Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

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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honesty
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby honesty » 19 Aug 2014, 8:34am

The dis benefit of being forced to wear a helmet and subsequently not cycling because of this (sedentary child) is greater than the risk of head injury and the protection given when wearing one. Basically I'm happy with my 3 year old wearing one or not. Even though the crashes she has are going to be the ones that helmets are actually most likely to be beneficial in, she's stable on her bike and not likely to fall off now. My wife makes her though...

We have an added complication as my daughter wears cochlear implants and her helmet generally knocks them off so she cant hear a thing, but if she did crash onto them and damage the internals it could be a long surgery procedure to correct.

mnichols
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby mnichols » 19 Aug 2014, 8:40am

My wife insists that they wear helmets, but my son is now 15 so I have told him that I have crashed twice whilst racing and twice landed on my head - I didn't have time to put my hand out. The first occasion I was going fast enough to split a carbon frame in half the second time I split the helmet. Both occasions I walked away.

They both see me wearing a helmet. I love the mountains, I'm getting close to my 100th col in 5 years. The vast majority of my training is in the hills - my Sunday ride was 120 miles with 7000 feet of climbing, so I'm either going up or down a hill. I will get 45 to 55mph every ride on the descents and I wouldn't do that without a helmet. I'm doing the Raid Pyrenees in 3 weeks - I wouldn't descend without a helmet, but would climb. My club and travel insurance company stipulate that I wear a helmet as do any organised rides that I attend, so does my son's scout group and school

So my kids wear helmets when they have to, and they don't have an issue with it. That said I'm happy to see them ride to a friends house or the shops without one. I don't think you need one at 10 or 15mph - that's just my feeling

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pjclinch
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby pjclinch » 19 Aug 2014, 8:47am

mnichols wrote:So what would you advise your child? They are too young to grasp the arguments, pros and cons

They want to start cycling to school. Are they wearing a helmet?


I advise my children it's up to them. As a clinical scientist I have (and use) access to a medical research library and the skills to judge much of the the contents relating to cycle helmet efficacy and I'm fairly confident they don't much difference one way or the other to their chances of a trip to A&E with a serious head injury. So I don't really care one way or the other and it's fine to leave it up to them. They both own helmets, used for racing at the local velodrome where the rules of the sport require them.

My daughter has just left for (primary) school on her bike. She wasn't wearing her helmet.

As for too young to grasp the arguments... I'm a Bikeability Scotland instructor and part of my brief at Level 2 (taught in Primary 6 or 7) is to discuss the pros and cons with the kids to underpin informed choice in the future. And I have to say that I got a hell of a lot more intelligent input and thought on the subject from P7 last year than I routinely see in Internet arguments on the matter. First and foremost, children tend to be more open to alternative arguments and not so prone to indulge in rationalising their preconceived answers.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby MartinC » 19 Aug 2014, 8:55am

mnichols wrote:..................................I will get 45 to 55mph every ride on the descents and I wouldn't do that without a helmet.............................................


:shock: Do you really think a cycling helmet is of any relevance in a 45-55mph crash?

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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby kwackers » 19 Aug 2014, 9:21am

MartinC wrote: :shock: Do you really think a cycling helmet is of any relevance in a 45-55mph crash?

It's the wonderful world of cycle helmet justification.

I don't wear them for tootling around because they're not needed (when in fact they could save a bump and some nasty abrasions).
But I will wear them when I'm so far outside their rated capabilities that they're all but useless.

Bicycler
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby Bicycler » 19 Aug 2014, 9:59am

MartinC wrote:
mnichols wrote:..................................I will get 45 to 55mph every ride on the descents and I wouldn't do that without a helmet.............................................


:shock: Do you really think a cycling helmet is of any relevance in a 45-55mph crash?

Is this risk compensation in action? I won't do those kind of speeds at all.

Can you imagine if we took the same approach to a proposed piece of PPE? Actually accepting that it wasn't necessary at its rated capacity but using it to justify doing something you wouldn't otherwise do way outside those design parameters?

BTW I'm surprised no-one else has picked up on this:
the second time I split the helmet

I hate to point this out but the whole purpose of a helmet is to compress and absorb energy. They really aren't meant to split as this prevents them doing what they are meant to do. The high number of reports of split helmets (usually from people wishing to explain how effective they are :roll: ) is a damning indictment of the quality of helmet design and manufacture

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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby TonyR » 19 Aug 2014, 11:18am

MartinC wrote:
mnichols wrote:..................................I will get 45 to 55mph every ride on the descents and I wouldn't do that without a helmet.............................................


:shock: Do you really think a cycling helmet is of any relevance in a 45-55mph crash?


Its one of the idiocies of helmet proponents - thinking a helmet will help them in an impact that is 20-30 times the maximum impact it is designed to cope with. A bit like going rock climbing with a bit of string instead of a climbing rope or going into battle with a cotton t-shirt as a bullet proof vest. Bonkers!

Its also a wonderful illustration of risk compensation in action. Doing something in the belief that its safe because the helmet will protect you if something goes wrong when it fact it won't protect you at all at those speeds.

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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby mnichols » 19 Aug 2014, 11:23am

Bicycler wrote:I hate to point this out but the whole purpose of a helmet is to compress and absorb energy. They really aren't meant to split as this prevents them doing what they are meant to do

To clarify, the outer (asthetic) covering split. The inside filling appeared intact. Whilst I was a little concussed I was otherwise fine. The helmet did its job

TonyR
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby TonyR » 19 Aug 2014, 12:21pm

mnichols wrote:To clarify, the outer (asthetic) covering split. The inside filling appeared intact. Whilst I was a little concussed I was otherwise fine. The helmet did its job


Was the inner polystyrene crushed though? If it protected you from an impact the polystyrene should be crushed to a half to quarter of its thickness over a largish area around the impact. If it wasn't it either didn't do its job or it wasn't called on to do a job. The compression is not elastic either so it doesn't compress and bounce back, it compresses and stays compressed.

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mjr
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby mjr » 19 Aug 2014, 12:24pm

mnichols wrote:
Bicycler wrote:I hate to point this out but the whole purpose of a helmet is to compress and absorb energy. They really aren't meant to split as this prevents them doing what they are meant to do

To clarify, the outer (asthetic) covering split. The inside filling appeared intact. Whilst I was a little concussed I was otherwise fine. The helmet did its job

Aesthetic? Given how much other junk is in this report, I've little confidence that this is completely accurate, but this is pro-helmet like the report, I'm sure I've read similar claims before and it's currently on my desktop:
TRL's dodgy report to Jersey wrote:The micro-shell liner provides little rigidity or load distribution, but may help to maintain helmet integrity in an impact, which may be particularly important if a second impact occurs in the same accident.

so the covering isn't only for aesthetics and splitting probably isn't a good sign, although less serious than if the inner structure splits.

And doing 45-55mph while wearing a 12mph helmet when you wouldn't without one sounds to me like a textbook example of risk compensation.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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alant82
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby alant82 » 19 Aug 2014, 12:30pm

mnichols wrote:So what would you advise your child? They are too young to grasp the arguments, pros and cons

They want to start cycling to school. Are they wearing a helmet?

Ask my wife and she would say "Yes, children should definitely wear a helmet when cycling."

Our 4 year old daughter has a helmet but I don't insist that she wears it - if she says she doesn't want to wear it then that's fine with me. I ask my wife how often she wore a helmet when she was that age and riding her bike. Answer: never. I didn't own a helmet until I started mountain biking in my teens and then I continued to wear one through my twenties when I was doing a bit of club riding. Now I'm mostly just commuting and leisure riding and don't bother with the helmet, but I have to listen to my mother in law telling me "You need to wear a helmet, I know a man who fell off his bike and his helmet saved his life..."

Her opinion doesn't change when I tell her how hard it is to fall off a recumbent trike :?
Alan
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meic
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby meic » 19 Aug 2014, 12:39pm

As far as I am concerned my children have been free to wear or not as they choose.

Fortunately for me, others like school and Scouts have imposed their will on the poor kids, so I dont have to suffer quite as many assaults from well meaning interferers.

The Ex-wife was German, so she neither has a helmet nor sees much point in helmets (the advantages of having a broader range of life experience) either.

The daughter loves her helmet, it is part of the kit along with gloves and cycling shirts but on the odd occasions that she cant be bothered wearing it she gets no criticism from me.
The son is 17 now and doesnt wear a helmet as nobody can boss him around any more. :D
Yma o Hyd

TonyR
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby TonyR » 19 Aug 2014, 12:43pm

alant82 wrote:"You need to wear a helmet, I know a man who fell off his bike and his helmet saved his life..."
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Bicycler
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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby Bicycler » 19 Aug 2014, 12:55pm

alant82 wrote:Now I'm mostly just commuting and leisure riding and don't bother with the helmet, but I have to listen to my mother in law telling me "You need to wear a helmet, I know a man who fell off his bike and his helmet saved his life..."

Her opinion doesn't change when I tell her how hard it is to fall off a recumbent trike :?

That's the problem isn't it? Too many people who insist upon teaching others the error of their ways despite having never researched the advice they are giving. People are stunningly unable to respect others' decisions not to wear helmets in a way would be inconceivable in respect of much more significant health choices. Can you imagine these in a conversation at the school gates? "You shouldn't be buying your fat kid a pie." "I can't believe you allow your children not to exercise." "What do you mean you have a drink most days, you need to cut down on your alcohol intake" etc.

I bet you also experience similarly uninformed views on how your trike is invisible, dangerous and in need of a flag (if it doesn't have one). Have you suggested that she wear a helmet around the house? After all, she has much further to fall.

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Re: Near miss, saved by helmet.Lesson learned

Postby alant82 » 19 Aug 2014, 1:22pm

Bicycler wrote:I bet you also experience similarly uninformed views on how your trike is invisible, dangerous and in need of a flag (if it doesn't have one). Have you suggested that she wear a helmet around the house? After all, she has much further to fall.

When I suggested that perhaps we should all wear helmets around the house and while out walking along the pavement I was told that I was being silly :roll:

And don't get me started on the trike safety lectures!
Alan
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