 to 41330 in 1993. The percentage killed over the drink drive limit was reducing, 38% in 1988, 32% in 1989, 29% in 1991, 30% in 1992.

table 2, for children in NSW, head injuries increase, 384, 425 and 488. Other injury figures also increased, 926, 1273 and 1595.

The topic is more complicated than simply looking at head injuries, all injuries have to be considered.

KTM690 wrote:

Prove to me that it's better that a child's head hit's the floor at 20 mph without a lid as opposed to with one and I'll agree that helmet law is daft.


very difficult to fully assess. helmets increase both the accident rate and head impact rate

Accepting rotational is important, see
http://people.aapt.net.au/~theyan/cycli ... on%202.pdf
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/curnow.pdf
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1069.html

one point is doctors and charities are promoting a product and asking for it to be made a legal requirement when they know there is evidence showing side effects may be signficant.
By medical standards I suppose you could say they are acting unethically.

Ellieb
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby Ellieb » 6 Feb 2011, 3:25pm

By medical standards I suppose you could say they are acting unethically.

Oh Puhleeese

drossall
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby drossall » 6 Feb 2011, 5:22pm

KTM690 wrote:An argument against is that it was suspected (as opposed to proved) that helmet use decreased cycling. ... Australia does have a hotter climate ... Northern Ireland is a bit colder....

Heat is an issue. However, I believe that the general point here is that you say "Wear a helmet" and people hear "Cycling is dangerous, and here's a reminder to wear on every trip", and stop doing it. That applies equally in the two places. That is part of the reason that a response is to ask about helmets for other activities; we are saying "Cycling is dangerous" when other things, about which we have few concerns, appear more so. By "dangerous" we normally mean "relative to comparable activities"; even lying at home in bed has some dangers (lots of people die there). Therefore, and since cycling does not appear to be the most dangerous thing we normally do without helmets, sceptics reply by asking whether the choice of cycling as a target for helmets is emotionally based.

The paper did find that the proportion of cyclists presenting with head injuries at hospital dropped following helmet law - that was with 75% compliance.

This kind of thing is worth serious and calm discussion if we want the truth - which I believe I do, even coming from a position of doubt (so I'm interested in genuine answers). I'm strongly influenced by the national statistics that seem to show little benefit.

To understand the above result, we'd have to ask what was meant by a head injury; almost anything on the head will help with abrasions, and these, I understand, are often recorded as head injuries, whereas most of us are more concerned with skull and brain damage. Hence, you could get a reduction in minor scrapes to kids falling off at low speeds in parks, accompanied by an increase in serious injuries to older riders where any negative effects are more serious.

Also, we'd have to understand the wearing rate before legislation; it's the change in wearing rates, not the actual compliance rate, that would affect injuries.

By the way, my understanding is that cycling injuries are sufficiently rare that studies in individual hospitals are unlikely to achieve statistically-significant cohorts.

This was in the context of other road safety measures being introduced - drink driving and speed control. Although these measures to address driver behaviour were introduced it does not mean that less drivers were drunk or that speeds slowed. The reduction of head injuries was in the proportion of attendances as opposed to number.

Yes, fair point, but pedestrian head-injury rates also fell, suggesting an effect from the other legislation enacted at the same time.

It was also argued that net health benefit was reduced due to decrease in cycling - what's to say the kids didn't take up some other exercise instead?

Only cycling and walking can be built into lifestyle in an integral way (getting to work, school and the shops). Everything else is a special, planned activity (except perhaps informal stuff, such as kicking a football around with friends in the park - but previously you'd probably have cycled there and played football). Hence you would not expect cycling to be replaced in many former commuters' lives, for example, in the same way that, if you banned or discouraged football, a lot of people might switch to another sport.

Prove to me that it's better that a child's head hit's the floor at 20 mph without a lid as opposed to with one and I'll agree that helmet law is daft.

Well you can prove relatively easily that the benefit can only be marginal. It's particularly hard to understand the people who argue that a helmet is more important the faster you go and the more dangerous the circumstances. If you take the design parameters seriously, this is rather like arguing that a small fire blanket is even more important in dealing with a factory on fire than a chip pan.

As far as I can make it out, helmets are roughly designed to protect you if you faint when standing (i.e. your head goes straight down, unprotected). To hit the floor at 20mph vertically downward, they'd have to jump off a wall (or a BMX ramp). Otherwise, if doing 20mph on a bike, they wouldn't hit the floor at 20mph because that's a forward speed, not a vertical one. Instead, they'd bounce, twist and scrape. How do helmets perform in such circumstances?

On a bike, your head is roughly at the same height as when standing (so it will hit the ground at about the same vertical speed if you faint when riding as if you were standing). This is one reason why questions about walking helmets are not entirely unreasonable...

irc
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby irc » 6 Feb 2011, 7:36pm

Why are people wasting time replying to KTM690? On the one hand he says

"I think compulsory wearing of helmets is a good idea."

then later in the same thread

"pottering back from the pub on a bike isn't something I consider risky - not something I see as needing a cycle hat either."

Looks like he doesn't have any settled opinion on the matter and is just picking random ideas for the sake of argument.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2011, 10:04pm

Ellieb wrote:
By medical standards I suppose you could say they are acting unethically.

Oh Puhleeese


There is some argument that many Healthcare professionals are being unprofessional where helmets are concerned

I once went to a lecture on handling aggression when the lecturer criticised one of the class for not wearing a helmet - Nurse was unaware of rotational injuries r teh limitations!

They are also a danger in some cases - at a bike week event they were handing out helmets to children for a fiver.... no attempt was made to see if they would fit, to adjust them and didn't know which standards they met. When challenged the answer was that "anything s better than nothing!"


Angela Lee of the BHIT the queen of unprofessional conduct though.

When asked if she was aware about the decreasing numbers of cyclists where compulsion had taken place she tapped her head and stated that "It won't happen and I know because all the information is in here"

She has also tried to pass off the total number of road deaths as being children with head injuries (the one child dies a week in a bicycle related head injury claim)

If she used these tactics in any other professional debate she would be a laughing stock and ridiculed.... this should be unacceptable in modern health care. They claim to practice on an evidence base then show that this is still far from the truth

The only reason helmet wear should be ascertained is if a head injury has occurred - the ones who ask whether a helmet was being worn in other cases or criticise their absence should be challenged as to the evidence they have based this decision on

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby hubgearfreak » 6 Feb 2011, 10:14pm

irc wrote:Why are people wasting time replying to KTM690?

because she's undecided and up until joining here had only been exposed to one point of view - the daily mail's=
ktm may well be a troll, or may well be open to new ideas. what've we (you) got to lose?

drossall
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby drossall » 6 Feb 2011, 11:11pm

In any case, when you write for a forum, you're writing for the majority who read, not just for the person who responded. Once you actually start writing only for the person who is replying to you, the pair of you get so boring that you may as well switch to email, and spare everyone else the misery of reading your drivel.

Of course, they've probably already wandered off somewhere more productive anyway by then :D

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meic
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby meic » 6 Feb 2011, 11:16pm

I am willing to spend my time on one to one conversations.
I often repeat what already exists elsewhere to help somebody out.
It doesnt matter if nobody else is interested.

On the other hand when I pontificate nobody is interested.
Yma o Hyd

irc
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Re: Formerly N.I. legislation - now general helmet argument

Postby irc » 6 Feb 2011, 11:18pm

hubgearfreak wrote:
irc wrote:Why are people wasting time replying to KTM690?

because she's undecided and up until joining here had only been exposed to one point of view - the daily mail's=
ktm may well be a troll, or may well be open to new ideas. what've we (you) got to lose?


But you can only change someone's point of view if they know what their point of view is. Someone who gives opinions that directly contradict each other doesn't have a point of view. But like you say, nothing to lose. Carry on.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?