If you didn’t get enough here, then you might as well join in on what is highly likely to turn into a fray over there.
Posted 1.8.09 in The Kitchen Sink | Bookmark or Share
Carlton had his commentary about that Consumer Reports article.
I propose a simple heads/tails solution. We find out if this guy suffered brain damage. If no, we ban the manufacture and sale of helmets. If yes, make them mandatory.
if we ban the sale of helmets can we make umbrella carrying while cycling mandatory. clearly the man is prepared for his trip over the bars… that umbrella will act as a parachute slowing his descent back to the rain filled puddle.
Is that the Penguin, or is Mary Poppins brother?
That guy is about to make like Mary Poppins with that umbrella. His noggin was surely saved by the magic of flight.
OK, fine with me. Let’s start an umbrella thread! :)
I’m of two minds here:
1) I’ve been in two serious cycling accidents, one of which would probably been much worse if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet. In that case it was the only thing keeping the rest of my head away from the pavement, yet I still sustained a nasty facial road rash and cracked a tooth in the process.
2) Then again, whether you would ever need a helmet has a lot to do with the way you ride. That night I was speeding home in a foul mood, and neither I nor the driver who caused me to crash decided that the stop sign was worth paying attention to. If I hadn’t been going to so fast, I would’ve seen the car and been able to stop in time.
I’m pretty religious about wearing a helmet when I’m riding around in San Francisco, but it didn’t even occur to me that I should be wearing one when I spent a couple of weeks in Copenhagen last month. It seems to me that the need to wear one has a lot more to do with the surrounding environment (road conditions, proximity to motor vehicles, distance between traffic signals, etc.) than some common danger inherent to cycling.
I say make everyone wear a helmet; whether they are driving, bicycling, running, jogging, hiking, ice skating, performing gymnastics, break dancing, swimming in a pool (they might hit their head on the pool wall) or doing anything where they might bonk their head. Especially force them to wear a helmet in the bathtub or shower and on icy days. I don’t think we can allow people to go through life without a helmet on……….its just too darn dangerous!!!!
To Helmet or Not… We will never agree… what I think we can agree on is that adults should have the option of wearing it or not. I personally rode bike in my youth and wasn’t even aware of the existence of helmets. In the last 15 years, I have never ridden without a helmet, because I feel naked without it.
Just my .02 cents!
I think df bikes should be outlawed if that guy had only been on a recumbent he would have just gotten wet and been fine…
So Perry, what did you find out? :o)
Holy Handlebars, forget the helmet issue, let’s just hope the poor dude was wearing a cup!
LOL… no kidding!
To answer the question: Not yet.
Could it also be that if you wore a helmet in Copenhagen you would have stood out, and maybe been the source of unwanted attention? In San Francisco you would just be part of the crowd.
I think a lot of helmet wearing has to do with a natural human instinct to get along. I know a person who wears a helmet when she rides a bicycle but also sends texts while driving. The reason is there is someone to tell her to wear a helmet (she never bikes alone) but no one to nag her about the texting (besides me). Saftey is about as high on her priority list as … well let’s say it’s probably not on her list.
It is kinda difficult to associate with official bikedom here in the states with out wearing a helmet or providing an explanation for why you choose not to. Most organized clubs and charity rides have mandatory bike helmet laws. I’m sure this has to do with some strategy to avoid legal liability if something goes wrong.
So not knowing anything about you, I am going to go out on a limb and say that you would feel odd for wearing a helmet in Copenhagen for the same reason you would feel odd for not wearing a helmet in San Francisco. I just don’t think it has anything to do with safety.
Here’s how I look at it: the need for helmets corresponds to our collective social maturity. America is adolecent at best, so I’m wearing a helmet for the time being.
I posted on the earlier helmet thread, and I still don’t like helmets, and I still wear the best one I can afford every time I ride. Why? Because a helmet is the only PPE that we can get, as crappy as it is and as little as it protects.
Although others have alluded to it, I would like to comment that there are actually 2 separate issues here. The first is the risk of being involved in an accident, which is presumably subject to the amount of cycling you do, and the environment in which you do it, e.g. anti-cycling city vs cycling-friendly rural area etc.
The second is the risk of damage as the result of an accident. The results of an accident in either environment may be identical. Wearing a helmet only in what is considered to be a high-risk environment has absolutely no effect on the risk of damage as the result of an accident.
While I have some sympathy for those who choose not to wear a helmet, I also feel strongly that they must accept responsiblity for their choice, i.e. not wearing a helmet. If an investigation shows that non-wearing of a helmet contributed 40% to the extent of a particular injury, it is appropriate for insurance to pay only for 60% of the injury. While there is always room for argument about the extent of the self-contribution to the damage, I believe the principle holds.
If the thought of not being fully reimbursed for head-related medical injuries bothers you, there is a simple solution. Wear a helmet all of the time.