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10/16/2012

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Jason

I wear my helmet all the time and when I had my crash and my frame split in half literally underneath the welds on my full suspension bike I was wearing my helmet I still had an injury but was still in one piece minus my sore back and wound to my leg.I got my new bike fineally $1300.00 later with hydraulic brakes

Phil Hiems

For that matter, you'll notice that vampires never ever use bike lights, and witches absolutely never have the legally required bells.

Morgan Holmes

No. The reasons I don't wear a helmet are: because they are ineffective in collisions with cars; because my Dutch bike design means that if I fall sideways my feet will always hit the ground first, making a fall no more significant than any other; and because of the upright position with the handlebars tilted *toward* the rider's sternum, an "endo" is mechanically impossible. My greater risk, frankly is being seriously bruised on my chest area from the post. Perhaps I should wear a breast-plate of full armour...
The only time I've needed a helmet in the last 15 years was when I slipped on black ice while heading to the family car. I hit the *back* of my head on that fall. Perhaps I should wear a helmet to walk outside in winter.

AlanM

I'll admit I'm in a quandry here.

I did some research, ran the numbers and discovered that on any random day, I'm 5 times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than by crashing my bike.

If I put on a bike helmet, it only makes things worse! Now I'm 15 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a bike crash!!!!

I'm thinking if I use a metal-skinned helmet with a lightning rod that's grounded through a thick metal cable I drag along behind me.....

Evan Rosamond

Nice attempt at humour Bill, but I suspect blind faith in helmets might be considered a thought worthy of a zombie.
Non-zombies appreciate that even minor accidents on a bike can cause a lot of pain, so they would rather protect the whole body than just the head. They do that by following the rules of the road, keeping their bike in good shape (especially the brakes), and keeping a watchful eye on all the other road users. The idea is to have no crashes, collisions or other catastrophes. As you know, it is possible to ride a bike this way. If you can do it, the helmet will be useless.
There's not much evidence that helmets even work very well when they are called upon. But instead of opening that can of worms, let's try to figure out the chances of needing one. I calculated, from a pro-helmet study and some US population data that the chances of a cyclist arriving in the ER with any kind of head injury was once per 450 cyclist years, or about one in 10 lifetimes. This number exaggerates the risk because all head injuries in ER were included in this study, so a scrape on the nose counts as a head injury if the cyclist went to ER for another reason (like a broken arm).
The cyclists who need to reduce their injury risk are likely the ones riding on the sidewalk or on the wrong side of the street, not necessarily the unhelmeted.
I've worn a helmet for nine days of my 40+ year cycling life. The best thing about it was the visor, which kept some UV off my face. Your own helmet is valued as a place to mount the rear-view mirror. These are the useful reasons for helmet use. To put one on every day to slightly reduce the chance of something that only happens once in 10 lifetimes seems excessive, particularly when there are better ways to stay safe that work better.

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