Why Are You Not Wearling 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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mjr
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby mjr » 3 Nov 2014, 4:58pm

I can't actually watch facebook videos (because they still don't use the video tag, I think) but I think both the TV report and the helmetless explanation are on facebook, aren't they? https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=974468002567338 and https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=974497519231053
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby TonyR » 3 Nov 2014, 6:22pm

Stradageek wrote:I know this is a random straw poll but here are two photos from risk-averse Japan, they seem to see walking as far more hazardous than cycling and don helmets accordingly:

https://www.travelblog.org/Photos/1221986
http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... n-has.html


And their walking helmets are as effective as cycle helmets too. http://www.vehicularcyclist.com/jpeds.html

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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 4 Dec 2014, 1:19pm

Psamathe wrote:(Hope I've not already posted this and hope I'm not repeating myself ...)

I'm now at the point where the only reason I wear a helmet now is in case I was hit by a vehicle and seriously injured to the point where financial compensation was very important - and I would not appreciate a judge reducing my compensation "because I was not wearing a helmet".

And I recognise that this must be one of the daftest reasons for wearing a helmet (i.e. wearing a helmet to protect against the shortcomings of our legal system). And I hope somebody can persuade me otherwise.

Ian

In the UK, I wore a helmet mainly for two reasons. The first was that I didn't want want my family to have to deal with people saying that a helmet would saved me somehow, or worse, being pressured to accept reduced compensation because I wasn't wearing one.

The second is that my employer required it when I was working. I did try to get them to see sense on the matter, but they claimed that their insurer required it.

I do sometimes wear a helmet, but I was just thinking about when is the last time I wore one... I think it was about a month ago, when I went out on a frosty day, but didn't yet have winter tyres on my bike.
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby mjr » 4 Dec 2014, 1:27pm

Vorpal wrote:I do sometimes wear a helmet, but I was just thinking about when is the last time I wore one... I think it was about a month ago, when I went out on a frosty day, but didn't yet have winter tyres on my bike.

Risk compensation in action?

I'm sorry I can't credit whoever came up with this, but I read a suggestion that a good answer to "why are you not wearing a helmet?" is "why do you take your helmet off when you stop riding?" because many things one does off the bike are at least as risky for head injuries.
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 4 Dec 2014, 1:50pm

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I do sometimes wear a helmet, but I was just thinking about when is the last time I wore one... I think it was about a month ago, when I went out on a frosty day, but didn't yet have winter tyres on my bike.

Risk compensation in action?

I'm sorry I can't credit whoever came up with this, but I read a suggestion that a good answer to "why are you not wearing a helmet?" is "why do you take your helmet off when you stop riding?" because many things one does off the bike are at least as risky for head injuries.

Maybe it was risk compensation in action. I don't know that I would have worn a helmet if I had walked, but I was off to buy winter tyres, a couple of days later than I probably should have. :lol:
I would have ridden, with or without the helmet, as I didn't want to carry the shopping back (I did other shopping in the same area as where I bought my winter tyres).

I'd like to think that, being aware of the possibility of risk compensation, I don't take more risks for 'feeling safer', but I don't have any way to know objectively whether I do.
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby mjr » 4 Dec 2014, 2:43pm

Vorpal wrote:I'd like to think that, being aware of the possibility of risk compensation, I don't take more risks for 'feeling safer', but I don't have any way to know objectively whether I do.

Well, if you don't, you're smarter than me and I was a statistics postgraduate student, so I should be able to spot it! Fortunately, the last time I rode when I shouldn't have - and probably wouldn't have without a helmet - I didn't damage anything except the bike! My head didn't hit the floor, so I didn't even damage the helmet.
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby TonyR » 4 Dec 2014, 3:35pm

Vorpal wrote:The first was that I didn't want want my family to have to deal with people saying that a helmet would saved me somehow, or worse, being pressured to accept reduced compensation because I wasn't wearing one.


That's easily dealt with. We've discussed it as a family so they know the reasons why I don't and know to contact the CTC for help should the worst happen to me. It won't stop people saying things but it will at least make sure those that matter are challenged with evidence.

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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby drossall » 4 Dec 2014, 11:06pm

Vorpal wrote:I'd like to think that, being aware of the possibility of risk compensation, I don't take more risks for 'feeling safer', but I don't have any way to know objectively whether I do.

I don't think you're supposed to be aware of the possibility of risk compensation like that. The idea is that we all assess risk. The adjustments we make are small and it's across a whole population that they result in increased accidents - so it's not a case of me having accidents because of taking more risk, it's a case of all of us who use a certain safety measure taking slightly more risk, and a small percentage of us having accidents as a result that would not previously have recurred.

Changes of behaviour on that scale are not necessarily something we could perceive in ourselves?

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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Dec 2014, 7:23am

drossall wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I'd like to think that, being aware of the possibility of risk compensation, I don't take more risks for 'feeling safer', but I don't have any way to know objectively whether I do.

I don't think you're supposed to be aware of the possibility of risk compensation like that. The idea is that we all assess risk. The adjustments we make are small and it's across a whole population that they result in increased accidents - so it's not a case of me having accidents because of taking more risk, it's a case of all of us who use a certain safety measure taking slightly more risk, and a small percentage of us having accidents as a result that would not previously have recurred.

Changes of behaviour on that scale are not necessarily something we could perceive in ourselves?

Many people aren't aware of their risk assessments at all. I am. It's something that I think about frequently, both on a personal and professional level, for myself and other people. It's part of my job.

Increased risk taking can't show up statistically in a population unless some people take more risk. So it *could* be a case of you having accidents because of taking more risk. No, population statistics aren't transferable to individuals, but at the same time, someone who is conscious that one effect of 'feeling safer' includes taking more risks, can make an effort to consciously assess those risks. Does that mean I won't have an accident? No. If I don't do it, will I have one? Well, it may be a little more likely, but the answer is still no.

Changes of behavior on that scale could come about just because people take the time to stop and think.
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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby TonyR » 5 Dec 2014, 7:39am

Vorpal wrote:Changes of behavior on that scale could come about just because people take the time to stop and think.


Anyone who wouldn't ride a bike without a helmet is risk compensating.

The big issue with risk compensation and helmets is that people are generally compensating for a risk - being hit by a motor vehicle or cycling at high speed - that the helmet is not designed for. So you get all of the extra risk with none of the extra protection.

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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 5 Dec 2014, 9:48am

There's risk management, which is this is too dangerous, I will take a measure to make it safer, and there's risk compensation, which is though I think I'm safer, I'm actually running risks I'm not really aware of as a result of the thing I think makes me safer.

Risk compensation can be (I suspect very often is) a result of risk management gone worng, so one is not necessarily independent of the other.

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Re: Why Are You Not Wearling a Helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Dec 2014, 11:17am

And in population statistics, they are often indistinguishable.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom