Lights, camera, collision

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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Si
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Lights, camera, collision

Postby Si » 30 Jan 2014, 1:25pm

Just for one moment suppose we put aside any doubts regarding the usefulness of a helmet in many collisions that are at speed or with high inertia objects to consider this.

I see a growing number of helmets festooned with either lights, cameras or both...including those owned by the odd fervent helmet insister (not to mention my own...which I have to wear for work). Now, an impact on a flat surface (for instance, the road) whilst wearing a non-festooned helmet may result in the helmet spreading the force slightly (being in mind my first paragraph) over a wider area of the skull and decreasing the point of impact force . However, if you have a light or camera on your bonce, and said device ends up being between road and helmet at instance of impact, is that not likely to punch through the helmet and create a very small point of impact, thus focusing and increasing the force on a smaller patch of skull?

Thus, even if we believe that a standard helmet might be of assistance in a collision, the application of lights or cameras to it, could actually make it somewhat more dangerous than having a similar impact bare headed?

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thirdcrank
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Jan 2014, 1:54pm

It's something I've raised on here before, with little interest from others, but I think it's important. My first reason is that it concentrates the impact on one area ofthe helmet and ultimately the bonce it's supposed to protect. That's a bit like the difference between a whack with the flat of a shovel blade and the same force applied with the end of its handle. Neither would do you any good but I believe the latter would be more likely to cause serious injury.

My second reason is that helmets are said to facilitate the head of the wearer sliding along following a spill. I can understand what's being said, but I don't know if the science is sound. Any projection which acts to prevent that smooth slide presumably detracts from the value of the helmet (always assuming that the science is sound.

In the days when many police forces used Noddy bikes (Velocette mororcycles) the "Corker" crash helmet was fairly widely used as uniform issue. In Leeds, they were fitted with a standard metal cap badge: two small holes were made in the front part of the protective shell of the helmet, into which the shanks of the badge were inserted. Making the holes can't have increased the protective powers of the helmet and I suspect that had anybody landed on that part of their head, they would have gone to their grave with a cap badge mounted in their forehead.

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby Geriatrix » 30 Jan 2014, 2:06pm

I wonder what research helmet makers have done if any, on the safety of helmet mounted cams. I have seen some helmets advertised that are "camera enabled".
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby AlaninWales » 30 Jan 2014, 3:10pm

Si wrote:Just for one moment suppose we put aside any doubts regarding the usefulness of a helmet in many collisions that are at speed or with high inertia objects to consider this.
Ummm.... Oh kayyyy :lol:
Si wrote:I see a growing number of helmets festooned with either lights, cameras or both...including those owned by the odd fervent helmet insister (not to mention my own...which I have to wear for work). Now, an impact on a flat surface (for instance, the road) whilst wearing a non-festooned helmet may result in the helmet spreading the force slightly (being in mind my first paragraph) over a wider area of the skull and decreasing the point of impact force . However, if you have a light or camera on your bonce, and said device ends up being between road and helmet at instance of impact, is that not likely to punch through the helmet and create a very small point of impact, thus focusing and increasing the force on a smaller patch of skull?

Thus, even if we believe that a standard helmet might be of assistance in a collision, the application of lights or cameras to it, could actually make it somewhat more dangerous than having a similar impact bare headed?

I think the phrases I've italicised show where the logic falls down. You are comparing camera+light+helmet with bare headed. Clearly the correct comparison is camera+light+helmet with camera+light+strap to hold them. If the devices end up being between road and skull at instance of impact, they are going to do 'something' surely?

Anyway - the reason I wear a helmet (when I do) is that it damps the movement of the camera (when I wear one) and provides a convenient mounting point for a light. When I don't wear a camera and/or light, I ride bare headed (or with a cap/hat depending on outfit).
Last edited by AlaninWales on 30 Jan 2014, 3:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Jan 2014, 3:12pm

I can't see why they would bother researching the effects. They generally seem to have a warning against any modifications so they could hide behind that, apart from which, if they don't make any claims about the protective qualities of their output, there's not much to be gained by publishing anything which says it will reduce that unknown factor by a given amount.

Apart from that, I'll bet there's some stipulation in the various testing standards which refers to the unadorned helmet, which will all that they will test.

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby gaz » 30 Jan 2014, 3:26pm

AlaninWales wrote:I think the phrases I've italicised show where the logic falls down. You are comparing camera+light+helmet with bare headed.

I'd agree Si is comparing the outcome of a fall with a gadget laden helmet to the outcome of a bare headed fall. I don't feel that the logic falls down.

A rider has chosen to wear a helmet. Si is supposing that the rider made that choice based on the perceived protection a helmet may offer in the event of a fall.

Having made that choice on that basis and then attached sundry gadgetry to the helmet, has the rider just shot himself in the foot (or head :wink: ) should such a fall occur?


AlaninWales wrote:Clearly the correct comparison is camera+light+helmet with camera+light+strap to hold them.

It isn't a question of whether Si's comparison is correct, it is simply the one he chose to make. You are proposing a different comparison.
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AlaninWales
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby AlaninWales » 30 Jan 2014, 4:48pm

gaz wrote:A rider has chosen to wear a helmet. Si is supposing that the rider made that choice based on the perceived protection a helmet may offer in the event of a fall.

Ahhh, I see ... well wouldn't have made such a supposition (I guess that's why I missed it). As I said:
AlaninWales wrote:Anyway - the reason I wear a helmet (when I do) is that it damps the movement of the camera (when I wear one) and provides a convenient mounting point for a light. When I don't wear a camera and/or light, I ride bare headed (or with a cap/hat depending on outfit).

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Si
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby Si » 30 Jan 2014, 4:54pm

I guess that my thinking was that for many people if they didn't have the helmet on their head to mount lights/camera on then they'd mount them somewhere else in stead of their head....for instance I only have a light on my head because it's easy to mount to the helmet....for most of my (unhelmeted) riding it's on the handle bars instead.

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Jan 2014, 5:00pm

Yes (to gaz if somebody posts before I finish this.)

Because of the nature of cycling forums in general and the helmet debate in particular, si understandably tried to include caveats and all the rest to avoid the inevitable side issues which have been rehearsed so many times before.

IMO it's a simple question: does using a helmet as the mounting place for things like lights and cameras affect its capability to protect the wearer from an impact to the head?

And si did post faster. :oops:

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby AlaninWales » 30 Jan 2014, 5:10pm

Si wrote:I guess that my thinking was that for many people if they didn't have the helmet on their head to mount lights/camera on then they'd mount them somewhere else in stead of their head....for instance I only have a light on my head because it's easy to mount to the helmet....for most of my (unhelmeted) riding it's on the handle bars instead.

That explains it - I started wearing a light on my head long before using a helmet to mount it on. I tried mounting a camera on a headstrap. Both were so I could point them where my head pointed ... Helmet was only bought 'cos the camera was unstable on the strap ... larger headlight followed etc.

Perhaps this is an unusual route to helmet wearing, but it was mine. If I had ever been concerned about preventing head inuries, I would have worn a box of tissues: That gives much better protection to the top of the head than a polysyrene shell :lol: .

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby Steady rider » 16 Feb 2014, 2:56pm

http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/schumacher-sk ... ries209887

Anything attached to helmets may affect the impact consequences in a positive or negative way perhaps or even have a minor effect on the risk of an accident occurring.

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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Feb 2014, 6:17pm

just one point I cycle helmets aren't designed, or tested, for sliding... they are also not well designed for it - look at a motorbike helmet for one that is...
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby kylecycler » 31 May 2015, 12:21am

Even the UCI is sitting on the fence, issuing a letter to team managers, not prohibiting the use of helmet cameras but absolving itself of all liability:

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/uci-amend- ... -2015.html

"To date, UCI has received no evidence that the use of cameras on helmets does not affect its protective functions. We recommend that onboard camera manufacturers and helmet manufacturers work together in order to approve a model of camera.

"UCI, as the world governing body for the sport of cycling, places safety of the riders among its primary concerns. As a result and until further notice, onboard cameras shall be solely authorised on bicycles."
[i.e. not on helmets]

I wouldn't know, but you would tend to expect that onboard camera manufacturers and helmet manufacturers have been working together for a while and they haven't managed to sort it yet. TV would be clamouring for it - it would add an awful lot to the show - so I'm guessing there are serious issues.

The way I see it, one of the first rules of cycling is to minimize risk, and mounting a camera on a helmet when there's no evidence, according to the UCI, that it doesn't affect its protective functions just isn't a risk worth taking.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby Cunobelin » 31 May 2015, 9:51am

Depends upon the camera

GoPro for instance have tested and they claim that in an accident the mount will shear removing the camera.

The Schumacher incident is the one that will be the turning point as at the moment GoPro are stating it was a helmet fault that meant the helmet failed to prevent the head injury, whilst the helmet manufacturer claims it was the GoPro that caused the failure

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Cunobelin
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Re: Lights, camera, collision

Postby Cunobelin » 31 May 2015, 9:54am

The other issue that should be raised

Due to the decreased amount of material used in helmets in order to provide the ventilation that has become the latest fashion, most helmets now rely on carbon fibre cages to maintain the form.

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These cages also mean there are pressure points integral to the design