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  #101  
Old 08.08.2012, 12:11
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I would LOVE to see the "proof" of this.
As I'm sure has been said before, both sides of this argument (cycle helmets in general; it's not actually related to the OP which is about children) have various research papers and stats which they use to try and prove the unprovable.

The "making cycle helmets mandatory stops people cycling, and the health benefits outweigh the perceived benefits of wearing a helmet" comes from Australia. After cycle helmets became compulsory, cycling activity reduced.

It's also likely to stop all the future plans, and current schemes, for cycle hire in major cities. People grab these bikes (often free for short periods for registered people) when they suddenly decide they want to shoot off somewhere. Cycle helmets can't be provided (they need to be bought to fit) and people aren't going to walk around with a helmet all day on the offchance they may jump on a hire bike once a week.

As I say - that's the argument which is put forward.

I'm against compulsory helmet wearing, and MY justification is the (I believe also unproven) people saying that rotational neck injuries increase and wearing a helmet causes more serious injury than it protects against. ("larger" head hits the ground quicker and harder than if you weren't wearing a helmet, and then rotates sharply as helmets are pointed at the front.)

However, even I know that I'm using an argument which might well not be true, just to justify my behaviour.

Basically, this discussion will never be won, and never never never be won in a random forum like this one. So there's no point in trying.
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  #102  
Old 08.08.2012, 12:26
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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The "making cycle helmets mandatory stops people cycling, and the health benefits outweigh the perceived benefits of wearing a helmet" comes from Australia. After cycle helmets became compulsory, cycling activity reduced.
That bit I got and sort of makes sense. You get the "nobody's telling me what to do" brigade ditching the bike because someone's told them to put on a helmet, which I guess is inevitable.

The bit I didn't get of RichardBurton's logic was that obesity would increase because of it. It just raised a smile with me that he was referring to pro-helmet "propaganda" in one post when he failed to see the irony with his claim that people who are are made to wear a cycling helmet and subsequently reduce or abandon their cycling will get fat.

I am always wary of people who claim to be experts then dish out some outlandish unquantifiable argument to ram their points home. If he's trying to sell the "don't wear a helmet" side of things I think he'll have to rethink his story.
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  #103  
Old 08.08.2012, 12:53
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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It may seem like 'common sense' again, but it really isn't. As an analogy, would you consider that a seat belt that would break in a >20kph impact would give any protection in a 70kph one?
Yes, it would. Because the energy applied up to the tensile point of the seat belt would still be dissipated. ie, the belt would not instantly snap - it would increase tension up to it's tensile point then break. During this phase it is still slowing down the moving chest area.

Admittedly it would happen over a very short timeframe, and the contribution it makes might be small, but it would still strain before snapping. Even materials as weak as tissue paper do this.

For a helmet to be 100% ineffective in a 70kph accident, it would need to shatter and dissipate before the skull applied any compression to the styrofoam. Which would be impossible.
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  #104  
Old 12.08.2012, 23:05
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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That bit I got and sort of makes sense. You get the "nobody's telling me what to do" brigade ditching the bike because someone's told them to put on a helmet, which I guess is inevitable.

The bit I didn't get of RichardBurton's logic was that obesity would increase because of it. It just raised a smile with me that he was referring to pro-helmet "propaganda" in one post when he failed to see the irony with his claim that people who are are made to wear a cycling helmet and subsequently reduce or abandon their cycling will get fat.

I am always wary of people who claim to be experts then dish out some outlandish unquantifiable argument to ram their points home. If he's trying to sell the "don't wear a helmet" side of things I think he'll have to rethink his story.
I'm afraid that far from being outlandish and unquantifiable, there is considerable research suggesting that helmet laws increase obesity and reduce life expectancy. Just a few examples, but I'm sure that there are plenty more:

http://www.cycle-helmets.com/helmet-health.html

http://theconversation.edu.au/ditchi...-for-health-42

http://www.slideshare.net/sharon_Cam...y-in-australia

http://zakka.dk/cykelhjelm/CTC_Helmet_Law_Brochure.pdf

It seems incontrovertible that if you reduce the number of people doing something which is likely to make them live longer, the effect will be to reduce life expectancy.

The best summation of the arguments that I can find is at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html which puts both sides and I'd really recommend reading it to anyone as basic background to the debate.
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  #105  
Old 12.08.2012, 23:16
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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For a helmet to be 100% ineffective in a 70kph accident, it would need to shatter and dissipate before the skull applied any compression to the styrofoam. Which would be impossible.
Most helmets fail by cracking, which absorbs only a tiny amount of energy. Helmets are supposed to work by absorbing energy by being compressed, which would absorb much more energy. A simple test is to try crushing a helmet in your hand, which is quite difficult because the foam is designed to resist that crushing. Now try to snap it in your hands, which is very easy to do and takes very little energy.

A helmet which has cracked without significant crushing has failed to provide any level of protection, despite the number of people who are convinced that it has saved their life.

At the speeds likely to result in serious brain injury, helmets do not provide significant protection, and they increase the risk of the most dangerous head injury, rotational. If helmets did provide significant protection, then the countries which have helmet laws would show the effect of reduced deaths to cyclists, but this has not occurred.
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  #106  
Old 13.08.2012, 05:35
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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An interesting statistic is that in Holland, 13% of the cyclists attending hospital as a result of a bicycle accident wear helmets, despite the fact that helmets are worn by only 1% of the cyclists. The only explanation for this is that putting a helmet on makes you take more risks, and make it much more likely that you will be involved in an injury accident.
Lol. I am afraid you will need to repeat that statistics course again... there is absolutely no causal correlation at all and I can come up with many other explanations... but having lived there, the most logical ones seem:
a) people who use their bicycles more frequently than others are more likely to have an accident and therefore buy a helmet in the first place.
b) Serious road bikers are more likely to have an accident than the average Dutch on a grandma bike and will therefore buy a helmet.

We all don't have the data - but I would bet you are mixing cause and effect: People who do cycling as a sport do in fact take more risk and THEREFORE buy a helmet - not the other way around.

I fully agree that something as light as a bicycle helmet will make little difference if a road biker hits a car at 50 kmh. But we are discussing kids and they are fairly likely to simply fall by themselves at some 5 kmh. And that's exactly where these helmets do help.
That said do I find it great that the Swiss government made a cost-benefit analysis and based their decision on the estimate that the costs to enforce the law is in no relation to the percent of raised usage of helmets. I would love all governments to work that logically.
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  #107  
Old 13.08.2012, 07:20
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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The "making cycle helmets mandatory stops people cycling, and the health benefits outweigh the perceived benefits of wearing a helmet" comes from Australia. After cycle helmets became compulsory, cycling activity reduced.
This is probably more to do with there are basically no decent cycle paths in most Australian cities forcing bikes and cars to be together added with the cost of bikes and helmets makes Switzerland look like a bargain, so even this study has conclusions that are not very well founded!
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  #108  
Old 13.08.2012, 20:23
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I'm afraid that far from being outlandish and unquantifiable, there is considerable research suggesting that helmet laws increase obesity and reduce life expectancy. Just a few examples, but I'm sure that there are plenty more:

http://www.cycle-helmets.com/helmet-health.html

http://theconversation.edu.au/ditchi...-for-health-42

http://www.slideshare.net/sharon_Cam...y-in-australia

http://zakka.dk/cykelhjelm/CTC_Helmet_Law_Brochure.pdf

It seems incontrovertible that if you reduce the number of people doing something which is likely to make them live longer, the effect will be to reduce life expectancy.

The best summation of the arguments that I can find is at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html which puts both sides and I'd really recommend reading it to anyone as basic background to the debate.
I'm sure the diet doesn't play a role here...
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  #109  
Old 13.08.2012, 20:55
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

The most important thing with a bike helmet is making sure your sideburns are protected...



Cheers,
Nick
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  #110  
Old 13.08.2012, 21:02
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

30 times more people are killed in cars every year than on bicycles. And, in fact, the per capita (per overall motorists or overall cyclists) deaths are about the same. (See http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2011...-as-motorists/ for an example).

If you believe cyclists must wear helmets then you should believe that car users must as well (to a factor of 30 times more).
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  #111  
Old 13.08.2012, 21:09
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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30 times more people are killed in cars every year than on bicycles. And, in fact, the per capita (per overall motorists or overall cyclists) deaths are about the same. (See http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2011...-as-motorists/ for an example).

If you believe cyclists must wear helmets then you should believe that car users must as well (to a factor of 30 times more).
Terrible logic, but to properly extend it, we do expect car drivers to wear seatbelts.
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  #112  
Old 13.08.2012, 21:11
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

We also expect car drivers not to be gabbing away on their mobile phones and instead to concentrate on the road conditions.

Unfortunately I have had a few near misses with such individuals whilst cycling to work in the mornings.

Cheers,
Nick

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Terrible logic, but to properly extend it, we do expect car drivers to wear seatbelts.
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  #113  
Old 13.08.2012, 21:14
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Terrible logic, but to properly extend it, we do expect car drivers to wear seatbelts.
Logic is my day job. What do you do? These figures take into account seat belts, air bags, stability control, etc. That's the whole point.
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Old 13.08.2012, 21:52
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Logic is my day job. What do you do? These figures take into account seat belts, air bags, stability control, etc. That's the whole point.
Sorry, but your post made no sense. What would be the point of wearing a helmet in a car, there are already provisions for head injuries in almost every car now with airbags, this cannot be said of bikes.

Your claim that I must also believe that motorists must wear helmets is a total false syllogism:

Helmets lessen severity of cycle accidents
Car drivers have cycle accidents
Car drivers should wear helmets

Do you see where your logic falls down here? Don't give up the day job...oh.
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  #115  
Old 13.08.2012, 22:21
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Sorry, but your post made no sense. What would be the point of wearing a helmet in a car
Ok. I'll take this slowly and just put out a few points for you to mull over:

- Airbags don't significantly reduce the odds of a head injury (but do reduce the severity): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12579050
- Drivers involved in competitive motor sports wear helmets (as well as extensive seat harnesses)
- Have you ever had someone you know die in a car accident from a head injury? I have. (Anecdotal - ignore it).
- Have you ever had someone you know die in a bicycle accident from a head injury? I haven't. (Anecdotal - ignore it).
- Cars tend to have much more kinetic energy in accidents than bicycles
- 30 times more people die in car accidents from head injuries than in bicycle accidents from head injuries. (Fact - don't ignore that)
- If all car users were required to wear 'motor-sport' style helmets, deaths in car accidents would be significantly reduced

Do you now see what I'm getting at? Legislation to force car users to wear helmets would reduce deaths in car accidents by a huge amount. (Basically, about 30 times the reduction we would expect if bicycle users were forced to wear helmets).

Can you now pick some holes in my 'total false syllogism'[sic]?
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Old 14.08.2012, 00:39
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Ok. I'll take this slowly and just put out a few points for you to mull over:

- Airbags don't significantly reduce the odds of a head injury (but do reduce the severity): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12579050
- Drivers involved in competitive motor sports wear helmets (as well as extensive seat harnesses)
- Have you ever had someone you know die in a car accident from a head injury? I have. (Anecdotal - ignore it).
- Have you ever had someone you know die in a bicycle accident from a head injury? I haven't. (Anecdotal - ignore it).
- Cars tend to have much more kinetic energy in accidents than bicycles
- 30 times more people die in car accidents from head injuries than in bicycle accidents from head injuries. (Fact - don't ignore that)
- If all car users were required to wear 'motor-sport' style helmets, deaths in car accidents would be significantly reduced

Do you now see what I'm getting at? Legislation to force car users to wear helmets would reduce deaths in car accidents by a huge amount. (Basically, about 30 times the reduction we would expect if bicycle users were forced to wear helmets).

Can you now pick some holes in my 'total false syllogism'[sic]?
Yes. You don't know what 'sic' means.

Just to help you out...

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30 times more people are killed in cars every year than on bicycles
and

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30 times more people die in car accidents from head injuries than in bicycle accidents from head injuries.
Are not the same thing. Try to align your facts and come back with a better proposal. B-
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Old 14.08.2012, 10:45
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Yes. You don't know what 'sic' means.
Do you? It seemed correct, in that he was pointing out that the quoted text was written as intended, highlighting your own grammatical error.

And you seem to be ignoring the basic thrust of the argument, which is that by applying a helmet law to car occupants we'd actually save more lives than applying it to cyclists. I can't see a flaw in the logic.
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  #118  
Old 14.08.2012, 11:29
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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This is probably more to do with there are basically no decent cycle paths in most Australian cities forcing bikes and cars to be together added with the cost of bikes and helmets makes Switzerland look like a bargain, so even this study has conclusions that are not very well founded!
I'm afraid your assumptions and therefore your conclusions are wrong. The fall in the number of cyclists coincided with the helmet law and has been sustained, and it is highly likely that the reduction was due to the helmet law. Since this has been repeated everywhere that has introduced and policed such a law, the conclusion that the reduction in cyclists is due to the law appears highly reliable.

The roads in Australia didn't suddenly and coincidentally become less attractive at the same time the helmet law came in, so your conclusion that the fall in cyclists was due to that is false.
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Old 14.08.2012, 11:40
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I'm afraid your assumptions and therefore your conclusions are wrong. The fall in the number of cyclists coincided with the helmet law and has been sustained, and it is highly likely that the reduction was due to the helmet law. Since this has been repeated everywhere that has introduced and policed such a law, the conclusion that the reduction in cyclists is due to the law appears highly reliable.

The roads in Australia didn't suddenly and coincidentally become less attractive at the same time the helmet law came in, so your conclusion that the fall in cyclists was due to that is false.
"Highly likely" is all well and good but it's still a bit woolly. I have a friend who has knackered his knee this year after an accident. He was a keen runner. He hasn't just thought "sod it, I'm heading for the couch and the chips", he's taken up swimming and, after he completes his physio, will be able to go cycling a bit.

The point is, I think it's hard to pin an upsurge in obesity to ANY single event, least of all introducing a helmet law, and I think it is incredibly naive to believe it would.
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  #120  
Old 14.08.2012, 11:43
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Yes. You don't know what 'sic' means.
I think it means 'sic erat scriptum' ('thus was it written'). You could make the case that by strict publishing convention I should have placed it after the 'total' rather than the whole quote. But still, at least I haven't confused a noun with an adverb yet. (Thus indeed was it written).

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Try to align your facts and come back with a better proposal. B-
So you appear to accept the argument that helmet use in cars would reduce head traumas and we're just arguing over the numbers. These figures are very much a rough synthesis from various data sources, so I'll make a simplified argument that's on-topic for this thread:

"Forcing children to wear crash helmets (not bicycle helmets) in cars would produce at least an order of magnitude reduction in deaths/injuries/really bad days compared with forcing them to wear bicycle helmets on bicycles."

Of course, I don't really believe that car users should be forced to wear helmets and, to a certain extent, I'm making a Tu quoque argument. (Look it up). But such arguments are excellent for teasing out hypocrisy in a person's position. In this case the hypocrisy is in treating the victims (bicycle riders) as somehow at fault if they don't dress like gladiators before venturing out onto the road.
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