A Conversation for Cyclists: Be Safe - Be Seen as a Bad Target
Secretly Not Here Any More Started conversation Aug 22, 2006
"A cycle helmet is not an all-round physical protection device like the 'shields' in Star Trek. Use of a cool helmet may induce a subconscious assumption in road users that the cyclist is more resilient than is actually the case. The talisman effect, if it is to work, should make the rider's vulnerability more rather than less obvious."
That really does give the impression you're safer without a helmet. That's is absoloute and total crap. You know how I know that? Here, have something I posted in PR a few minutes ago to a related entry:
The day before my 11th birthday, my dad was hit from behind by a transit van on the East Lancashire Road in Swinton. The guy driving the van that hit him was asleep at the wheel and hit him at a decent speed. The bike was mangled in the incident (we still have it at my Uncle's coach yard) and my dad was seriously injured. The van hit him, hurled him up in the air, smashing his helmet apart in the process (if it hadn't have been there it'd have been his skull). He then landed on his feet, which shattered the point of least resistance, two of his vertebrae (which had to be replaced by a metal cage. We're led to believe it was the first operation of it's kind in the country, possibly in Europe). Luckily he is still able to walk but suffers immense pain constantly. If it hadn't have been for his helmet, he'd be dead.
Recumbentman Posted Aug 30, 2006
I saw that entry. I am very sorry that such things as happened to your dad should happen to anyone.
Nevertheless, we shouldn't always decide on the basis of our limited experience; that what statistics are for. And surprisingly, as reported in the New York Times article, the statistics do point to no improvement in general safety levels from helmet-wearing. And worse, they do point to a disimprovement.
"It's puzzling to me that we can't find the benefit of bike helmets here."
That wasn't said by a man on the street: it was Ronald L Medford, Assistant Executive Director of the Safety Commission's Hazard Identification Office, a pretty important US national statistic-crunching office.
I knew when writing this article that my jokey tone could be offensive to people like yourself who have tragic personal experience; but I thought it worth adopting nonetheless, to make a point to the general reader: Don't Trust Helmets.
This same point is made with a lot of statistical backup by Mayer Hillman (google him). Surprisingly, he does/did (apparently) wear a helmet. But he still rode as though he didn't.
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