Good cheap helmet

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Wanlock Dod » 30 Jun 2019, 8:52pm

Any factual information provided in these discussions tends only to come from those arguing against helmets. Those in favour of helmets tend to rely on faith, obviousness, and suggestions that such discussions are pointless.

There has been yet another call for compulsory helmets today by somebody who was hit by a car. There doesn’t seem to have been a call to actually do anything about the risks posed to people riding bikes by motorists and their vehicles.

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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Mike Sales » 30 Jun 2019, 9:08pm

skyhawk wrote:
I fully 100% agree that NO ONE should be made to wear a helmet, I think that where an accident leads to injury treated by the NHS and can be shown avoidable had a helmet been worn the person should pay for their treatment. Same for climbers, anyone doing dangerous sports etc. Oh and yes we are already seeing moves towards people being penalised (or in fact educated ) such as obese, smokers, drinkers. This is my view and we are all entitled to one.

Believe me it will happen one day, look back on this comment in ten years :)

Can I assume that the never force me people would be happy without seatbelts and crash helmets, I agree, just as long as they pay for their treatment


I think it would be very difficult to prove that a helmet would have prevented a particular injury. It would certainly involve a deal of investigation to even attempt to.
In our country hospital treatment is provided by national insurance, whether self inflicted or inflicted by the carelessness of others. This is one of the great things about Britain.
We are not seeing moves towards people being penalised for unhealthy behaviour. A campaign against bad diet or encouragement to exercise is not penalisation.
Of course you are entitled to your view, just as others are entitled to express their disagreement.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Wanlock Dod » 1 Jul 2019, 7:31am

skyhawk wrote:...I think that where an accident leads to injury treated by the NHS and can be shown avoidable had a helmet been worn the person should pay for their treatment...

I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach? The occupants of motor vehicles are one of the biggest sources of serious head injuries. Mandatory seat belts for the occupants of motor vehicles didn't prevent the subsequent need for air bags as a further improvement in safety, yet the combination of seat belts and air bags has failed to prevent there being lots of serious head injuries for the occupants of motor vehicles. The difference seems to be that these days motorists clearly feel more comfortable paying less attention whilst driving bigger and heavier vehicles at higher speeds. Five people are killed every day on the roads in Little Britain.

You have mentioned obesity, and in 2017/18 there were 10,660 hospital admissions where obesity was directly attributable, and about 711,000 where obesity was a factor (Statistics on Obesity), the direct costs to the NHS have been estimated as £6,1000,000,000 (£6.1 billion) in 2014/15, and the cost to the wider society as £27,0000,000,000 (£27 billion) (Health matters: obesity and the food environment).

Air pollution is another significant cost for the NHS. In England, the total cost due to PM2.5 to the NHS and social care in 2017 is estimated to be £41.2million, rising to £76.1million when diseases are included where there is less robust evidence for an association (Estimation of costs to the NHS and social care due to the health impacts of air pollution).

Both obesity and air pollution are exacerbated by our obsession with driving, especially for short journeys. Whilst lots of people claim to be dependent upon their cars a high proportion of the journeys actually made are only covering distances which could be walked without too much difficulty and cycled even more easily if people felt that it was safe enough to do so. If able bodied people walked or cycled for all of their journeys that were less than 3 km we would see big changes in not only obesity (as a result of people getting more exercise), and air pollution (because of fewer car journeys), but also congestion (because there would be fewer cars on our roads). Congestion is estimated to cost the average driver £1,317 each per year (Traffic jams cost the UK £8bn last year).

Clearly we could save an awful lot more money for both the NHS, and society as a whole, by facilitating active travel than we ever could by promoting helmets for any activities.

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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jul 2019, 9:08am

Taking punitive action against people who haven't played by the book when it comes to their healthcare is quite popular as a reactionary idea outside the NHS, but it's not that popular within it because it doesn't work and it reduces the overall level of public health, which drives up our costs. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but true.

The most obvious example is missed appointments, which costs a fortune and wastes a huge amount of time. But if you fine people for not showing up what happens is they're less inclined to want to come in the first place, in case they end up with a bill because the bus was late or they put the wrong time in their diary or whatever, and then people that should have come and would have come haven't come, and they miss out on a useful treatment that ultimately saves them grief and the NHS money. So in practice we moan about missed appointments but limit action to putting up notices saying "please don't do this". Not very good as revenge goes, but the best thing isn't always the self-righteous hand-wringing thing.

How does this relate to bike helmets and the costs of patching up people in A&E? The costs of patching up people in A&E are insignificant compared to the costs of chronic bad health typically caused by inactivity. Helmet promotion puts people off active travel, so in the long run costs more than patching up heads in A&E, and that would remain the case if helmets were practically perfect (which they're emphatically not). So with more of a finite pot spent on chronic inactivity related issues there's less money for A&E, so fewer resources, so longer waiting times for all trauma victims and that's actually a medically significant issue for serious cases.

If the answer to a long-running issue seems straightforward and simple then in real life it's probably wrong. Hence Ben Goldacre's catch-phrase, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that" when discussing reactionary, simplistic "solutions" to difficult problems.

Pete.
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Cugel
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Cugel » 1 Jul 2019, 9:17am

Wanlock Dod wrote:
skyhawk wrote:...I think that where an accident leads to injury treated by the NHS and can be shown avoidable had a helmet been worn the person should pay for their treatment...

I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach? The occupants of motor vehicles are one of the biggest sources of serious head injuries. Mandatory seat belts for the occupants of motor vehicles didn't prevent the subsequent need for air bags as a further improvement in safety, yet the combination of seat belts and air bags has failed to prevent there being lots of serious head injuries for the occupants of motor vehicles. The difference seems to be that these days motorists clearly feel more comfortable paying less attention whilst driving bigger and heavier vehicles at higher speeds. Five people are killed every day on the roads in Little Britain.

You have mentioned obesity, and in 2017/18 there were 10,660 hospital admissions where obesity was directly attributable, and about 711,000 where obesity was a factor (Statistics on Obesity), the direct costs to the NHS have been estimated as £6,1000,000,000 (£6.1 billion) in 2014/15, and the cost to the wider society as £27,0000,000,000 (£27 billion) (Health matters: obesity and the food environment).

Air pollution is another significant cost for the NHS. In England, the total cost due to PM2.5 to the NHS and social care in 2017 is estimated to be £41.2million, rising to £76.1million when diseases are included where there is less robust evidence for an association (Estimation of costs to the NHS and social care due to the health impacts of air pollution).

Both obesity and air pollution are exacerbated by our obsession with driving, especially for short journeys. Whilst lots of people claim to be dependent upon their cars a high proportion of the journeys actually made are only covering distances which could be walked without too much difficulty and cycled even more easily if people felt that it was safe enough to do so. If able bodied people walked or cycled for all of their journeys that were less than 3 km we would see big changes in not only obesity (as a result of people getting more exercise), and air pollution (because of fewer car journeys), but also congestion (because there would be fewer cars on our roads). Congestion is estimated to cost the average driver £1,317 each per year (Traffic jams cost the UK £8bn last year).

Clearly we could save an awful lot more money for both the NHS, and society as a whole, by facilitating active travel than we ever could by promoting helmets for any activities.


A well-argued post, unlike some posts you can purchase. :-)

There's a simple test to discover if a helmet damaged as the cyclist hits his head on something has actually mitigated any potential injury by absorbing force. First, though, it's important to note that the absolute maximum force any polystyrene cycling helmet of the usual under 300gms type can absorb is 7 N. Many will absorb less before they cease to function as a force-absorber. Typically, events in which the head is severely damaged in a so-called traffic accident is around 45 N and up. Even if you just fall off your bike and your head hits a hard thing first, that'll be more than 7 N. The 7 N reduction to your head in a simple fall might save you a worse headache.

The test for "did it absorb force" is to look at the evidence supplied by the polystyrene at the point of impact. To absorb the whole 7 N of force it can absorb, the polystyrene would have to be crushed flat. Polystyrene doesn't spring back or otherwise recover once crushed. If there little or no crushing, the helmet absorbed little or no significant force.

Many "helmet saved my life" stories show a wrecked helmet. Typically they are just broken up, with lots of snapped but not crushed polystyrene bits and shattered plastic skin. It takes very little force to do that. After all, the things are extremely flimsy ......

Cugel

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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby skyhawk » 1 Jul 2019, 11:43am

I don't think you have thought that through when you said

"I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach?"

The difference is that a person would not have gone out with the intent to do something that could cause harm or injury, if you are stabbed through no fault of your own as an innocent person it has no bearing on it at all, had you involved yourself IN a fight that it totally different.
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Vorpal » 1 Jul 2019, 12:21pm

skyhawk wrote:I don't think you have thought that through when you said

"I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach?"

The difference is that a person would not have gone out with the intent to do something that could cause harm or injury, if you are stabbed through no fault of your own as an innocent person it has no bearing on it at all, had you involved yourself IN a fight that it totally different.

I'm not sure that I understand. How is that different? Riding a bike is little different from going out for a walk. If someone hits me with a car, it's not like I went out looking for cars to get run over by. The likelihood of getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is similar to that of being hit with a car whilst cycling. Do you wear a helmet when you go for a walk?

Or is it that you consider cycling that much more dangerous that a helmet is required?

p.s. it seems we've scared the OP off, but perhaps their question was answered in the first few posts.
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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Wanlock Dod » 1 Jul 2019, 12:26pm

skyhawk wrote:The difference is that a person would not have gone out with the intent to do something that could cause harm or injury, if you are stabbed through no fault of your own as an innocent person it has no bearing on it at all, had you involved yourself IN a fight that it totally different.

Perhaps you could explain how this situation is different to a cyclist who is run over by a motorist because they were on their phone and not paying attention to driving. Is being driven into through no fault of your own all that different to being stabbed? Are you suggesting that cyclists that use roads should expect to be killed, and that wearing a helmet in such a situation would make any difference?

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Cugel
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Cugel » 1 Jul 2019, 1:33pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:
skyhawk wrote:The difference is that a person would not have gone out with the intent to do something that could cause harm or injury, if you are stabbed through no fault of your own as an innocent person it has no bearing on it at all, had you involved yourself IN a fight that it totally different.

Perhaps you could explain how this situation is different to a cyclist who is run over by a motorist because they were on their phone and not paying attention to driving. Is being driven into through no fault of your own all that different to being stabbed? Are you suggesting that cyclists that use roads should expect to be killed, and that wearing a helmet in such a situation would make any difference?


Many of the cycling helmet wearers believe both of those propositions - that they may be killed when cycling and that a helmet will prevent it ("....a helmet saved my life.....").

In fact, the death & serious injury rate from cycling is lower than that from many other everyday activities, including being a pedestrian on the streets and being in a car. There are lots of other everyday activities with a higher death/injury rate, from gardening to going up and down stairs in the house. Such risks are an unavoidable but very minor part of everyday life in the modern world. There are many ways of reducing the risk, all which can be summed up as "be more careful and aware of the risks".

Even the manufacturers point out that, in fact, helmets do not save lives. They merely reduce the effects of low speed head bumps that occur if the cyclist falls off or otherwise does something that results in a low impact hit to the head. The tests of the helmet emulate low speed falls on to flat surfaces. They don't test for (and the helmets don't protect from) high speed head bangs or blows from pointy things that concentrate the force and perhaps also avoid the helmet via one of it's numerous gaps.

There's evidence that helmet wearing by unthinking people who don't understand either the risks or the limits of helmet protection brings about a degree of over-confidence, resulting overall in an increase, rather than a decrease, in serious head injuries amongst those who wear helmets. There's also evidence that some falls that involves a blow to the head can be worse for a helmet wearer because the helmet catches on something and causes rotational injuries of various kinds, to brain and possibly the upper spine/neck. This is why MIPs helmets were invented.

*********
I still haven't encountered a helmet wearer who has a good fact-based case for wearing a helmet. Every properly organised scientific study (the ones that aren't conducted by or for manufacturers and that use relevant evidence whilst excluding the irrelevant) indicates that helmets have no discernible preventative effect to death or serious injury for cyclists. The only "evidence" wearers can quote are dubious anecdotes, crass and ill-informed opinions of "medics" and their own feeling that "it's obvious helmets are good".

In reality, the wearing of cycling helmets is a fashion underpinned by the usual marketing innuendo and it's handy utility as yet another weapon for use by those who enjoy making cyclists and cycling a pariah activity enabling them (with the aid of rabid newspaps) to vent their spleens and scratch their angsts.

Some of the worst helmet zealots are cyclists. They feel obliged to justify their foolish spend on a bit of polystyrene and perhaps themselves enjoy the savaging of a pariah.

Cugel

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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jul 2019, 2:35pm

Cugel wrote:In reality, the wearing of cycling helmets is a fashion underpinned by the usual marketing innuendo


Yes.

When folk mention fashion I imagine the usual association is some value of looking good, but it's wider than that, with "looking good" coming down to projecting an image you want to associate with. Such images can include stuff like "I'm about function, not fashion!", but that doesn't mean it isn't fashion.
When I was in my 20s and getting in to cycling as a pastime rather than just a way to get around I wanted to be seen as serious about cycling. So I had a drop bar tourer when they were distinctly unfashionable, and I started wearing a helmet, long before they were common. I had all sorts of safety rationalisations, but it mainly came down to the image I wanted to project.

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pjclinch
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jul 2019, 2:37pm

skyhawk wrote:I don't think you have thought that through when you said

"I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach?"

The difference is that a person would not have gone out with the intent to do something that could cause harm or injury, if you are stabbed through no fault of your own as an innocent person it has no bearing on it at all, had you involved yourself IN a fight that it totally different.


Sorry skyhawk, the Bad Analogy Police have come calling and it's you they want to talk to, not Wanlock Dod.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Good cheap helmet

Postby Wanlock Dod » 1 Jul 2019, 7:36pm

Cugel wrote:...There's evidence that helmet wearing by unthinking people who don't understand either the risks or the limits of helmet protection brings about a degree of over-confidence, resulting overall in an increase, rather than a decrease, in serious head injuries amongst those who wear helmets...

For anybody with the patience and interest there was some quite interesting evidence presented at the thread on Helmet discussions in York indicating that following helmets being made mandatory in New Zealand the number of crashes by cyclists which did not involve any other vehicles increased. There is a recording of the presentations and discussions here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dJ64o9 ... e=youtu.be
The information was in the first presentation I think.