oneten wrote:Well, what interesting posts.
It's a much more interesting topic than most people realise.
Looking at the link to the Bell website it seems that style and aerodynamics are the key criteria and there is absolutely no mention of the safety benefits as far as cycle helmets are concerned, yet in connection with m/cycle ones, the emphasis is all about the safety benefits - how peculiar and quite an eye opener! Also, the webpage about plug covers is shocking where the safety claims/ intentions are the opposite of what the product is intended to do.
Yes - safety products should be marketed on the basis of safety, AND they should actually be able to prove that safety...
The issue with cycle helmets is that the evidence on a large scale is that they simply aren't effective. This may be down to a variety of factors, including risk homoeostasis.
I can see where people are coming from especially when opposing making helmets compulsory.Despite all that though, I am still glad I was wearing my (yes - it just so happens it was a Bell
!) helmet, whether it saved me from superficial or any other injury to my bone dome, or whether the extra protrusion of the helmet thickness was what caused the impact or not, I'll never know, but I'm glad it was just a chunk of polystyrene that came adrift rather than anything else. I am going to keep on wearing a helmet ( my nice new Specialized one) once my rib- cage is less tender ( please no-one suggest the helmet caused/could have saved me from that
Your last comment is ironic, since the main report suggesting large benefits from helmet wearing suggested exactly that - that helmets prevented 75% of leg injuries.
I'm glad you've got a Specialized helmet now, I *think* all of their helmets are Snell tested, so you likely have a "better" (from a fairly low starting point) helmet now, and I will (alongside most people here) defend your choice to wear one.
Many people here would however vigorously oppose compulsion, it just doesn't make sense.
The piccie of Einstein ? - wonderful stuff! ..Now he knew a thing or two but not wearing a helmet ? Well at the end of the day it's all relative isn't it. I'm just going to try and take a bit more care in future.
That's the key finding - I'm going to take more care. I'm not suggesting that this is proof that you were careless due to the helmet, but the evidence suggests that helmet wearers take more risks (whether there is a causal link or just a correlation is not demonstrated), and there are certainly people who would say that they wouldn't "do that" without a lid... (whatever the risky behaviour is, cycling or otherwise)
In terms of the helmets mentioned up thread there are several types to think about:
Hard hats - building site, repeated protection against sharp objects, possibly dropped from some height. The shock absorption is very small, the penetration protection good. They are often fairly well ventilated (by virtue of the main helmet sitting an inch away from the head).
Rock climbing - Again, a hard hat designed to deflect hard/sharp stones dislodged from above. Not hugely shock absorbing, must take multiple hits, possibly in one climb.
Motorcycle helmets/Race helmets - high level of protection offered by a combination of a penetration resistant (and slippery) shell and both crushable and "springy" foam inners. However, the protection comes at a cost of weight (hence F1 drivers wearing HANS devices, to prevent their necks from being snapped by the weight of the helmet when they hit a wall) and of heat - they are completely impractical to wear when doing anything active (F1 drivers make significant sacrifices in this matter). They are also not perfect, yet their strength and isolation means people do things they wouldn't otherwise do.
Massa did nothing wrong in Hungary a few years ago - the spring that he hit (at ~160mph) weighed just over a kilo, and it hurt, but the extreme strength of the F1 style helmet undoubtedly saved his life (a lower rated helmet would have done something, but a bare head would have been demolished) a stronger helmet would probably have left him with a concussion.
We recently had a video of a motorcyclist who hit a car which turned across his path, and died instantly. The helmet he was relying on was unable to deal with the extreme forces involved.
Cycle helmets - low level of protection, standards are generally looking at a fall off a stationary bike. Cyclists also heat up, and even a moderate ride will result in a significant heat build up. Helmets need to allow that to escape, so they offer no penetration protection (certainly in the areas of the vents, and limited elsewhere). That requirement significantly compromises what can be accomplished.
The main design is to reduce linear acceleration, with rotational acceleration not considered. Evidence suggests that it is rotational acceleration which does the damage - American footballers helmets have been wired up, and they regularly get hits of hundreds of G, but without rotation the brain is already in a well designed hard case with fluid cushioning, so it survives pretty well (very high numbers of impacts might not be great, but the occasional 100g impact is not significantly damaging. The lack of rotational testing actually results in helmets likely to *increase* the danger from these events - fortunately most events are rare to start with...
Additionally the main failure mode (brittle fracture) looks impressive, so the OP "mistake" is common. But a snapped seatbelt hasn't saved the car occupant, it's failed.