Syd wrote:Hi Mike(s)
I have read both sides of the argument and take on board points from both sides.
I too was close to giving up on helmet wearing, especially on my commute as I generally cycle alone, until an incident made me rethink things.
I have discussed the incident elsewhere before but, in summary, I was struck side on by a car exiting a side road. This caused the bike to pivot and I was ejected backwards onto the road. The resulting impact caused compression on the rear of the helmet to the point hairline fractures were starting. I got up and walked away and was able to fly off to China on holiday two days later.
A passing nurse insisted I go to hospital for a checkup and called an ambulance. I was confirmed to be ok and the doctor happy I fly as above. I am not claiming for one moment that the ‘helmet saved my life’ but I am sure it saved me from an injury that would have resulted in the doctor being much less inclined to let me fly.
I have also been told many times that my impact was outside of the testing parameters of the helmet. Yes, I am sure it was but it still offered me protection in that incident.
I also appreciate that those circumstances are rare and I’ve got even begun to look at the infinitesimal odds of it happening to me again but it did demonstrate to me that, in those circumstances, the helmet was useful.
A good point and given in a meaningful context. You're right to suggest that there will be incidents and accidents where head protection - even of the small kind offered by a cycling helmet - will reduce harm.
Although I've never hit my head (at all) when coming off the bike, I have hit it when doing various DIY things, fell-walking and (worst incident) ice skating. In none of those scenarios is helmet wearing normal - but the ice-skating incident knocked me out and I spent a day in hospital just in case the nastier symptoms of concussion manifested. A cycling helmet would have acted perhaps as it did in your related incident. Less harm .... but (as you say) nothing like "saved my life".
Would I now wear a cycling helmet when ice skating? Perhaps - at least when learning. In practice I avoided any more ice skating, along with the sort of girlfriend who pushes you hard in the small of the back as you're wobbling about in your very first effort to skate.