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https://www.facebook.com/sussexpoliceforce/posts/1776482492397300

“Wearing a helmet saved my son’s life” – these are the words of a mother who's backing our summer cycle safety message.

It follows the deaths of two cyclists in Sussex already this month. That’s two too many in our opinion.

In light of this, we’re urging all road users to ‘think bike’

As some of the commenters below have said already, there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest compulsory helmet wearing does naff all to increase safety... also what have the two deaths got to do with the photo in question? Might have helped in that instance, but I doubt would have prevented the deaths! Seems a bit of a muddled message from the coppers.  

 

 

 

64 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [2369 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

It's almost like getting run over is inevitable, so you've got to gear up!

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [606 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

Will the police also be visiting the parents of any child who was killed in a road traffic collision and chastising them for not forcing their child to wear a pedestrian helmet?

Will they fuck.

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srchar [1094 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

I blame Blue Peter.

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brooksby [3829 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:

I blame Blue Peter.

Why?

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tommyraleigh86 [6 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

Chris Boardman's gave them a piece of his mind now... https://twitter.com/Chris_Boardman/status/996733502132453382

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harragan [257 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I agree that it's not clear if the two cyclists in question were wearing helmets or not.  It's all very muddled.  And we all know that if there is any protection to be had from wearing a helmet it is only going to be from head injury and only in certain circumstances.  However, nowhere in the article do they call for mandatory helmet wearing.  In fact, the ROSPA quote is very clear that they are not calling for that.

Should Sussex Police be staying out of it?  It's up to them, I suppose.  They've got an opinion and want to share it.  This is the internet, it's a free for all!

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nextSibling [6 posts] 7 months ago
6 likes

The only way to know if a "helmet saved my life" would be to have exactly the same crash twice, once with a helmet and once without.

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Eton Rifle [118 posts] 7 months ago
8 likes
tommyraleigh86 wrote:

Chris Boardman's gave them a piece of his mind now... https://twitter.com/Chris_Boardman/status/996733502132453382

We are fortunate indeed to have such an articulate advocate as Chris Boardman.  I certainly couldn't keep my cool in the face of the crass stupidity that we have deal with. 

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don simon fbpe [2712 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Would it be wrong to ask Sussex plod to comment on this and determine where they think the real improvements could be made in cyclist safety?

http://road.cc/content/news/241864-near-miss-day-138-driver-met-police-v...

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OnYerBike [13 posts] 7 months ago
9 likes

If you click throught to the Sussex Police website, the full article includes this:

Nick Lloyd, road safety manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “RoSPA recommends that cyclists wear a helmet, but does not call for this to be made mandatory as it is a matter of personal choice. While a helmet will afford protection to the head they are less effective in high impact collisions. Therefore, it is more important to stop the collision from happening in the first place through engineering and driver and rider education and training.”

Bingo!

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PRSboy [361 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

To be fair I thought it was a good article and campaign, aside from the "most importantly- wear a helmet" bit.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2608 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Making false/unsubstantiated claims that in the long run lead to more deaths and more injuries and more blame on victims.

I've asked them to retract the false claim/support of helmets or I'll make a formal complaint.

 

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wknight [60 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

The one key statistic we are missing is how many people saved a trip to The hospital or even calling an ambulance because the helmet saved them. 

 

I witnessed two crashes very recently where the person walked away, but their helmet was a complete shattered mess. That would have been their head and yes it is personal choice, but no one complains about wearing a seat belt. Please don’t say there is data, because the data we need re Helmets has not been gathered. Go visit a&e and see head injuries. 

If the police get involved why not, remember it’s them who have all the paperwork, investigation and having to give the family the bad news

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grumpyoldcyclist [108 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

I wear a helmet when I ride my bike, in case I fall off, it may help. If I'm hit by a driver / vehicle it will potentially have negligible benefits.

One issue Sussex police fail to address is that for the occupants of vehicles involved in a crash, the biggest cause of fatalities is head injuries. A lot more drivers than cyclists die on the roads every day and I don't see the police 'suggesting' that drivers wear helmets.

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don simon fbpe [2712 posts] 7 months ago
13 likes
wknight wrote:

The one key statistic we are missing is how many people saved a trip to The hospital or even calling an ambulance because the helmet saved them. 

 

I witnessed two crashes very recently where the person walked away, but their helmet was a complete shattered mess. That would have been their head and yes it is personal choice, but no one complains about wearing a seat belt. Please don’t say there is data, because the data we need re Helmets has not been gathered. Go visit a&e and see head injuries. 

If the police get involved why not, remember it’s them who have all the paperwork, investigation and having to give the family the bad news

New here, aren't you?

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burtthebike [2166 posts] 7 months ago
5 likes
OnYerBike wrote:

If you click throught to the Sussex Police website, the full article includes this:

Nick Lloyd, road safety manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “RoSPA recommends that cyclists wear a helmet, but does not call for this to be made mandatory as it is a matter of personal choice. While a helmet will afford protection to the head they are less effective in high impact collisions. Therefore, it is more important to stop the collision from happening in the first place through engineering and driver and rider education and training.”

Bingo!

Bloody hell!  Even RoSPA have got it. Almost.

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burtthebike [2166 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

I always used to think that the police investigated things and made decisions based on the evidence, but I can see that I was sadly mistaken.  Is it any wonder there are so many wrongful convictions?

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hirsute [527 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Serious leg and arm injuries but could have been worse.

Maybe he should have been wearing body armour or an inflatable cocoon.

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srchar [1094 posts] 7 months ago
5 likes
wknight wrote:

I witnessed two crashes very recently where the person walked away, but their helmet was a complete shattered mess. That would have been their head

Do you really think a (cheap? old? crap?) piece of polystyrene is stronger than the human skull?  I think you'd be surprised.  I've had two massive crashes when not wearing a helmet, but wish I'd been wearing wrist guards, then my left one might actually still work as a wrist. So that's two all on anecdotes.

The thing I don't understand is, why aren't helmet advocates all wearing full-face downhill lids? Ones that might actually do something to protect their beautiful faces and massive brains if they have a high-impact off.

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srchar [1094 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
burtthebike wrote:

I always used to think that the police investigated things and made decisions based on the evidence

No, they are here to police YouTube and protect the fragile feelings of thin-skinned Twitter users who have piles of chips on their shoulders.

A driver tried to deliberately knock me off my bike this evening, as I wasn't cycling in the (obstructed) cycle lane and didn't respond to his stream of expletives. I reported it to the Met as an assault, but they've told me it's a "traffic incident" and pointed me in the direction of an online form.

I used to be a huge supporter of the police, but I've absolutely no idea what they are for these days. Fuck 'em.

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HawkinsPeter [2782 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
wknight wrote:

The one key statistic we are missing is how many people saved a trip to The hospital or even calling an ambulance because the helmet saved them. 

 

I witnessed two crashes very recently where the person walked away, but their helmet was a complete shattered mess. That would have been their head and yes it is personal choice, but no one complains about wearing a seat belt. Please don’t say there is data, because the data we need re Helmets has not been gathered. Go visit a&e and see head injuries. 

If the police get involved why not, remember it’s them who have all the paperwork, investigation and having to give the family the bad news

If a bike helmet is a "complete shattered mess", it means that the energy involved was much greater than the helmet was designed to protect against. The main protection from a bike helmet comes from compressing the expanded polystyrene inside it, not from the thin plastic outer that holds it together, so if the helmet shatters, it means it's not doing its job correctly and most likely provided only very minimal protection.

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daturaman [35 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
srchar wrote:

The thing I don't understand is, why aren't helmet advocates all wearing full-face downhill lids? Ones that might actually do something to protect their beautiful faces and massive brains if they have a high-impact off.

I certainly advocate wearing a full-face downhill "lid" for downhill mtb.

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brooksby [3829 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
daturaman wrote:
srchar wrote:

The thing I don't understand is, why aren't helmet advocates all wearing full-face downhill lids? Ones that might actually do something to protect their beautiful faces and massive brains if they have a high-impact off.

I certainly advocate wearing a full-face downhill "lid" for downhill mtb.

I'd think most people would.  But its a question of risk assessment - downhill mtb at speed is *way* different to riding in town to go to the shops or a recreational path along a riverside, isn't it?

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ChrisB200SX [862 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
daturaman wrote:
srchar wrote:

The thing I don't understand is, why aren't helmet advocates all wearing full-face downhill lids? Ones that might actually do something to protect their beautiful faces and massive brains if they have a high-impact off.

I certainly advocate wearing a full-face downhill "lid" for downhill mtb.

I'd think most people would.  But its a question of risk assessment - downhill mtb at speed is *way* different to riding in town to go to the shops or a recreational path along a riverside, isn't it?

I think that's exactly the point, tooling around on trails etc can be dangerous.

Cycling on a road shouldn't be, and isn't inherently, dangerous.

I didn't realise Sussex police had a remit to police what people wear when they are going about their own lawful, harmless business.

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davel [2710 posts] 7 months ago
5 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:

I didn't realise Sussex police had a remit to police what people wear when they are going about their own lawful, harmless business.

My remit's what I say it is, YOU SLAG!

 

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madcarew [901 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
nextSibling wrote:

The only way to know if a "helmet saved my life" would be to have exactly the same crash twice, once with a helmet and once without.

Which would discount the predictive effects that modelling gives us, which enables us to predict an awful lot of things rather accurately as it turns out (that's why they train pilots in simulators, run computer modelling stress tests on critical components for all sorts of things, and have computer modelling in side CPR dolls to predict the effects of someone's actions.) It is not difficult to demonstrate the effectiveness of many life saving devices (bullet proof vest) without having to run exactly the same 'accident' twice. 

Look at an NCAP crash test. The dummies have recording devices which accurately predict the likelihood of failure of certain human parts, in a less technical way we drop heavy weights on helmets  in such a way that we know that that force applied to a skull would generally cause damage to the skull, we also know that a certain amount of deformation associated with an impact implies damage to a skull. We can know these things with a certain degree of confidence. So, I'm not arguing that helmets save lives on a regular basis, just that your argument ignores an enormous amount of work and data that has been accrued over the years in safety research, and is used to accurately predict the outcome certain actions without having to kill people just to make sure it's right. 

Personally I went all the way through a car windscreen some years ago (from the outside to the inside) and although knocked out briefly, my skull and all the skin on it was intact. The helmet was badly deformed and then broken by a later impact. Research shows that people who penetrate windscreens with their head with the amount of force that I did (buried up to my shoulders) rarely escape a broken skull, and with it all the concommitant dangers. So, although I wouldn't claim my helmet saved my life it is undeniable that it saved me from some fairly serious injuries (I didn't need a single stitch on my head, other parts of my body which weren't protected in the same way needed dozens) including the high likelihood that it saved me from a fractured skull. Considering a large proportion of people who contact a car at the closing speed that I did die as a result of the collision, and the majority of those deaths are the result of head injuries, it's not a long bow to draw to say that on the balance of probabilities the helmet may have been instrumental in saving my life.

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madcarew [901 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
wknight wrote:

The one key statistic we are missing is how many people saved a trip to The hospital or even calling an ambulance because the helmet saved them. 

 

I witnessed two crashes very recently where the person walked away, but their helmet was a complete shattered mess. That would have been their head and yes it is personal choice, but no one complains about wearing a seat belt. Please don’t say there is data, because the data we need re Helmets has not been gathered. Go visit a&e and see head injuries. 

If the police get involved why not, remember it’s them who have all the paperwork, investigation and having to give the family the bad news

If a bike helmet is a "complete shattered mess", it means that the energy involved was much greater than the helmet was designed to protect against. The main protection from a bike helmet comes from compressing the expanded polystyrene inside it, not from the thin plastic outer that holds it together, so if the helmet shatters, it means it's not doing its job correctly and most likely provided only very minimal protection.

Real life impacts are very complicated actions, and it's entirely possible that the inital 'killing' impact deformed the helmet and protected the wearer, but also ruined the integrity of the helmet such that subsequent smaller impacts destroyed the now substantially weakened helmet, but those impacts were not capable of doing serious damage to the encased skull. So, a destroyed helmet does not mean either that it was subject to impacts outside it's design envelope, nor that it offered skant protection. Just because an air bag is a torn bloody, muddy floppy mess and the vehicle didn't stop when it deployed doesn't mean that the air bag offered no protection at the time of impact. 

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madcarew [901 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
srchar wrote:

Do you really think a (cheap? old? crap?) piece of polystyrene is stronger than the human skull?  I think you'd be surprised.  I've had two massive crashes when not wearing a helmet, but wish I'd been wearing wrist guards, then my left one might actually still work as a wrist. So that's two all on anecdotes.

So the words "crumple zone" mean nothing to you then?

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Deeferdonk [231 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

An extract from the Sussex Police article:

“Cyclists are obviously more vulnerable, and for this reason we advise you are fully prepared to take to the road. Make sure you are visible, use lights if you are riding after dark, and most importantly wear a helmet – it could be the difference between life and death.”

Apparently riding with lights after dark is less important than wearing a helmet! Who knew?!

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madcarew [901 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
grumpyoldcyclist wrote:

I wear a helmet when I ride my bike, in case I fall off, it may help. If I'm hit by a driver / vehicle it will potentially have negligible benefits.

One issue Sussex police fail to address is that for the occupants of vehicles involved in a crash, the biggest cause of fatalities is head injuries. A lot more drivers than cyclists die on the roads every day and I don't see the police 'suggesting' that drivers wear helmets.

Really that's kind of silly. They may not insist on helmets for drivers, but they do insist on a large raft of safety implements in modern cars before they can be used on the roads. Head injuries may well be the major killer because we've managed to seriously reduce most of the other ways of dying in a vehicle via compulsory safety aids.  All activities carry risk, some of which we simply accept because of social norms and the nature of the activity. Thus we don't insist on all swimmers wearing oxygen tanks. 

I do not support compulsory helmet wearing because on balance I think it is probably detrimental to the safety of the cycling population. However, there are very real individual safety benefits from wearing a helmet. 

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