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Helmet-less riding?

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This topic contains 169 replies, has 50 voices, and was last updated by  Ahlir 5 days, 12 hrs.

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jonawebb

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Jun 17 2013 at 3:20pm #

@reddan, that’s basically Steven’s objection, too, but at least one of the studies from the Cochrane review explicitly considers it, McDermott 1993: ‘Protective effect of helmets does not appear to be due to cautious riding behavior by helmeted cyclists. This is based on observations that “collision of cyclists” head, face, or helmet with motor vehicles occurred slightly more often to helmeted casualities than to unhelmeted casualties (17.6% versus 14.5%).’
It’s also interesting to note that one of the claims people sometimes make about helmets is that they don’t really help because cyclists with helmets just engage in more risky behavior (which McDermott sort of supports). Now we’re saying that cyclists with helmets are more cautious. Shows how important it is to actually measure.
Also, BTW, these multiple studies show a large protective effect against head injury — it’s not slight. Of course, you’re not protected against anything else — but the brain is the one organ in your body where even a small injury can seriously mess up your life.


buffalo buffalo

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Jun 19 2013 at 10:17am #

Not quite sure the date on it, but Bicycling magazine has a massive article on helmets and cycling concussions: http://www.bicycling.com/senseless/


jonawebb

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Jun 19 2013 at 10:27am #

Yeah, I saw that, even wrote to the CPSC to ask about what they were doing to update helmet standards to handle concussions better. But as a result of this discussion, I now think that helmets are so good (and serious bicycle accidents so rare) that it’s probably a waste of time. If you’re wearing a helmet, you have a very good chance of avoiding brain injury, including concussion, if you’re in an accident. Maybe a better designed helmet would make that chance even better, but it’s probably not worth it.


Marko82

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Jun 19 2013 at 11:47am #


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Jun 19 2013 at 11:51am #

http://bubblepunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/devo.jpg


Mick

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Feb 23 2015 at 10:42pm #

@jonawebb et al, those things would reduce accidents, but not head injury. So the case control studies could account for that by comparing total injuries to head injuries.

That seems reasonable – even necessary – for a scientific study on helmets. It isn’t usually done.

It is the major tactic of DL Robinson in opposing helmet laws.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457500000737

Have there been people who have used that sort of control and found helmets to be effective? (Serious question. I’d like to know, but am too lazy to search.)


jonawebb

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Feb 24 2015 at 7:59am #

@Mick, you’ve got a scientific background. Read the review I posted earlier (the abstract is now at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001855/abstract) and make up your own mind.


Mick

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Feb 24 2015 at 11:57am #

I’ve read enough Thompson , Thompson and Rivera to disbelieve whatever they say – even if it just “hello.”

They are my go-to example for “How science goes wrong.”


cowchip

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Feb 24 2015 at 4:42pm #

I think if you got brains you would want a helmet but that is your decision . I think the most dangerous thing most of us do is drive a car and I would think a helmet / neck brace and a 4 point safety harness would be a good idea especially for Highway travel but we would not want to mess up your hair and make car travel inconvenient !


Ahlir

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Feb 24 2015 at 10:50pm #

I’ve had 2 OTBs. (Yes, I’m that stupid).

In the first case I think I landed mostly on my face and ended up with a fractured cervical bone. Not sure the helmet did that much good that time.

The second time I landed on my head and cracked my helmet (also, had a a concussion). I just bought a new helmet; though the concussion was annoying (I was out for ~2 days and I still have some residual effects). But I’m told that the alternative would most likely have been a DoA.

As all other regular riders, I’m convinced that I know what I’m doing and that I’m always in control. But I still wear a helmet.

I don’t feel a helmet is necessary for share-bikes. The bikes are too clunky and slow to let you get yourself into trouble. Of course there’s the cars, but I’m not sure personal protection helps all that much in those cases.

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