Helmets Save Lives.

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Coplay
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby Coplay » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:01 pm

I thought the article was a scare tactic. Yes, we all need to be told to wear helmets. Thank you now helicopter away please.

I always wear a helmet when I road bike and do not use a helmet on my regular bike.

Look, there are people who ride bikes and then there are people who ride bikes and manage bikes. You manage your bike by being aware at all times, by not bringing your dog and your spawn or both, by not being plugged in to your ipod, to looking both ways before you cross the street, by knowing that on a bike you are vulnerable to potholes, car traffic or other dumbhead bikers. Having said that, if you can not manage a clunky hybrid or mountain bike going 5 to 8 mph then you shouldn't be on a bike anyway and a helmet is not gonna be a factor.

baked goods
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby baked goods » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:04 am

The article that prompted this post was nothing more than fear based emotionalism. The same goes for this post. There is little unbiased research about the effects of wearing a bicycle helmet. Let alone research that proves if the act will lower the risk of injury while riding a bicycle.

I'm tired of hearing the same propaganda over and over and over; If one uses a bicycle helmet they will be safer. This belief seems to be driven by faulty if-this-then-that logic. Nothing more. Put plastic on your head, you have a shield on your head, shields = good. Let’s go a step further. Let’s make law shields that follow us around everywhere! Sure. This is what is driving policy, not data. If we actually believed this and took it seriously, we would mandate that everyone wear plastic shields on their heads all the time. Because you know, a tree branch could fall on you at any time. Why take the risk of stepping outside? Let's put protectors on our knives too, they are sharp and we might cut ourselves. Yea, that's just stupid! Yea, so is telling people that they "might" or "could" hurt themselves if they ride their bikes.

http://thefederalist.com/2013/09/20/wha ... f-america/

snoqueen
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby snoqueen » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:37 am

I wish we'd have more discussion about whether it makes sense to trailer your kids on a busy urban street. Willy Street? Johnson Street? Sherman (pre makeover)? I've seen it done on all three.

Do you guys think this is reasonable, or insane?

HawkHead
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby HawkHead » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Having crashed my bike in middle school and needed 30 stitches to close the wound on my head I never bike without a helmet now.

I don't think we should be legislating bike helmet laws, we should be creating bike trails/lanes where cars and bike accidents can be reduced/eliminated.

I don't get the logic of non-wearers so be it.

DCB
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby DCB » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Ducatista wrote: And cyclists [in Europe] obey the rules of the road. I found that awkward at first, but by the end of my first summer there it felt natural to wait at an intersection for the light to turn even with no sign of traffic in any direction. So natural, in fact, that I brought the habit back home with me. It's a much more relaxing way to ride.

Completely agree. Its more comfortable, its safer. This is my number one recommendation for bike safety.

Helmets are good, too.

wesconsin
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby wesconsin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:59 am

I wish all bicyclists followed the rules of the road. Especially the ones that are all professional with their expensive clothes and such.


If cars drive single file down a one lane road - so do you. Just because you are on a bike doesn't mean you and your friends get to encroach on others' lanes because you want to talk. Doesn't work that way. Also - if there is a bike lane, use it. You are not a car - a car can kill you. Think.

narcoleptish
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:18 am

Coplay wrote:You manage your bike ........ by not bringing your dog


Thank you. I started a thread a couple years ago decrying this practice and was met by considerable opposition. It's only gotten more widespread and it's still a stupid thing to do. I recently saw a guy almost go down when his dog veered a little and yanked him off balance. Good luck if a squirrel crosses your path. You're lazy and stupid, end of story.

snoqueen wrote:I wish we'd have more discussion about whether it makes sense to trailer your kids on a busy urban street.


Absolutely. Also recently saw a man with kids in tow trying to cross an insanely busy multi-lane street while riding the bike, in a crosswalk, trying to get the pedestrian yield from everyone. He was stuck in the middle, trying to trackstand of course, holding up the center lanes while the outer ones were whizzing by.

I don't wear a bike helmet. So what? We all pick our risks. The article was written as if bike helmet use was the universal norm before and that people are just now starting to shed them. Not really the case.

Also I think he had the last name of the surviving biker in the freak accident wrong. Pretty sure that's a relative of mine. Just saying.

citizen
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby citizen » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:38 am

Coplay wrote:You manage your bike by... not being plugged in to your ipod


This has gotten so bad in the last few years as to be ridiculous. I have always tried to be good about using a bell or giving a quick shout before passing someone and now it's gotten to where I feel like it's not worth the bother. Just try to squeeze by and hope for the best.

Chief_Mongo67
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby Chief_Mongo67 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:12 pm

baked goods wrote:The article that prompted this post was nothing more than fear based emotionalism. The same goes for this post. There is little unbiased research about the effects of wearing a bicycle helmet. Let alone research that proves if the act will lower the risk of injury while riding a bicycle....


Not true. There is plenty, and a lot of it can be found here:
http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm#effectiveness

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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby john_titor » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:36 pm

narcoleptish wrote:
snoqueen wrote:I wish we'd have more discussion about whether it makes sense to trailer your kids on a busy urban street.


Absolutely. Also recently saw a man with kids in tow trying to cross an insanely busy multi-lane street while riding the bike, in a crosswalk, trying to get the pedestrian yield from everyone.


I used to be amazed at the level of trust these bikers put on 55+ roads 18" from humanity until I saw someone doing it towing a kid. I don't want to pull an Albert Brooks on you or your family. I even consider myself a better than average driver.

If it was an odd combination of events that resulted in those in the article (sorry) being injured, I would think the risk of biking so close to cars going 55 +mph would be mind-blowing?


Image

snoqueen
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby snoqueen » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:46 pm

Speaking of scary-crazy (since we're on the topic), there was the man with several kids in tow (all on foot) trying to stop traffic on E. Wash last weekend so the kids and he could cross. They almost stepped right out in front of me (I was in a car at the time). I thought my whole life was going to flash in front of my eyes.

They changed their minds, fortunately (I'm still here) but jesus god, people. The speed limit on that street is 35. There are three lanes each way, and hardly anyone is actually limiting themselves to 35. If I could have stopped in about 25 feet (I was in the near lane) the other lanes would never have stopped anyway. A stop distance that short is an impossibility to begin with. People, especially children, on foot have absolutely no idea how much road it takes cars to stop.

The real stopping distance at 35 mph (again, who's going 35?) is 136 feet. The long blocks on E. Wash are roughly 250 feet, I seem to remember. That means immediately after an approaching car crosses the previous street, the driver pretty much has to hit the brakes (allowing for the driver's reaction time). We also have to hope the driver behind him is paying attention and also stops. People don't get this.

A crossing with a traffic light was one block away, and the family should have used it. Those painted lines aren't going to save you, people.

I submit that a pedestrians-walk-cars-stop-crossing on a multi lane street -- hell, a state highway -- with a speed limit of 35 is so outrageous that the regulations should be rewritten to forbid them.

Stubby
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby Stubby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:11 pm

http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html

A good overview of helmet use and why the use of helmets are way overhyped.

snoqueen
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby snoqueen » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:44 pm

If football players have been wearing helmets for decades and still we're faced with an epidemic of brain injuries among retired football players, why are we so sure bicycle helmets are such a panacea?

Here's another vote for a better bike trail system, better-engineered intersections, and better safety practices among bike riders. You've got to protect yourself -- no little line of paint or sign or light is going to do it all.

And aggressive riding where you put your trust in some unknown car driver's reflexes, skills, intentions, and attention is very high-risk behavior.

All that said, I think the re-engineered intersection by the Harmony is working pretty well. Not perfectly (too many right turns on red by the cars going northwest), but decently.

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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby WestSideYuppie » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:20 pm

Stubby wrote:http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html

A good overview of helmet use and why the use of helmets are way overhyped.

Much of what he says is about advocacy of bike helmets, not about helmet use itself.

The author would have been better off simply saying that there's insufficient data on safety. He cites basically one study conducted in a country with markedly different cyclist and driver behavior. The rest of his safety arguments seem speculative.

The one valuable take-home is that this is the US, and there may be a lot for us to learn about cycling policy and advocacy from European countries, but probably not much to learn about keeping ourselves alive on US roads.

Edit: Thanks for the link anyway. I'll read the article on how to ride safer.

Stubby
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Re: Helmets Save Lives.

Postby Stubby » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:43 pm

WestSideYuppie wrote:
Stubby wrote:http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html

A good overview of helmet use and why the use of helmets are way overhyped.

Much of what he says is about advocacy of bike helmets, not about helmet use itself.

The author would have been better off simply saying that there's insufficient data on safety. He cites basically one study conducted in a country with markedly different cyclist and driver behavior. The rest of his safety arguments seem speculative.

The one valuable take-home is that this is the US, and there may be a lot for us to learn about cycling policy and advocacy from European countries, but probably not much to learn about keeping ourselves alive on US roads.

Edit: Thanks for the link anyway. I'll read the article on how to ride safer.


Fair enough.

One of the most dangerous activities I see from bike users (and I commute 9 months a year) is biking at night without a light, with many of these invisible bikers wearing helmets. Yet I have never heard a peep from the helmet advocates about it. Biking without a light at night is many times more risky then not wearing a helmet (assuming there is any real increased risk from not wearing a helmet which is in question). Interestingly in the northern European countries with the highest cycling rates (and the infrastructure to support it) it is illegal to sell a bike without a light. Many of the bikes sold have integrated lighting systems built into the bike. So why are the folks pushing helmet use missing in action when in comes to lights.

What it shows is just how irrational helmet advocates are. It's an easy out to say just wear a helmet and you'll be safe (and that's what the public really hears and it's a lie). The only proven way to increase safety for bike users is with better infrastructure. Bike users need to have lanes that are physically separated from motor vehicles on all high speed (anything over 25 mph) or busy streets. Sticking a bike lane on East Washington or making a bike lane in the door zone is not good infrastructure, and that's the norm in Madison, not the exception.


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