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Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:40pm
Is this really the place for a helmet debate? We normally respect fatalities by not speculating on causes in case friends and relatives see the thread

Thanks geocycle, you're right. I won't post any more here and I suggest a mod moves the posts from the first question on helmets to the end to the helmets sub forum.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:39pm
geocycle wrote:Is this really the place for a helmet debate? We normally respect fatalities by not speculating on causes in case friends and relatives see the thread.

You're right. However this case jumps out as one where the helmet is significant - there is no car involved, head injuries were reported and no helmet was worn. I take it that we keep it theoretical but it's very human to be curious in this case - I don't think anyone isn't moved by what has happened. I'm sure no blame is being apportioned (or at least not meant).

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:33pm
sapperadam wrote:I will take my industry wording for this. Is it "reasonably practicable" for a cyclist to wear a helmet? … It is also why I don't understand why we always make comparisons to motorists and pedestrians wearing helmets. it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so. Cars have other mechanisms to protect occupants in a crash as do pedestrians to an extent (rules of the road etc, but this does need both sides to follow them and that's a different point).

Having additional protection doesn't lessen the fact that it is "resonably practicable". Around half of *all* survived traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur inside motor vehicles, so even though the head injury rate per mile or (less dramatically) per hour is lower than that for cycling, if helmets were effective then the absolute benefit would be many times greater. As it happens I have a driving helmet sitting here on my desk; there's no practical reason I couldn't wear it in my car (nor my cycling helmet).

Similar logic applies for pedestrians: figures for TBIs are hard to come by but per-mile fatality rates in road collisions are nearly 20% higher than for cycling and are around 3.5 times greater in absolute terms. The incident rate of head injuries as a subset of all serious injury casualties in road collisions for all three modes of transport are almost identical, so one can infer with reasonable confidence that, again, the overall benefit of walking helmets would be several times that for cycling. Again, it's hardly less practicable: you even see people walking around wearing them after they've got off their bike.

And I'm not sure how you can use "rules of the road" to argue as a reason to eschew helmets when walking or travelling by car but not for cycling.

sapperadam wrote:One point to note though, if he had been wearing a helmet and he survived the crash with little more than some cuts and brusies, would we have been discussing this and extolling the merits of helmets? I think not, there would have been nothing to report on.
climo wrote:You only hear of the bad accidents and not of the 'good' ones where helmets were worn. People just pick themselves up and carry on.

I'm afraid that's simply not true. The media is rife with stories of people who've been Definitely Saved by helmets. (Not to mention other things.)

climo wrote:I was in rehab with a doctor who had a head injury from skiing. He had no helmet and hit a tree. After 5 years private top class neuro rehab he could stand and, held by 2 physios, take 3-5 steps. Humbling to watch believe me. Anecdotal I know but proof for most people.

And have you heard of Michael Shumacher? Another anecdote, but one which—since they constitute proof for you—is "proof" that it's no more than a lottery.

Closer to home, you could look at the case of Daniel Squire and that of Kevin and Caroline MacDivitt. All struck squarely from behind at very similar points of very similar vans being driven at very similar speeds. If we take these two cases, helmets correlate with death and bare heads correlate with survival.

What do these anecdotes prove? Nothing. They're anecdotes.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:33pm
Is this really the place for a helmet debate? We normally respect fatalities by not speculating on causes in case friends and relatives see the thread.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:25pm
Anecdotal I know but proof for most people.

And that's the rub.

We *know* that anecdotal evidence is not, in general, borne out by controlled studies. That's why it's illegal to market a medicine without not just performing a controlled study, but having it approved by an independent regulator.

Anecdotes provide data to form a hypothesis; a properly controlled study tests the hypothesis.

Your hypothesis seems to be that cycle helmets offer significant protection to cyclists. Unfortunately, it's not a hypothesis supported by evidence, where there is much contradictory data from studies on cycle helmets. That in itself suggests any protection offered is small: if the effect were large, it should be obvious from studies.

Dismissing the value of a helmet in any individual accident would be foolish. Asserting that anecdotal data should be relied upon in coming to a judgement on the overall effectiveness of helmets would be equally foolish.

It's a mystery to me why cycle helmets are picked out as being suitable to subject to decision by anecdote, whereas no other similar innovations are. Perhaps you could let us know why you believe this to be appropriate?

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:07pm
At last a voice of reason esp the last para. You only hear of the bad accidents and not of the 'good' ones where helmets were worn. People just pick themselves up and carry on.

It isnt reason.
You dont hear of the crashes where people didnt have a helmet on and just pick themselves up and carry on. Holland shows us that the helmets saving lives like this just isnt happening in real life.
The same reasoning can apply to a crucifix equally as well as to a cycle helmet. The difference is that more people believe in helmets than in crucifixes.
I cannot see why anti cycle helmet people state that helmets on motorbikes are necessary because motorcycle accidents are more dangerous. Assuming that you don't get hit by your own bike why are they any different at say, 30mph to a cycle accident?

There are no anti-cycle helmet people on this thread yet.
A motorcycle that can only do 30mph is a moped. Most motorcycles are doing quite a bit more than 30mph the motorcycle helmets and helmet laws certainly had speeds greater than 30mph in mind.
Not many cyclists get up to 30mph and very few sustain that speed.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 1:00pm
The box reads:
"You have made a sound decision to purchase your Davies, Craig Motoring Helmet. Wear it and don’t feel self-conscious. Driving even for the most proficient is dangerous.

Ultimately, motoring helmets will be commonplace, but in the meantime, you will be a leader whilst those who may consider your good sense misplaced, will follow."


http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/05/motoring-helmets-for-real-high-risk.html

Can't see it on the Davies,Craig website now. Seems it didn't catch on.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 12:55pm
sapperadam wrote:I don't wish to preach too much about helmets here but something occurred to me reading this just now.

I work in an industry which is considered extremely dangerous and in fact I work on a site which includes nuclear installations so safety is, as you can imagine, absolutely paramount.

In terms of wearing a helmet on a bike, nobody will know for certain whether a helmet would have helped this poor chap, but, this is where I will take my industry wording for this. Is it "reasonably practicable" for a cyclist to wear a helmet? And the answer is clearly yes as so many of us do. That's the wording the coroner would look at and why the coroner makes suggestions about wearing helmets. It is also why I don't understand why we always make comparisons to motorists and pedestrians wearing helmets. it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so. Cars have other mechanisms to protect occupants in a crash as do pedestrians to an extent (rules of the road etc, but this does need both sides to follow them and that's a different point). Same with stabbing victims wearing stab vests!?! You compare apples and oranges and come up with bananas. If we as a community want to be taken seriously we need to stop doing this and compare apples with apples!

One point to note though, if he had been wearing a helmet and he survived the crash with little more than some cuts and brusies, would we have been discussing this and extolling the merits of helmets? I think not, there would have been nothing to report on.

At last a voice of reason esp the last para. You only hear of the bad accidents and not of the 'good' ones where helmets were worn. People just pick themselves up and carry on.

I cannot see why anti cycle helmet people state that helmets on motorbikes are necessary because motorcycle accidents are more dangerous. Assuming that you don't get hit by your own bike why are they any different at say, 30mph to a cycle accident? You're still likely to come off slightly to the side and scrape your head on the ground.
My physio was stopped at lights on his motorbike when he was T boned by a Volvo coming out of a side street at 20mph. Knocked sideways and scraped across the road, hitting his head on the kerb. He walked away (but with life threatening internal injuries) and credits his helmet with saving his life. That's his professional opinion.
My wife was, until recently, a world class competitive snowboarder. She's witnessed accidents where fellow helmeted snowboarders hit their head and only suffered concussion preventing, in multiple witnesses opinion, much worse damage.
I was in rehab with a doctor who had a head injury from skiing. He had no helmet and hit a tree. After 5 years private top class neuro rehab he could stand and, held by 2 physios, take 3-5 steps. Humbling to watch believe me.
Anecdotal I know but proof for most people.

It's your choice whether to wear one but please don't dismiss their value in many accidents.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 11:50am
sapperadam wrote: That's the wording the coroner would look at and why the coroner makes suggestions about wearing helmets.

+1

The coroner will definitely make some ill-informed, completely baseless comments about the need to wear a helmet while cycling. This will be widely reported in the press and so the nonsense gets repeated and the circus carries on. Will the inquest be informed properly about the actual science of what happened in this case? I don't think so.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 11:29am
it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so

Not so at all.

A helmet for a pedestrian is every bit as practical as for a cyclist. What is impractical about it?

For a motorist, even more so - no issues with overheating.

Think harder. It's nothing to do with practicality.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 11:16am
and pedestrians wearing helmets. it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so

I dont see how it is any more difficult for a pedestrian to wear a helmet than it is for a cyclist to wear one.
Let alone putting the not in capitals. In fact many cyclists dont bother taking their helmets off when they are walking their bikes.

Also we could declare any thing (crucifixes as an example) to be a safety aid and insist that they be worn on the grounds that it is "reasonably practical" to wear one while cycling.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 11:08am
I don't wish to preach too much about helmets here but something occurred to me reading this just now.

I work in an industry which is considered extremely dangerous and in fact I work on a site which includes nuclear installations so safety is, as you can imagine, absolutely paramount.

In terms of wearing a helmet on a bike, nobody will know for certain whether a helmet would have helped this poor chap, but, this is where I will take my industry wording for this. Is it "reasonably practicable" for a cyclist to wear a helmet? And the answer is clearly yes as so many of us do. That's the wording the coroner would look at and why the coroner makes suggestions about wearing helmets. It is also why I don't understand why we always make comparisons to motorists and pedestrians wearing helmets. it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so. Cars have other mechanisms to protect occupants in a crash as do pedestrians to an extent (rules of the road etc, but this does need both sides to follow them and that's a different point). Same with stabbing victims wearing stab vests!?! You compare apples and oranges and come up with bananas. If we as a community want to be taken seriously we need to stop doing this and compare apples with apples!

One point to note though, if he had been wearing a helmet and he survived the crash with little more than some cuts and brusies, would we have been discussing this and extolling the merits of helmets? I think not, there would have been nothing to report on.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:57am
Bez wrote:climo wrote:I would be interesting to know if the percentage of head injuries is rising at the same rate as the amount of people cycling.

That doesn't make sense. Do you mean "if the number of head injuries is rising at the same rate as the number of people cycling"? (Which would make sense and would be a reasonable start, but would still be flawed due to not differentiating where and how people ride.)

yes

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:45am
Bez wrote:horizon wrote:Bez: where are you on this? I probably accept what you are saying.

I'm with the first bit—where you say that it's a matter of conjecture.

Not the second bit—where you express the view that a helmet would have been useless, based entirely on conjecture.

Yes, it was just to counter climo's conjecture but otherwise we agree and I stand corrected.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:23am
A motorcycle helmet offers much greater protection than a cycle helmet does.

So if I was expecting a crash, or looking back in hindsight at a crash that happened, shouldnt I be calling for motorcycle helmets to have been worn at that instant?

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:17am
horizon wrote:Bez: where are you on this? I probably accept what you are saying.

I'm with the first bit—where you say that it's a matter of conjecture.

Not the second bit—where you express the view that a helmet would have been useless, based entirely on conjecture.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:12am
Bez wrote:I'm just amused by the statements to the effect that it's all wild conjecture—that "we will not know", and that "all the tools of forensic science cannot get us any further forward"—followed immediately by the conjecture that the entirely unreported "severity" of the crash was "enough to make a helmet useless".



Bez: where are you on this? I probably accept what you are saying.

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:11am
climo wrote:I said 'Your choice of course'. That isn't preaching.

Well, if I were to say "I ate at the Dog and Duck and got terrible food poisoning which I certainly wouldn't have got if I hadn't gone there. Your choice, of course…" I think it sounds just a bit preachy about the food at the Dog and Duck, doesn't it?

climo wrote:Please don't dismiss my experience as irrelevant as you weren't there.

I don't wish to dismiss it as irrelevant, it's not at all (certainly not to you or your views on the matter, though it may well be to this specific incident). I just wanted to point out that if you say "I had a horrendous head injury which would certainly have been mitigated or even eliminated had I been wearing a helmet. Your choice, of course…" then I think it sounds just a bit preachy.

climo wrote:I would be interesting to know if the percentage of head injuries is rising at the same rate as the amount of people cycling.

That doesn't make sense. Do you mean "if the number of head injuries is rising at the same rate as the number of people cycling"? (Which would make sense and would be a reasonable start, but would still be flawed due to not differentiating where and how people ride.)

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

18 May 2016 - 10:08am
eileithyia wrote:All conjecture of course, if they had not been to the pub... perhaps they might not have crashed..... or had better control of their bikes.... etc etc etc... we could go on and on with the theme of what ifs.......

On those issues (the what ifs) we may already be able to draw some reasonable, even if personal, conclusions. On the helmet issue, I live in some sort of dreamland where two men in white coats and tape measures and various other tools actually verify whether a helmet would have been useful. Is it case of we cannot know or simply will not know? Does the science in any practical form exist should the will be there to use it?

Re: Commute to train then walk other end:rucksack/panniers-

18 May 2016 - 9:50am
In the days when I cycled in different clothes from those I work in, I used to keep my suit and ties at the office - and even a spare pair of shoes for when I'd got those really soaked on the way in. That way you only have to carry more limited amounts of clothing that might fit in a briefcase pannier. If that is an option for you?
 
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