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Boxer Gary Mason Has Died


Papa Serf

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Very true. However not all people who wear helmets assume they are unbreakable.

If I am flying off my bike head first towards a kerb I want a helmet on. Simple as that. I have had a crash when snowbaording that I am pretty sure would have left me in a Bulgarian hospital with a fractured skull for a few months.

That is enough for me never to head out on a bike/board/skis again without one on !!

If you're flying off a bike head first towards a kerb, a cycling helmet isn't really designed to protect you in that situation, being only tested (Snell Rating) to an impact at a distance of three feet at a speed of 12 mph, but good luck to you. A motorcycle helmet might be better for you if you're worried about that scenario.

Personally I prefer to trust to a good pair of gloves as I think it's more likely my hands would hit the ground first.

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Hmmmm. Bike helmets... I've had this discussion many times, and for what it is worth, I've commuted in London by bike for 20 years, raced, done European events yadda yadda.

1) Compulsion is a bad idea. Overall, you're better off taking the health benefits from cycling at a population level and accepting the risks of some injuries. If you compel people to wear helmets, they are likely to cycle less.

2) Cycle helmets do not protect you from being hit by fast moving cars.

3) Cycle helmets do offer considerable protection in slow speed incidents that can and do cause brain injury. I can't be bothered to google the details, but very recently some prominent cycle campaigning chap fell off and whacked his head on a kerb stone - killed him. In this case, a helmet would almost certainly have saved him. I've been hit by a car and landed head first in the road - it didn't hurt that much because the helmet took the brunt of it. I have no idea whether it avoided injury, but at the very least it avoided leaving a large chunk of my scalp on the road...

4) There is not much evidence for effectiveness (because road accidents don't happen under lab conditions) - but there is even less evidence for the "rotational injury" argument.

5) Another thing that campaigners go on about is that car drivers are likely to drive closer to you (and/or be more aggressive) when you are wearing a helmet. In support of this they quote a Transport Research Laboratory paper (472 comes to mind, again can't be bothered to google it) which asks questions about drivers perceptions of

cyclists. At no point does this paper mention wearing helmets and a linkage to driver attitude - this point is utter ********.

6) Campaigners also like to point out that helmets are only tested for low speed impacts up to about 12 mph. They then point out that the driver is likely to be doing far more than that, so a helmet is pointless. However, the speed of the car is largely irrelevant: it is the speed at which your head hits whatever it is going to hit. Sometimes it is indeed the car at 40 - tough. In other cases it will be a glancing blow off the road - tough if you're not wearing a helmet. I recall a dopey (police) driver who took me out on Southwark Bridge by pulling a u-turn. My speed was 24 mph, his was about 15. So a helmet would be useless? Well no, because I went over his roof and slid - head first - onto the road, probably hitting the ground at about 10 mph. No injuries.

My take on it? I wear a helmet because it may well protect against some injuries. I wear gloves for the same reason: falling off and skinning your hands really hurts, however I recognise that they do not provide my hands with invincible protection. I really don't care what everyone else does, but I'd rather they made their minds up based on evidence, rather than froth and misconception. Part of the reason for the vehment "anti helmet" position is that campaigners fear that if everyone starts wearing them, then compulsion will follow. I'd rather not sacrifice any potential benefit to myself for some wider objective...

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If you're flying off a bike head first towards a kerb, a cycling helmet isn't really designed to protect you in that situation, being only tested (Snell Rating) to an impact at a distance of three feet at a speed of 12 mph, but good luck to you. A motorcycle helmet might be better for you if you're worried about that scenario.

Personally I prefer to trust to a good pair of gloves as I think it's more likely my hands would hit the ground first.

It's not designed to help you ? Really ? :lol:

Who cares what it is tested to - it will offer MORE protection than my bare skull so that is a bonus whatever happens.

My take on it? I wear a helmet because it may well protect against some injuries. I wear gloves for the same reason: falling off and skinning your hands really hurts, however I recognise that they do not provide my hands with invincible protection.

Yep thats how I see it too. I honestly don't get these 'A helmet wont help you in an accident' people. Lunatics IMO !! If it potentially could help you in one accident out of 100 I would still wear one. You would be mental not to.

Let us do a little experiment with those who think helmets dont help. Lets get them on a bike and get them to cycle along a test road. We will inform them at some point we have a machine that will sweep out and knock them off their bike onto the hard concrete.

We will then ask them if they would like to use the helmet we offer prior to the experiment taking place...

Let's see how many think helmets are not helpful at that point. I get a funny feeling the numbers would shrink rapidly. :rolleyes:

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Two months ago I was driving through Guildford town center and witnessed a cyclist go head over heels and the first part of his body to make contact with the ground was his head.

His brakes locked when passing over a stupid metal road cover. Being a first aider I pulled over and helped him from the road. He had already got to his feet but was staggering around. No cars were involved. I sat him on the pavement and called the emergency services. He had no cut but a huge graze on his temple that raised and seemed to be getting wider by the second. He vomited and was unsure of his age and where he was.

The ambulance crew arrived and they suspected he had a fractured skull and took him off to hospital but they did say to me that he would have avoided this if he was wearing a helmet.

My young children witnessed the incident and my efforts to help him as a first aider. They now understand why we insist they wear helmets when cycling.

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Two months ago I was driving through Guildford town center and witnessed a cyclist go head over heels and the first part of his body to make contact with the ground was his head.

His brakes locked when passing over a stupid metal road cover. Being a first aider I pulled over and helped him from the road. He had already got to his feet but was staggering around. No cars were involved. I sat him on the pavement and called the emergency services. He had no cut but a huge graze on his temple that raised and seemed to be getting wider by the second. He vomited and was unsure of his age and where he was.

The ambulance crew arrived and they suspected he had a fractured skull and took him off to hospital but they did say to me that he would have avoided this if he was wearing a helmet.

My young children witnessed the incident and my efforts to help him as a first aider. They now understand why we insist they wear helmets when cycling.

Yep all it takes is one incident and people quickly appreciate the comfort of having something sold over their skull !!

I have had 2 accidents snowboarding I am pretty sure would have ended up with a cracked skull - if I had no helmet on.

People can tell me all they want that they don't work. I think I would rather trust the big cracks I got on my helmet though.

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Yep all it takes is one incident and people quickly appreciate the comfort of having something sold over their skull !!

I have had 2 accidents snowboarding I am pretty sure would have ended up with a cracked skull - if I had no helmet on.

People can tell me all they want that they don't work. I think I would rather trust the big cracks I got on my helmet though.

I can`t believe anyone would think it`s not worth wearing a helmet. Because of my first aid and logistical skills I was asked to help support a 12 man cycle team attempting The Route des Grande Alpes... From Geneva to South of France across the Alps. After about 14 cols (Peaks) they decided to split into 2 x teams and race the 6th and last day. By the time we got to the South of France it was very very warm indeed and one of the less able cyclists decided not to wear a helmet. He was quite slow but had completed every days cycling up to that point. Two of his team mates who had already hit the peak decided to go back down and offer him support by both grabbing his handle bar (Stupid sods :rolleyes: ) and help him up the last 300 meters. He ended up falling off and smacking his unprotected bonce. He had an egg shaped lump on the back of his head and felt sick.. He was the only one unable to complete this epic cycle ride by amateurs. He missed out on the victory cruise downhill all the way to the Sea at Menton.

He was gutted. He was warned!!

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I can`t believe anyone would think it`s not worth wearing a helmet.

I do think it's not particularly worth wearing a helmet, because the risks are remarkably small. If we look at the Government figures for 2009 that I mentioned earlier then we find that 105 cyclists were killed. On page 81 of http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/162469/221412/221549/227755/rrcgb2009articles.pdf (PDF) we find that

A specialist biomechanical assessment of over 100 police forensic cyclist fatality reports predicted that between 10 per cent and 16 per cent could have been prevented if they had worn an appropriate cycle helmet.

Of the on-road cyclist casualties admitted to hospital in England

10 per cent suffered injuries of a type and to a part of the head that a cycle helmet may have mitigated or prevented; and a further

20 per cent suffered ‘open wounds to the head’, some of which are likely to have been to a part of the head that a cycle helmet may have mitigated or prevented

So universal helmet wearing for cyclists might save 10 or 20 lives a year. Given that 500 pedestrians were killed in 2009 and that

Pedestrians were more likely to be admitted to hospital with a head or face injury than other road users, 46 per cent having such an injury in 2009 compared to 33 per cent of road casualties overall.

it would seem likely that helmets for pedestrians could save a great many lives; but it would be seen as absolutely mad to suggest such a thing. Why then is it seen as reprehensible to cycle bare-headed when the chances of a helmet saving your life are really rather tiny?

If people want to wear helmets when they're cycling, then fine. As someone else suggested, it's the possibility of compulsion that worries me. Yes, a helmet may save your life, but it'd probably make just as much sense to wear a helmet every time you walk anywhere. The disparity in the perception of the risk is astonishing: walking-helmets would be ridiculous, but cycling's seen as being so incredibly dangerous that it's imperative that a helmet be worn every time you venture outside. Really, it's not all that bad.

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I do think it's not particularly worth wearing a helmet, because the risks are remarkably small. If we look at the Government figures for 2009 that I mentioned earlier then we find that 105 cyclists were killed. On page 81 of http://www.dft.gov.u...009articles.pdf (PDF) we find that

So universal helmet wearing for cyclists might save 10 or 20 lives a year. Given that 500 pedestrians were killed in 2009 and that

it would seem likely that helmets for pedestrians could save a great many lives; but it would be seen as absolutely mad to suggest such a thing. Why then is it seen as reprehensible to cycle bare-headed when the chances of a helmet saving your life are really rather tiny?

If people want to wear helmets when they're cycling, then fine. As someone else suggested, it's the possibility of compulsion that worries me. Yes, a helmet may save your life, but it'd probably make just as much sense to wear a helmet every time you walk anywhere. The disparity in the perception of the risk is astonishing: walking-helmets would be ridiculous, but cycling's seen as being so incredibly dangerous that it's imperative that a helmet be worn every time you venture outside. Really, it's not all that bad.

Please do not allow these facts to fall into the hands of the health and safety loonies

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I do think it's not particularly worth wearing a helmet, because the risks are remarkably small. If we look at the Government figures for 2009 that I mentioned earlier then we find that 105 cyclists were killed. On page 81 of http://www.dft.gov.u...009articles.pdf (PDF) we find that

So universal helmet wearing for cyclists might save 10 or 20 lives a year. Given that 500 pedestrians were killed in 2009 and that

it would seem likely that helmets for pedestrians could save a great many lives; but it would be seen as absolutely mad to suggest such a thing. Why then is it seen as reprehensible to cycle bare-headed when the chances of a helmet saving your life are really rather tiny?

If people want to wear helmets when they're cycling, then fine. As someone else suggested, it's the possibility of compulsion that worries me. Yes, a helmet may save your life, but it'd probably make just as much sense to wear a helmet every time you walk anywhere. The disparity in the perception of the risk is astonishing: walking-helmets would be ridiculous, but cycling's seen as being so incredibly dangerous that it's imperative that a helmet be worn every time you venture outside. Really, it's not all that bad.

Well if one of those saved lives or scar free non-concussed heads is mine then great.

I don't think people should have to wear them. I just think they are taking extra risk by not doing it. And whilst risk is part and parcel of life, whenever I see a van or taxi driver I think people must be insane not to wear a helmet on the roads.

How do most pedestrians die ? They actively walk in front of a moving vehicle that is travelling at speed. Very few cyclists die in the same manner - I imagine. They actually go out of their way to avoid these fast moving vehicles - and still many of them get hit by cars.

I don't think you can simply compare the numbers. Two very different things. Pedestrians, basically speaking, kill themselves. Cyclists are, generally speaking, killed by others. If you are mega careful and a pedestrian the chances of getting smacked by a car are almost zero. You cannot say the same for cyclists. When cycling your life is in the hands of others. That is what scares me most. I think many people are ******ing idiots !!

That is why wearing anything that may help you out whilst cycling on the roads is a good idea IMO.

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Got to be honest, the standards on the road of cyclists are generally apalling, not just on the lanes but in urban spaces. They seem to think many rules don't apply to them, cycle way too fast in some places and what's with riding 2 a breast on narrow country lanes? Selfish.

I'm very surprised that only 10 (bad as that is) were killed in London last year.

Was Mason wearing a helmet? Not that that would have stopped a white van, but I justy can't believe how many of these folks won't wear them.

I agree, though I'm a very keen cyclist it majorly p!sses me off when cyclists go through red lights, prob since I've had my son.

ps it's entirely legal to ride 2 or more abreast on cycles anywhere I think, but prob selfish, and unwise..

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I do think it's not particularly worth wearing a helmet, because the risks are remarkably small. If we look at the Government figures for 2009 that I mentioned earlier then we find that 105 cyclists were killed. On page 81 of http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/162469/221412/221549/227755/rrcgb2009articles.pdf (PDF) we find that

So universal helmet wearing for cyclists might save 10 or 20 lives a year. Given that 500 pedestrians were killed in 2009 and that

it would seem likely that helmets for pedestrians could save a great many lives; but it would be seen as absolutely mad to suggest such a thing. Why then is it seen as reprehensible to cycle bare-headed when the chances of a helmet saving your life are really rather tiny?

If people want to wear helmets when they're cycling, then fine. As someone else suggested, it's the possibility of compulsion that worries me. Yes, a helmet may save your life, but it'd probably make just as much sense to wear a helmet every time you walk anywhere. The disparity in the perception of the risk is astonishing: walking-helmets would be ridiculous, but cycling's seen as being so incredibly dangerous that it's imperative that a helmet be worn every time you venture outside. Really, it's not all that bad.

I hate to say it, but I've been mountain biking for 15 years, including downhilling - (ski lift assisted riding in the alps on heavy duty suspension bikes) and I can honestly say I've only banged my head about twice in many a fall. Trouble is, the speed you're going is the speed you hit the ground at & having said that, it only takes once to have to learn to talk & walk again, if you're lucky.

I've always thought cross country mountain biking or 40mph on a downhill bike, covered in body armour & wearing a full face helmet, is far safer than being a road rider with tonnes of metal inches away controlled by total strangers.

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My husband broke his collar bone, 4 ribs and his elbow when he came off his push bike on a cycle holiday. His body was covered in scratches. bruises and roadburn marks and the lycra fabric of his top and shorts were shredded/melted through friction in quite a few places. He spent a week in a French hospital.

His helmet was FUBAR. split in a couple of places.

Not a mark on his actual head though....

up until that point I hadn't realised just how important helmets were. But when you see someone in the state he was in and when you see how these helmets do take the force of a head impact... its a no brainer (no pun intended!!). I know its already been said that we all have anecdotes. Just adding mine, FWIW.

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My husband broke his collar bone, 4 ribs and his elbow when he came off his push bike on a cycle holiday. His body was covered in scratches. bruises and roadburn marks and the lycra fabric of his top and shorts were shredded/melted through friction in quite a few places. He spent a week in a French hospital.

Ouch!

I know its already been said that we all have anecdotes. Just adding mine, FWIW.

It would have been better if the accident hadn't happened in the first place. Maybe a clear head not overheated by thick layers of unnatural hydrocarbons would have made all the difference?

Obviously I don't know your particular case. It's entirely possible he'd have been less injured if he'd been drunk at the time, as a more relaxed fall is much less likely to lead to broken bones. That's close analogy to the protection the helmet may have offered.

But setting aside anecdotes, the statistics still tell us helmets do NOT reduce overall rates of death and serious injury, and in some cases are associated with significantly *higher* risk.

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If a motorist chooses not to wear one and kills himself, that is his responsibility and his decision. It's odd how critics of a nanny state are in favour of compulsory seatbelts. It should be up to the individual, since the individual is not hurting anyone but themselves.

Have you seen the videos of what happens to rear passengers not wearing seatbelts in head on collisions? They tend to take out the front seat passengers on their way through the windscreen.

re. cycle helmets. It's currently a personal choice, rather than being legislated upon. I stood out recently in Holland for wearing one when almost nobody else was. Anybody wearing a helmet there is almost guaranteed to be a tourist.

It keeps the rain off my face, gives me something else to attach flashy lights to, and I want that extra inch of cushioning between my skull and whatever my skull is about to hit at 20mph. As a test, try having someone smack you around the head with, say, a hardback book, quite hard, once while wearing a cycle helmet and once while not. Report back.

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re. cycle helmets. It's currently a personal choice, rather than being legislated upon. I stood out recently in Holland for wearing one when almost nobody else was. Anybody wearing a helmet there is almost guaranteed to be a tourist.

Yep. Dutch cyclists also have a far lower rate of head injury than UK ones. They've clearly got something right!

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I'd be interested to see evidence for that. If it's true, I imagine it's because much of Holland's road network successfully separates cyclists and cars by means of a comprehensive system of cycle lanes, rather than having anything to do with helmets.

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I'd be interested to see evidence for that. If it's true, I imagine it's because much of Holland's road network successfully separates cyclists and cars by means of a comprehensive system of cycle lanes, rather than having anything to do with helmets.

And the fact that far more people cycle in Holland - so when driving their vehicle are far more likely to be careful around cyclists.

I am mega careful around cyclists. Probably more than I need to be - but I would rather that than knock someone off their bike.

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Thats a pretty poor comparision. 'Road users'.

The vast majority will be wearing a seatbelt and many will be in cars with airbags. For the majority of non serious road accidents I doubt head and face injuries are very common. Whereas for a pedestrian being hit by any vehicle ? Very good chance they will be flung to the ground where their head will be hit.

I honestly cannot believe this discussion is even taking place - and that some people out there think wearing a helmet is more dangerous than not ?!

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