helmets from Why wear black?

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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The utility cyclist
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby The utility cyclist » 5 Feb 2020, 6:01pm

BlueRider wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:I think risk compensation and especially risk aversion are misleading terms. Risk homeostasis is better.
I may have misunderstood your thinking, but I take it that you are not a helmet advocate? That is, you may wear one, but do not venture to give anyone else advice on the subject.


Advice should be freely given so that it can be freely returned.

My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children). However, i would not mandate their use in law and would actively campaign against those who would have that law enacted.
My own experiences of cycling have taught me that for me, being visible and wearing a helmet is an absolute positive.
I wouldn't force that on others but i do wince when i see other cyclists doing otherwise.

Helmets for kids are the worst thing you can do, you're putting them at more risk of harm fgs, have you bothered to look at the testing of kids when they wear helmets even when not cycling they take far greater risks even though the helmet isn't part of the activity.
You must also think helmets are a good thing for young children in the home and when in a motorvehicle as well, given the number of deaths in those situations exceed those on bicycle with regards to head injuries?
You say that rewards outweigh the risks and yet time and again not just in cycling we know this is simply untrue. Those pushing the boundaries like those in sport and those who are less able to know where the safe boundaries lie are always the greatest at risk when donning PPE and yet are the two groups who people insist should wear it, despite the evidence showing that it's a load of rubbish!

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2020, 6:29am

BlueRider wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:In your 1st paraghraph, you have argued that PPE doesn't have a significant effect. I will happily take the insignificant effects on my daily commute then. Any reduction of risk or injury is welcome.


So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?

And since body armour is available for cyclists can we please ascertain that you do wear that on your commute? What grade of gloves, knee and elbow pads do you wear?

And so on. By saying any reduction of injury risk is welcome and assuming PPE will do that for you (ignoring the actual chances of being in an accident, which tend to rise with PPE) put yourself in the position that any PPE you might wear should be worn. If you go down the "more is better" route rather than "enough is enough" you're signed up for an arms race you can't possibly win.

Pete.


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care. I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?



Can we get one point clear.... helmets are NOT formal PPE. The Health and Safety Executive made this clear when the Post Office tried to make them compulsory

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2020, 6:54am

BlueRider wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:In your 1st paraghraph, you have argued that PPE doesn't have a significant effect. I will happily take the insignificant effects on my daily commute then. Any reduction of risk or injury is welcome.


So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?

And since body armour is available for cyclists can we please ascertain that you do wear that on your commute? What grade of gloves, knee and elbow pads do you wear?

And so on. By saying any reduction of injury risk is welcome and assuming PPE will do that for you (ignoring the actual chances of being in an accident, which tend to rise with PPE) put yourself in the position that any PPE you might wear should be worn. If you go down the "more is better" route rather than "enough is enough" you're signed up for an arms race you can't possibly win.

Pete.


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care. I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?


But avoids the entire problem.

The entire problem is motorists not looking, not seeing, not reacting appropriately and driving carelessly

The negative is when a driver causes an accident we hand them a free "get out of jail card" to excuse their negligence

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 8:54am

BlueRider wrote:My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children).


And yet childhood risk specialist Tim Gill didn't reach the same conclusion despite a much more thorough analysis when he produced a consultancy report for a children's charity. It's a lucidly argued, evidence based analysis that you'd do well to read: https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby kwackers » 6 Feb 2020, 8:57am

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children).


And yet childhood risk specialist Tim Gill didn't reach the same conclusion despite a much more thorough analysis when he produced a consultancy report for a children's charity. It's a lucidly argued, evidence based analysis that you'd do well to read: https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

Pete.

It's a bit TLDR for me at this time in the morning but does that paper point out that whilst we can argue whether children's lives have been saved by helmets the one thing there is no argument about is that children have lost their lives due to helmets, in particular through strangulation.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 9:11am

BlueRider wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:In your 1st paraghraph, you have argued that PPE doesn't have a significant effect. I will happily take the insignificant effects on my daily commute then. Any reduction of risk or injury is welcome.


So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care.


So you care that any reduction of risk or injury is welcome yet you didn't realise that Snell B95 helmets offer more protection than basic EN1078, and don't care about using the more protective standard... Those two things don't really match up.

https://ecf.com/sites/ecf.com/files/Standards-helmets-etc.pdf is an article for Cycle by Brian Walker who runs a helmet testing company. It's not out to do anything other than provide basic facts, so is well worth a read.

BlueRider wrote:I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?


What you're doing is the very natural thing of rationalising your behaviour as some sort of objective most sensible behaviour. You could protect yourself more, but there's no need because x, but someone like me who you feel protects themselves less is clearly an idiot not doing enough for themselves. And there will be folk who insist on a Snell B95 lid and also wear hi-viz trousers and have 2 lights front and back who'll feel the same about you, but as it happens we all seem to be managing to get Not Dead.

Your "simple measures" don't actually have a track record of reducing the headline serious injury/fatality rate. Your assumption that they make you objectively safer is just that: as assumption. As Elizabeth Towner (who ironically wrote the report that DfT used to justify helmet promotion in the UK) noted, Very few of our present interventions, intended to prevent these injuries, are actually known to work. People going on and on about them as if they clearly do isn't actually helpful.

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

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pjclinch
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 9:15am

kwackers wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children).


And yet childhood risk specialist Tim Gill didn't reach the same conclusion despite a much more thorough analysis when he produced a consultancy report for a children's charity. It's a lucidly argued, evidence based analysis that you'd do well to read: https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

Pete.

It's a bit TLDR for me at this time in the morning but does that paper point out that whilst we can argue whether children's lives have been saved by helmets the one thing there is no argument about is that children have lost their lives due to helmets, in particular through strangulation.


I don't remember for sure but it's not really relevant for policy decisions. Otherwise it's a bit like the ant-vax argument that if they find one life ruined the whole thing is terrible, despite other lives saved. Policy evidence needs to be taken dispassionately across populations, not to concentrate on emotive outliers.

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

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 11:31am

Cunobelin wrote:
BlueRider wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?

And since body armour is available for cyclists can we please ascertain that you do wear that on your commute? What grade of gloves, knee and elbow pads do you wear?

And so on. By saying any reduction of injury risk is welcome and assuming PPE will do that for you (ignoring the actual chances of being in an accident, which tend to rise with PPE) put yourself in the position that any PPE you might wear should be worn. If you go down the "more is better" route rather than "enough is enough" you're signed up for an arms race you can't possibly win.

Pete.


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care. I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?


But avoids the entire problem.

The entire problem is motorists not looking, not seeing, not reacting appropriately and driving carelessly

The negative is when a driver causes an accident we hand them a free "get out of jail card" to excuse their negligence


In this discussion, It matters not where the risk comes from, only that the risk exists and that i do my best to manage that risk.

The behaviour of other road users and the infrastructure we use is an entirely different discussion

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 11:35am

kwackers wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children).


And yet childhood risk specialist Tim Gill didn't reach the same conclusion despite a much more thorough analysis when he produced a consultancy report for a children's charity. It's a lucidly argued, evidence based analysis that you'd do well to read: https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

Pete.

It's a bit TLDR for me at this time in the morning but does that paper point out that whilst we can argue whether children's lives have been saved by helmets the one thing there is no argument about is that children have lost their lives due to helmets, in particular through strangulation.


In the words of one ‘neutral’ agency, the Parliamentary Advisory
Committee on Transport Safety, ‘much of the research on cycle helmets has
been challenged by those involved in the debate’ (PACTS 2004).
The task of getting to grips with this literature is made more difficult by the tone
of the debate, which as PACTS also notes, is ‘a particularly emotive and
controversial one within road safety,’ where ‘debates on the issue are often
characterised by entrenched positions’


Quite so!

One final introductory remark: this author, like most of those involved in the
discussion, is no mere bystander. He is a reasonably active commuter and
recreational cyclist, a longstanding though passive member of the Cyclists’
Touring Club, who wears a cycle helmet and insists that his seven-year-old
daughter does the same.


We can't all be wrong huh?

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 11:43am

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care.


So you care that any reduction of risk or injury is welcome yet you didn't realise that Snell B95 helmets offer more protection than basic EN1078, and don't care about using the more protective standard... Those two things don't really match up.

https://ecf.com/sites/ecf.com/files/Standards-helmets-etc.pdf is an article for Cycle by Brian Walker who runs a helmet testing company. It's not out to do anything other than provide basic facts, so is well worth a read.

BlueRider wrote:I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?


What you're doing is the very natural thing of rationalising your behaviour as some sort of objective most sensible behaviour. You could protect yourself more, but there's no need because x, but someone like me who you feel protects themselves less is clearly an idiot not doing enough for themselves. And there will be folk who insist on a Snell B95 lid and also wear hi-viz trousers and have 2 lights front and back who'll feel the same about you, but as it happens we all seem to be managing to get Not Dead.

Your "simple measures" don't actually have a track record of reducing the headline serious injury/fatality rate. Your assumption that they make you objectively safer is just that: as assumption. As Elizabeth Towner (who ironically wrote the report that DfT used to justify helmet promotion in the UK) noted, Very few of our present interventions, intended to prevent these injuries, are actually known to work. People going on and on about them as if they clearly do isn't actually helpful.

Pete.


Your arguments seems to be a binary logic and i believe this is because you are entranched in your position rather than being open and objective about the subject and the facts or not.

Myself, i prefer shades of gray instead of black/white.

Any improvement in visability is going to be significantly better than non. Yes you can be more visable, but the very act of doing something in the first place will get you a good way along the curve of diminishing returns.

Likewise helmet use, yes i could go and research the very best helmets and buy the very peak of technology but i imagine (and i care not to investigate) that the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 11:55am

BlueRider wrote:
One final introductory remark: this author, like most of those involved in the
discussion, is no mere bystander. He is a reasonably active commuter and
recreational cyclist, a longstanding though passive member of the Cyclists’
Touring Club, who wears a cycle helmet and insists that his seven-year-old
daughter does the same.


We can't all be wrong huh?


What this says is that a personal decision and a policy decision on which to base impartial advice aren't the same thing. Gill has the integrity and honesty to point out that his own gut-feeling doesn't match the policy advice that the case for even recommending helmets is "far from sound" that his report concludes. And yet that is what his report concludes.

Pete.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Mike Sales » 6 Feb 2020, 12:06pm

BlueRider wrote:the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.


Since the benefit of wearing a helmet is "too modest to capture" as assessed by the professor for the public understanding of risk, I guess you are right. The difference between helmets must be miniscule.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 12:58pm

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:
One final introductory remark: this author, like most of those involved in the
discussion, is no mere bystander. He is a reasonably active commuter and
recreational cyclist, a longstanding though passive member of the Cyclists’
Touring Club, who wears a cycle helmet and insists that his seven-year-old
daughter does the same.


We can't all be wrong huh?


What this says is that a personal decision and a policy decision on which to base impartial advice aren't the same thing. Gill has the integrity and honesty to point out that his own gut-feeling doesn't match the policy advice that the case for even recommending helmets is "far from sound" that his report concludes. And yet that is what his report concludes.

Pete.



Postscript
This author’s personal view is that helmet wearing is a sensible measure for
adults and children. I will continue to wear a helmet, and will continue to tell
(and eventually, to ask) my daughter to do the same, partly to reduce the
damage and distress caused by the comparatively minor mishaps that are most
likely to befall cyclists, and partly (if I am honest) because of the power of the
‘what if…’ question, were anything more serious to befall her or me. But those
of us who cycle should be under no illusion that helmets offer reliable protection
in crash situations where our lives may be in danger. Neither should we believe
that widespread adoption of helmet wearing would see many fewer cyclists
killed or permanently disabled. The evidence so far suggests otherwise.



As i have said,and in agreement with the postscript, i don't wear a helmet to stop me getting squished by the #192 bus. To do so and to expect a helmet to protect you from all serious injury would be daft.
That doesn't negate the use of them however.

The binary logic on display in this thread is that because they won't stop you from being squshed, they are utterly useless.

Bonkers.

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 1:08pm

Mike Sales wrote:
BlueRider wrote:the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.


Since the benefit of wearing a helmet is "too modest to capture" as assessed by the professor for the public understanding of risk, I guess you are right. The difference between helmets must be miniscule.


Context drift again.

This is in relation to medical statistics which only see the peak of the injuries sustained. Somebody falling off a bike and damaging their helmet and not the head won't appear on these statistics and never do. Those that do appear in hospitals usually do so after a very serious accident which no amount of protect would have helped.

Fairly obvious imho.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 1:13pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:BluRider...

You also seem to have missed the fact that risk homeostasis isn't just your behaviour, it's the behaviour of those around you.

That's why many cyclists apply the 'wobble' around certainly junctions - it makes drivers think you are little less predictable, and so they leave a bit more space (in general).

You are claiming that because *you* don't change your behaviour (when clearly you have, because you say you wouldn't be cycling otherwise) the risk doesn't change - but the risk is virtually entirely in the hands of others (assuming you are taking basic precautions like riding with a bike that has brakes, and leaving your eyes open).


So you add two items with no benefit in a collision, or negligible benefit in a collision - and claim everyone else should as well.

The difference between seeing a cyclist a mile away and 50 yards away in a town is what? Absolutely nothing. There isn't just a law of diminishing returns - there are *no* returns above a certain distance - and that distance is pretty darned short. From 30mph the Highway Code reckons 23m (source RAC) to come to a complete stop, including thinking distance. Modern brakes outperform the HC by some margin... but you could also suggest (not unreasonably) that an emergency stop shouldn't be expected... So double that distance and add some - 50 yards.... There is no need to be seen from further away than that, and I can see a pedestrian on the footpath all dressed in black from that far at night, and when I can't (because for some reason various sets of traffic lights here don't enter a dim mode overnight) then I slow down so that I don't need as far.

The difference between a helmet and not is... scrapes and bruises. I'd be very surprised if one stopped a penetrating fracture - though I suppose if you fall into a clout nail on the ground then it might (though equally it might hold it straight and true, rather than letting it deflect to one side).


You are just fact sifting to suit your entranched position.

So some anti PPE posters admit that PPE aids visability.
You as an anti PPE poster now admit that helmets aid in reducing injuries.

All that is left is opinion on the scale of those benefits vs the cost and inconvienience.

For me, any benefit is worth the very small (nay zero when it comes to colours) inconvineience of using it.


So in all of the discussion, as alwys, it comes down to perspective. I side with the experts and wear hi vis and helmets. You don't.