Do you wear 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.

Do you wear a helmet?

Yes
36
31%
No
55
47%
Sometimes
27
23%
 
Total votes: 118

Vorpal
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 23 Feb 2015, 10:44am

pwa wrote:Some bits of safety gear are a no-brainer.

I can't think of *any* bits of safety gear that are no brainers. Many of the apparent no brainers have little or no evidence to support their use. Even something like a legal requirement for seat belts. The impact on road traffic crash statistics, in fact, does not show the expected improvement. The introduction of the seat belt law interrupted a steady decline in deaths of car occupants in RTCs, and made things worse for pedestrians and cyclists.

http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2009/09/08/
http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2009/09/16/ ... s-again-2/
http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2009/11/05/ ... -the-data/

Whenever anyone says that any bit of safety gear is a 'no brainer', I start looking for evidence.
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pwa
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pwa » 23 Feb 2015, 11:04am

Vorpal

I expect if you look around your home or your work place you will find some safety gear that you think effective. Within my own areas of experience I can confidently recommend use of ear defenders in certain situations. I don't need to research what statisticians have found on the subject. I know my father suffers from poor hearing and tinnitus after a working life exposed to loud noise for prolonged periods each day, and using ear defenders while using a breaker on concrete is one of those "no brainers". Safety glasses are a "no brainer" when doing any metal work that is likely to send metal fragments towards your face. I once had to call the ambulance for someone who thought safety glasses were an optional extra. He lost the sight of one eye.

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Feb 2015, 11:22am

irc wrote:
Vantage wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:Saying a helmet offers no protection is like saying shoes offer no protection. But I wonder how many people would turn up to their doc with cuts and blisters if not for the minimal cushioning from shoes.


Actually going barefoot is perfectly possible without injury. When I was a child in Canada my siblings and I often didn't wear shoes during the summer holidays. The skin pretty soon toughens up and injuries are very rare. But then the two things are not comparable anyway. If I was constantly putting 17 stone of weight on my head against varying surfaces while cycling I might wear a helmet. I'm not. Shoes increase comfort while helmets reduce comfort.

PS Can I say what a breath of fresh air it is being in a forum where there can be a civil discussion unlike the current thread on another forum where I'm called "stupid" and told I should pay for any injuries sustained while cycling (whether the driver is at fault or not.)

Went to uni with a guy who never wore shoes. He stopped wearing them in the summer of his first year and never went back to shoes. Never had cuts or issues like that. Guess his feet toughend up fast. That was Leeds BTW which is not exactly a small city and after a night out back then glass in the centre was an issue since they had not gone to plastic bottles and glasses back then but they were all still glass.

BTW i tried it for a while that same summer. It actually feels nice to be barefoot even in a city. I doubt I would have enjoyed it in winter though. I have also tried it walking in the Lakes, A nice walk up around buttermere on a nice day. Plus other ones near Shaop, Bampton and haweswater. Other guys were doing it too. ALthough I only started doing it after a longer than usual lunch stop I fell asleep to wake up without fell shoes. I just took off my socks and carried on until my mate gave me the shoes back (prank fail). I put them in my bag and carried on walking to the surprise of my mates. Shoe wearing is overated I think at times. You should try going without.

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 23 Feb 2015, 11:35am

pwa wrote:Vorpal

I expect if you look around your home or your work place you will find some safety gear that you think effective. Within my own areas of experience I can confidently recommend use of ear defenders in certain situations. I don't need to research what statisticians have found on the subject. I know my father suffers from poor hearing and tinnitus after a working life exposed to loud noise for prolonged periods each day, and using ear defenders while using a breaker on concrete is one of those "no brainers". Safety glasses are a "no brainer" when doing any metal work that is likely to send metal fragments towards your face. I once had to call the ambulance for someone who thought safety glasses were an optional extra. He lost the sight of one eye.

But both of those examples have evidence to support their use.
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pjclinch » 23 Feb 2015, 11:40am

pwa wrote:
I expect if you look around your home or your work place you will find some safety gear that you think effective. Within my own areas of experience I can confidently recommend use of ear defenders in certain situations.
<snip>

Fair enough, but might I tentatively suggest Vorpal was suggesting something like the context of a typical UK road travel situation? In which there aren't any obvious "no brainers" in terms of PPE. Aside from, errr, a turned-on brain.

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby mjr » 23 Feb 2015, 11:43am

pwa wrote:I expect if you look around your home or your work place you will find some safety gear that you think effective. Within my own areas of experience I can confidently recommend use of ear defenders in certain situations. I don't need to research what statisticians have found on the subject.

<moderated> I hope it never comes back to haunt you, but the precautions in the examples you give would be supported by statistical analysis, as far as I know. There are of course many other examples where what seems like a "no brainer" to many people is more dangerous than inaction: the 44% of people surveyed by the FSA who washed raw chicken meat under a running tap, perhaps?
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby pwa » 23 Feb 2015, 11:56am

How about lights and hi-viz used by cyclists at night? Surely we all accept that they enhance safety for their users. I don't need evidence from an academic source for that one. "No brainer" is an appropriate term.

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Vorpal » 23 Feb 2015, 12:18pm

pwa wrote:How about lights and hi-viz used by cyclists at night? Surely we all accept that they enhance safety for their users. I don't need evidence from an academic source for that one. "No brainer" is an appropriate term.

Well, I think you might find that not everyone thinks they are a no brainer, and there is little or no evidence to support their use. I do use lights and reflective material at night, but I am not convinced that there is much more benefit than being able to see where I am going. There is evidence that this makes me visible from further away, but there isn't much evidence that it results in accident or casualty reduction. there is, confoundingly, some evidence that suggests cyclists without ligths are actually safer.
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby honesty » 23 Feb 2015, 12:21pm

pwa wrote:How about lights and hi-viz used by cyclists at night? Surely we all accept that they enhance safety for their users. I don't need evidence from an academic source for that one. "No brainer" is an appropriate term.


I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic or not...

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Psamathe » 23 Feb 2015, 12:28pm

I wonder to what extent wearing or not wearing a helmet is down to personal experience.

When I took-up cycling again (18'ish months ago) I started wearing a helmet mainly because I could see myself sliding down a road and with many having this "surface dressing" stuff, I was concerned about skin loss (probably daft but difficult to access risks when starting out). Then by last autumn I got more relaxed about helmets and often went helmet-less. Then, on a ride when I was wearing a helmet I came off; not serious, lost some skin and had problems walking next day, but the helmet (with head inside) made a loud bang when it hit the road. No idea if it helped or just made noise (maybe my head would not have even reached the road where the bigger helmet did), but I've now gone back to always wearing a helmet.

Had I not had that tumble I suspect I would now be rarely wearing a helmet. Now, I may drift away from them.

So I do wonder how much is down to personal experience, not necessarily even involving road or vehicles.

Ian

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby mjr » 23 Feb 2015, 12:37pm

pwa wrote:How about lights and hi-viz used by cyclists at night? Surely we all accept that they enhance safety for their users. I don't need evidence from an academic source for that one. "No brainer" is an appropriate term.

No, and especially not hi-viz at night. There is little evidence that hi-viz enhances safety in the daytime, let alone at night - nor would I expect there to be any benefit at night, because the only thing hi-viz adds to a well-reflectored bike is fluorescent colour which doesn't work under artificial light. IIRC, under low-pressure sodium lights, you may as well be wearing grey. If the reflective surface of hi-viz clothing is adding much visibility to your bike, then put more reflective stuff on the bike because it'll always be there and won't dim as much with washing as hi-viz does.

I'm not sure about lights and they have so many other benefits (being able to see and signal more easily, for example, as well as not risking a hefty fine) for the users that I'd be surprised if there was good recent data available for them. If I remember correctly, collision data finds lack of lights a factor in just something like 2% of collisions, yet some here estimate 40% of riders on some UK routes are unlit, rising over 50% for some Dutch routes (edit:
BicycleDutch wrote:An investigation in 2009 found that 65% of Dutch cyclists have a working front and rear light. Up from 54% in 2003*. The figure is considerably lower in the 4 largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht)

) Anyone know some good UK numbers on that?

I feel all this is needlessly and unjustifiably insulting statisticians and academics in some sort of inverted snobbery. The world is not simple and it's by analysing the evidence that we discover actual relationships instead of relying on prejudice and dogma.
Psamathe wrote:So I do wonder how much is down to personal experience, not necessarily even involving road or vehicles.

For a long time, the main reason I bothered with one (and I did find them a bother) was to protect my head from overhanging branches. Since then, soft hats have done the same job OK and I suspect they'd also protect against some skin loss. However, I do know people who seem to have been spared quite nasty injuries in freak accidents from wearing a helmet - how many have suffered extra injuries because of helmets when they wouldn't if unhatted (such as head hitting the road in simple slide-off falls where I've always kept my head up), who knows? After one rebuffs a "shouldn't you wear a helmet?", most people nearby don't tell you such stories :lol:
Last edited by mjr on 23 Feb 2015, 2:36pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Feb 2015, 12:42pm

Aaah! Personal choice should decide this. We all have our views and evidence doesn't always decide things for us so just let us say this, "I wear/do not wear a helmet because that is my choice!" and leave it at that.

There is no point in debating anything helmet related as it has all been said before by brighter wits than ourselves.

I wish there was a really easy way to just paste all the English language helmet debates that have been held online right into each new thread that opens up. If nothing else it would kill the thread as it would take forever to scroll down to the end, assuming there is no easy way to skip to the end damn! idea foiled!! Mind you it would probably crash the site;s servers with the size of the entry.

Can I just congratulate the people involved with this site? What a good idea to move ALL helmet threads into a separate containment zone for us idiots who still read them. Keeps the rest of the forum free of helmet contamination.

PS it seems you might need to do the same for hi-viz threads too!!! :shock:

beardy
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby beardy » 23 Feb 2015, 12:51pm

If nothing else it would kill the thread


No need for that, they are all sent to a ghetto that nobody has to go to.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Feb 2015, 12:54pm

beardy wrote:
If nothing else it would kill the thread


No need for that, they are all sent to a ghetto that nobody has to go to.


Can we create a ghetto for hi-viz threads too??

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Re: Do you wear a helmet?

Postby beardy » 23 Feb 2015, 1:04pm

They would be harder to hide, I fear. 8)