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View Poll Results: What's the reason why most don't wear helmets?
Laziness/Apathy 29 16.96%
It looks daggy/'fashion' (i.e. don't want it to mess up hair) 40 23.39%
It's for sissies 35 20.47%
Convenience 16 9.36%
Other (specify) 51 29.82%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,898 posts, read 5,416,150 times
Reputation: 2169

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First off, it's not required by law here in NY. So that's one reason.

Second cycling isn't risky enough to require the use of helmets.
the risks involved with cycling have been greatly exaggerated by helmet proponents (aka Manufacturers) and government officials alike. Several studies have concluded that being a cyclist is as dangerous as being a pedestrian. Yet you would not expect politicians demanding that pedestrians wear a helmet, would you?

Third, helmets give a false sense of security.
Cyclists who wear a helmet might ride less carefully than those who do not. Car drivers on the other hand, also see helmeted cyclist differently, and approach them differently as well.

It is very interesting to see that countries with the highest bicycle ridership per capita (such as Denmark or Holland) have one the lowest rates of helmet use -and ironically enough- the best cycling safety records.


Wanna wear a helmet?
By all means, go ahead, but that doesn't mean everybody else should.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: San Diego
40,681 posts, read 36,529,991 times
Reputation: 24939
Quote:
Originally Posted by likeminas View Post
First off, it's not required by law here in NY. So that's one reason.

Second cycling isn't risky enough to require the use of helmets.
the risks involved with cycling have been greatly exaggerated by helmet proponents (aka Manufacturers) and government officials alike. Several studies have concluded that being a cyclist is as dangerous as being a pedestrian. Yet you would not expect politicians demanding that pedestrians wear a helmet, would you?

Third, helmets give a false sense of security.
Cyclists who wear a helmet might ride less carefully than those who do not. Car drivers on the other hand, also see helmeted cyclist differently, and approach them differently as well.

It is very interesting to see that countries with the highest bicycle ridership per capita (such as Denmark or Holland) have one the lowest rates of helmet use -and ironically enough- the best cycling safety records.


Wanna wear a helmet?
By all means, go ahead, but that doesn't mean everybody else should.
By all means test your options. The comparison to pedestrians is rather amusing since it would usually be jay walkers getting tagged by cars. Most peds that follow rules are pretty safe and spend little time in any actual street not marked as a cross walk. Cyclists spend a lot of time in these zones where you can reach out and touch cars going by.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:38 PM
 
753 posts, read 666,564 times
Reputation: 439
Beats me.

I wear a helmet for the same reason I buy insurance -- it's a reasonable hedge against possible misfortune.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
959 posts, read 1,386,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
By all means test your options. The comparison to pedestrians is rather amusing since it would usually be jay walkers getting tagged by cars. Most peds that follow rules are pretty safe and spend little time in any actual street not marked as a cross walk. Cyclists spend a lot of time in these zones where you can reach out and touch cars going by.
If this were true, then why are almost 50% of the pedestrian fatalities in Chicago of the hit-and-run variety? Usually drivers with nothing to hide aren't going to risk a felony by driving away.

Like most pedestrians, I've had many close calls due to cars not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk, making a turn too fast or threading the needle in a small gap between peds in the crosswalk, running red lights or stop signs, etc. Not to mention stopping in the crosswalk, forcing pedestrians to divert into the street or go behind the car (especially funny when the driver puts it into reverse and almost takes out the peds who had to divert behind the car).

I honestly don't feel much that much safer as a pedestrian than on my bike.

Speaking of helmets. The next time you read a news report about a crash between a car and a cyclist, pay attention to how the writer of the article and the commenters will focus on whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet. Doesn't matter if the driver was driving recklessly and is 100% at fault; they're just looking for a way to blame the victim.

Which is why I believe that a lot of this whole helmet debate comes down to absolving drivers of guilt when they hit us, not making cycling safer. Oh yeah that magic hat will save you...no need to drive more carefully or build you some protected bike lanes. And most cyclists have bought into it hook, line and sinker unfortunately. Bike commuting isn't an inherently dangerous activity, as long as drivers, cyclists and pedestrians obey the rules, and you have even average bike handling skills. (Not talking about MTB or roadies riding at high speeds here).

It is funny though hanging back behind the pack and watching all of those cyclists wearing helmets blow through red lights or ride against traffic though. Perhaps another discussion topic is that helmets are giving cyclists an unwarranted sense of invincibility.

As I mentioned some time ago in this thread, I still wear a helmet for visibility purposes (it's a white helmet, whereas my winter clothes are usually dark-colored) but would gladly ditch it if I could ride on a carefree bike path or real protected lane, and not the half-ass solutions popping up in most US cities.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
8,729 posts, read 12,580,131 times
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Of all the times I have "used" my helmet for its intended purpose, no automobiles were involved.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago
959 posts, read 1,386,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanTerra View Post
Of all the times I have "used" my helmet for its intended purpose, no automobiles were involved.
My comments are coming from the perspective as an urban commuter, and I can't speak for roadies, MTB, or suburban commuters as you guys have your own unique circumstances. But it seems like a lot of the helmet debate lately has been directed at urban commuters. In this situation, unless you're riding too fast for conditions, riding drunk, disobeying traffic laws, have the wrong type of bike (thin tires which can't handle potholes and metal grate bridges; clipless pedals etc.), or your bike handling skills suck, it's very difficult to fall completely on your own.

Of course, there's always a chance a freak accident will happen regardless...I've seen a jogger do a face plant tripping over his own feet. I've also seen a cyclist wipe out after riding straight into a curb for no apparent reason, so perhaps some people need helmets more than others.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
8,729 posts, read 12,580,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendu View Post
My comments are coming from the perspective as an urban commuter, and I can't speak for roadies, MTB, or suburban commuters as you guys have your own unique circumstances. But it seems like a lot of the helmet debate lately has been directed at urban commuters. In this situation, unless you're riding too fast for conditions, riding drunk, disobeying traffic laws, have the wrong type of bike (thin tires which can't handle potholes and metal grate bridges; clipless pedals etc.), or your bike handling skills suck, it's very difficult to fall completely on your own.

Of course, there's always a chance a freak accident will happen regardless...I've seen a jogger do a face plant tripping over his own feet. I've also seen a cyclist wipe out after riding straight into a curb for no apparent reason, so perhaps some people need helmets more than others.
I understand all that. I guess my point is that one shouldn't expect a helmet to be effective in protecting you from major incidents with motor vehicles. That would really be expecting too much. Riding within the rules of the road and bike handling skills will play a bigger role in protection. I was fortunate that my crashes, as they were due to either road imperfections or mechanical failures. no cars were involved. They were very effective as "skid-lids."
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,000,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanTerra View Post
I understand all that. I guess my point is that one shouldn't expect a helmet to be effective in protecting you from major incidents with motor vehicles. That would really be expecting too much. Riding within the rules of the road and bike handling skills will play a bigger role in protection. I was fortunate that my crashes, as they were due to either road imperfections or mechanical failures. no cars were involved. They were very effective as "skid-lids."
BINGO!! I don't expect my helmet to provide a magical force field. I just know it offers better protection than riding without a helmet. My youngest daughter was starting to give us grief about wearing a helmet when cycling or scootering around the neighborhood. Then one day she comes home with skinned knee from a fall casued by the chain coming off. She didn't hit her head, but she admitted that she was glad to have the helmet, evidently she came close to knocking her noggin.

And although there are a few who will never fall from their bicycles, generally there still are 2 types of cyclists: those who have fallen and those who have not fallen yet. For how I cycle, having helmet hair trumps cycling "naked" without a helmet.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Toledo
3,856 posts, read 7,895,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
By all means test your options. The comparison to pedestrians is rather amusing since it would usually be jay walkers getting tagged by cars. Most peds that follow rules are pretty safe and spend little time in any actual street not marked as a cross walk. Cyclists spend a lot of time in these zones where you can reach out and touch cars going by.
Not in Cincinnati where people are oblivious or often think that the yield to pedestrians law is a mere suggestion.

Two particular intersections are so bad that I've taken to carrying a flashlight when it dark or rainy. Of course that didn't help when a car nearly mowed me down during broad daylight. I constantly have to watch my back.

Sometimes it's actually safer to jaywalk. At least I can cross when I've determined that it is safe and not be at the mercy of a signal that some oblivious driver will ignore anyhow.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,898 posts, read 5,416,150 times
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Just the fact that you'd wear a helmet, implies that cycling is a risky activity.
but what is the helmet protecting us from?

The answer is kind of obvious; helmets are designed to protect us from a "head injury". But is a head-injury really a common type of bike accident?

Data from a Pro-helmet website reveals that:
773 bicyclists died on US roads in 2006, down just 11 from the year before. 92% (720) of them died in crashes with motor vehicles. About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.
So out of 540,000 cyclists visiting the emergency room, 67,000 had head injuries. That is about 8% of the total emergency visits and only a tiny 0.05% had head injuries serious enough to need hospitalization.
Another study conducted in Britain showed that "About half of cyclist's deaths are due to injuries not involving the head. About 50% of impact speeds are too great for helmets to provide protection. And about 50% of head impacts are outside of the helmet area"

My entire take on this issue is on my website here;
The bicycle helmet debate
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