helmet wearing

by barogerl   March 12, 2011  

My neighbour who is a keen cyclist, had an accident the other week, fell from his bike whilst turning right. No other traffic involved. He broke his hip. On learning of this another neighbour remarked " he always wears a helmet.
I pointed out that he wore a helmet on his head , NOT ON HIS BUM.
Most cyclists involved in accidents break arms or leg or collar bone, a helmet would not help them

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In relation to your last point. I was out cycling the other weekend and got hit from behind by a car as I crossed a roundabout. The car didn't hit my head ( it trashed my bike) but in the resulting crash to the floor my helmet absorbed a hit to the floor causing it to get crushed in points. Had I not had it on instead of coming away from it with a very sore back and some road rash I'd have been in a much worse condition.

A helmet may not make a difference if your hit hard enough that it kills you, but it does make a difference and stop you from potentially being killed or turned into a cabbage. It doesn't take a huge hit to the head to cause life changing damage

posted by fungus the muff... [32 posts]
14th March 2011 - 13:22


I had an accident 3 weeks ago. I can remember arriving at the top of a hill. After that my first memory is of being on my way to hospital some 45 minutes later. My suspicion is that I was caught by a car wing mirror but I will never know. I was wearing a helmet. This was damaged above the temple area and the lenses of my glasses were scratched. I was back on the bike a week later and apart from a couple of scars round my eyebrow I'm none the worse for it. As someone who refused to wear a helmet up to three years ago, I'm relieved to have changed my habits. I am convinced that I would have had severe head injuries without it.
I don't believe in compulsion, but I do believe in education. There are so few valid arguments against making the choice to wear a helmet and so many for.

posted by nickwill [14 posts]
14th March 2011 - 13:36


... Their point is; a broken hip will repair, as will a broken collar bone, etc... a broken head usually spills its contents at worst or leaves you anything between brain damage or physical scars in the one place everybody takes a first impression form at best... and as others point out, broken arms and collar bones are from the direct impact, the chances of hitting your head indirectly afterwards are also huge.

Furthermore, as you get more experienced you learn not to extend your arms but to try and let your body take the impact, at least from a fall rather than an accident, for which you need head protection

Wearing head protection is really an impact/risk assessment: those who chose not to wear one obviously have very little to lose in that department!

roadie come mountain biker come single speeder and back again

posted by cborrman [84 posts]
14th March 2011 - 22:29


Thats not strictly true is it, CBorrman. I mean a broken hip, shoulder or collar bone can lead to a disability and limited mobility.

Wearing a helmet is a matter of choice, its not right for people to make negative comment upon non-helmet wearers. Most people are pretty uninformed of impact forensics, the physics involved in collisions and falls, or the statistical risk in true terms.

Not every bang to the head will result in a brain injury. Many will have more of a risk from other sources such as pedestrian slips on ice, drunken falls, etc. Those are much higher risks - perhaps drunks need to wear helmets, and all pedestrians in general..?

Some links worth reading:

No cyclist should take percieved wisdom as gospel, they should listen to all sides of the equasion and make an educated analysis. Ultimately it is also far better to ride sensibly and defensibly.

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
15th March 2011 - 22:06


its an individuals choice at the end of day. thats the b all and end all of it. i always wear a helmet my choice

posted by issacforce [222 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 10:28

1 Like

cborrman wrote:
Wearing head protection is really an impact/risk assessment: those who chose not to wear one obviously have very little to lose in that department!

Following your logic I'd just not ride a bike, and surround myself with a ton of steel, like the rest of the road.

Your implication is that every cycle journey is so dangerous (i.e. the risk assessment so high) and the likelihood of head injury so high (i.e. the 'value' of the impact) that everyone should wear a cycle helmet for every journey. Probably pedestrians too, since the impact upon them if they're one of the dozens killed every year by cars, is so high that they'd be mad not to.

I think you might mean 'cum' instead of 'come' in your signature, by the way ... (from the Latin for 'with') Big Grin

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 15:35


It is an impact vs risk assessment - its just that some people put more weight on the impact of a helmet (discomfort, looks, inconvenience) than on the benefits (possible prevention/reduction of head injury in the event of an accident). As issacforce says, its a personal decision. I dont find comfort a problem, or looks, so I choose to wear one (except on the rare occasion when convenience gets the better of me - on a boris bike in London).

Incidentally, I think helmets on drunks is a brilliant idea.

posted by step-hent [718 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 18:25