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Can you educate me about bike helmets (for adults)?


Laurie4b
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We got bikes for our college students to use on campus, but we have not been a biking family thus far. 

 

I know they should wear helmets, but I have no clue about buying them. 

 

Specific questions: 

 

Do the helmets have to be tried on by the user or could we just purchase them without student in tow? 

 

Are there quality issues with different brands or price ranges or is it safe to get the best deal? 

 

Please also answer any questions that I have not asked but you think I should have! 

 

Thanks so much!

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They all have to meet federal safety standards so for a casual rider you don't have to bother with researching safety.  Ours has an adjustable wheel so it can be made to fit comfortably on a head. Having said that, dh has a big head and he had to buy a larger size helmet. 

 

A quick trip to a bike shop is an easy way to get one that fits just right.  But they will exchange it if you buy one without the student there and it doesn't fit. 

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I'd probably ask the person before making a purchase - people see to have strong feelings about what they like in a bike helmet, or even if they prefer to wear one at all.  But, unless the person has an unusually large or small head, sizing isn't that tricky.

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The helmet needs to be properly sized and adjusted in order to function optimally. It would be best to buy them at a bike store and have a person there do everything.

Yes, this. It is imperative they try on various helmets and have them properly adjusted for correct fit. Even more so, it MUST be non negotiable that they wear it EVERY time they are on their bike. Helmets are useless if they are not worn and not clipped.

 

Also, please please please consider daytime running lights--front and rear if they will ever bike off campus or at night. Daytime lights reduce collisions by enormous amounts and it cannot be overstated how important they are.

 

This is a major issue for me. My DS races competitively, we all ride on the road, and we are very involved in our local bike community. Even recreational riders need to be aware of how to keep themselves safe, and visibility is KEY.

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My helmet is on the bed, and I will put it on, before I get on my bike and go to run errands.   We live in Colombia. The first helmet I had, we bought in the bike store where we took our bikes for maintenance/repair and where we ordered a couple of bikes to our specifications. I tried that one on, etc.  Something happened to the fastener for the strap and it was old and the helmets they had at that time were more than I wanted to pay.

 

I bought the one I have now from a company on eBay. yallstore I think is their eBay name. We'd purchased a number of things from laptopz-store on eBay (laptop batteries, etc.) and apparently that's a yallstore eBay site.

 

I think I paid 8 or 9 dollars for this helmet, including shipping to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami.

 

After it arrived, my wife said that it has more coverage and is better, than the first helmet I had purchased here in Colombia...

 

I am very suspicious of motorcycle helmets here, and wouldn't buy one here, but I believe you could purchase any bicycle or motorcycle helmet in the USA and it will be fine.  

 

I think there is more "wiggle room" in a bicycle helmet and it would be easier to get a good fit with one of those, than with a Full Face motorcycle helmet, which is a heavy object to have on your head.

 

My bicycle helmet doesn't have a sticker that it is ANSI or Snell certified or that it meets DOT specs, but I suspect that it does. I hope it does!

 

Note: With a motorcycle helmet, you can pay (in the USA) 50 dollars or 1000 dollars. They all have the same protection level.  Some have features that make them much more comfortable, but all provide the same level of protection.

 

I suspect it is that way, with Bicycle helmets too.

 

THE RULE FOR MOTORCYCLES IS: "PUT IT ON BEFORE YOU TURN IT ON".   FOR BICYCLES, IT SHOULD BE, PUT IT ON BEFORE YOU GET ON THE BICYCLE

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Yes, this. It is imperative they try on various helmets and have them properly adjusted for correct fit. Even more so, it MUST be non negotiable that they wear it EVERY time they are on their bike. Helmets are useless if they are not worn and not clipped.

 

Also, please please please consider daytime running lights--front and rear if they will ever bike off campus or at night. Daytime lights reduce collisions by enormous amounts and it cannot be overstated how important they are.

 

This is a major issue for me. My DS races competitively, we all ride on the road, and we are very involved in our local bike community. Even recreational riders need to be aware of how to keep themselves safe, and visibility is KEY.

 

YES to lights!!! For visibility to vehicles and pedestrians. It sucks to get hit by a bike when walking. Here, it's the law to use lights and reflectors and a bell. Sadly, many cyclists don't. They are like invisible streaks in the dark. It's pretty scary.

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If I was going to order a motorcycle helmet from the USA, I would order an AFX.  Lots of "bang for the buck".

I don't know if they make bicycle helmets, but one might consider a Half Helmet or something.  A Full Face helmet offers a lot more protection, but is also a lot heavier.

 

With one of those, one would probably have FAR FAR more protection than with a Bicycle helmet.

 

This the main URL for AFX Helmets:  http://afxhelmets.com/usa/index.html

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YES to lights!!! For visibility to vehicles and pedestrians. It sucks to get hit by a bike when walking. Here, it's the law to use lights and reflectors and a bell. Sadly, many cyclists don't. They are like invisible streaks in the dark. It's pretty scary.

Many people also don't realise how invisible bikes can be when it's bright and sunny out. They all but disappear into shadows; fluorescent clothing helps, but not nearly as much as lights. At night, reflective clothing should be worn in addition to using lights. The key in both light and dark situations is to be seen from all angles.

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Go to a bike store if you don't mind spending extra money on the helmet. The reality is they are all certified , so more expensive helmets don't protect you better, they are just lighter weight, have more ventilation and can be more aerodynamic.

 

 

You could go into Dick's, REI or even Walmart and get a perfectly fine helmet. There are many that are "adult universal" sized. You do need to fit it to your head snugly and adjust the straps so that it doesn't wiggle back and forth, but I don't think you need a bike shop to do those things.

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Follow-on to my comments in post #8 in this thread. The more I think about this, the more I think that if we were in the USA (they are not sold here) that I would buy an inexpensive AFX Helf-Helmet made for motorcycle riders to use when I ride my bicycle, which is almost daily.  Possibly another brand, if the price was right...  There is SO much more protection, with a helmet designed for motorcycle riders than a helmet made for bicycle riders. The price differential is probably not very much.  

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Yes, this. It is imperative they try on various helmets and have them properly adjusted for correct fit. Even more so, it MUST be non negotiable that they wear it EVERY time they are on their bike. Helmets are useless if they are not worn and not clipped.

 

Also, please please please consider daytime running lights--front and rear if they will ever bike off campus or at night. Daytime lights reduce collisions by enormous amounts and it cannot be overstated how important they are.

 

This is a major issue for me. My DS races competitively, we all ride on the road, and we are very involved in our local bike community. Even recreational riders need to be aware of how to keep themselves safe, and visibility is KEY.

 

ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus. 

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks. 

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ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus. 

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks. 

 

I agree that cyclists need to wear a helmet each and every ride but it's HARD to get a college student to comply.   One thing that might help is a super lightweight locking cable so he can lock his helmet to his bike instead of carrying it around when he's in class. My helmet has air vents that provide enough room to slip a cable through to lock it. Yes, it can still be stolen but college students usually aren't looking to steal a helmet. 

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My DS11 has a round head (view from top) that needs an adult size helmet and I can't just buy something off the shelves even though I know his head circumference. I have a more typical oval head but very pointy ears. For me it is a comfort issue and certain helmets just fit me better. I can't ride a bicycle but enjoy tandem biking so still need a helmet anyway.

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ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus.

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks.

DS had an minor accident last year during a training session. No one thought anything of it, really he just fell over at a pretty low speed on normal dirt terrain. There might have been a rock involved, but he wasn't hurt in the slightest. We wouldn't have thought of it again until one of us happened to notice his (brand new) helmet was cracked. Yup, that beauty did its job so well he didn't even realise he had hit his head. I've never been happier to spend $100. :)

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I agree that cyclists need to wear a helmet each and every ride but it's HARD to get a college student to comply.   One thing that might help is a super lightweight locking cable so he can lock his helmet to his bike instead of carrying it around when he's in class. My helmet has air vents that provide enough room to slip a cable through to lock it. Yes, it can still be stolen but college students usually aren't looking to steal a helmet. 

 

Thanks. Good tip. Glad mine is not the only stubborn one. His brother's response was "What the heck? You don't think you need a bike helmet? " 

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ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus. 

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks. 

 

How old is he?  If he's an adult, its really up to him.

 

The research on bike helmets is very mixed - regular riding (not stunts or down mountains) without one is unlikely to be the riskiest thing he does.

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The research on bike helmets is very mixed - regular riding (not stunts or down mountains) without one is unlikely to be the riskiest thing he does.

 

I worked in a children's hospital injury prevention centre on a project funded by a head and neck trauma organization. The people who have experienced head and neck trauma, and their families, support using helmets. Those that haven't experienced it YET don't always see the point. Sometimes people don't get second chances to put on the helmet, and die in a crash. By then it's too late, unfortunately. Tragically, the most vocal against the use of bike helmets in our city was himself killed in a bike collision. His arguments about proper cycling training was better prevention against injuries didn't matter when colliding with a vehicle. People need both training and a helmet. 

 

Putting on a helmet every time you get on a bike is one very easy way to increase your chances to stay alive and reduce your chances of brain injury. Sure, people make choices to do things that are riskier than cycling, but the more times you get on a bike, the more chances for crashes. Is the average youth doing high risk activities as often as they're hopping on their bike? Doubtful. 

Edited by wintermom
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I worked in a children's hospital injury prevention centre on a project funded by a head and neck trauma organization. The people who have experienced head and neck trauma, and their families, support using helmets. Those that haven't experienced it YET don't always see the point. Sometimes people don't get second chances to put on the helmet, and die in a crash. By then it's too late, unfortunately. Tragically, the most vocal against the use of bike helmets in our city was himself killed in a bike collision. His arguments about proper cycling training was better prevention against injuries didn't matter when colliding with a vehicle. People need both training and a helmet. 

 

Putting on a helmet every time you get on a bike is one very easy way to increase your chances to stay alive and reduce your chances of brain injury. Sure, people make choices to do things that are riskier than cycling, but the more times you get on a bike, the more chances for crashes. Is the average youth doing high risk activities as often as they're hopping on their bike? Doubtful. 

 

To the bolded - sure, most get in a car quite regularly.  And unless they are racing them they probably don't wear a helmet.  They may do any number of other sports as well, and the rate of injury in biking is lower than that in many other sports.

 

Working with people directly who have injures understandably tends to make them take a certain view on prevention.  That doesn't mean they are the best people to give an overview of the question - arguably they are likely to be the most biased view you could get.  I'm not sure why people who have an injured family member are now considered the best people to assess risks.

 

Those who study the question in a larger context - like epidemiologists - are probably going to give a more balanced perspective on the advantages and disadvantages, and they are typically more mixed in their view of bike helmets, and typically tend to suggest that adults can determine whether or not the bike riding they are doing warrants a helmet.

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ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus. 

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks. 

 

I think you should keep the bike home if he refuses to wear a helmet, and repossess the bike if you find out he's not.

 

I was converted when my oldest was about 5.  He was outside, riding his toddler brother's Little Tykes push toy on the sidewalk.  Dh turned around and ds was unconscious on the sidewalk.  He'd hit a bump on the sidewalk, gone over the "handlebars", and knocked himself out cold, gave himself a concussion, and split his upper lip clean through.  He wasn't even going fast.  All I can think is if that can happen on a push toy made for toddlers, what worse thing could happen on a bike at higher speed?

 

 

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I would not supply my child with a bike if they refused to wear a helmet.  Most bike shops are great at helping find one that fits well.

 

DH's uncle was an adult who chose not to wear helmets when biking around town.  His wife tried to convince him, but he was sure he was fine.  He got in a wreck one day and died a few days later.  His wife made the hard decision to stop life support.  He left behind a wife and an almost 8 year old daughter.  It was tragic, and a simple thing as a helmet likely would have saved his life.

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How old is he?  If he's an adult, its really up to him.

 

The research on bike helmets is very mixed - regular riding (not stunts or down mountains) without one is unlikely to be the riskiest thing he does.

 

 

I worked in a children's hospital injury prevention centre on a project funded by a head and neck trauma organization. The people who have experienced head and neck trauma, and their families, support using helmets. Those that haven't experienced it YET don't always see the point. Sometimes people don't get second chances to put on the helmet, and die in a crash. By then it's too late, unfortunately. Tragically, the most vocal against the use of bike helmets in our city was himself killed in a bike collision. His arguments about proper cycling training was better prevention against injuries didn't matter when colliding with a vehicle. People need both training and a helmet. 

 

Putting on a helmet every time you get on a bike is one very easy way to increase your chances to stay alive and reduce your chances of brain injury. Sure, people make choices to do things that are riskier than cycling, but the more times you get on a bike, the more chances for crashes. Is the average youth doing high risk activities as often as they're hopping on their bike? Doubtful. 

 

 

I think you should keep the bike home if he refuses to wear a helmet, and repossess the bike if you find out he's not.

 

I was converted when my oldest was about 5.  He was outside, riding his toddler brother's Little Tykes push toy on the sidewalk.  Dh turned around and ds was unconscious on the sidewalk.  He'd hit a bump on the sidewalk, gone over the "handlebars", and knocked himself out cold, gave himself a concussion, and split his upper lip clean through.  He wasn't even going fast.  All I can think is if that can happen on a push toy made for toddlers, what worse thing could happen on a bike at higher speed?

 

 

 

 

I would not supply my child with a bike if they refused to wear a helmet.  Most bike shops are great at helping find one that fits well.

 

DH's uncle was an adult who chose not to wear helmets when biking around town.  His wife tried to convince him, but he was sure he was fine.  He got in a wreck one day and died a few days later.  His wife made the hard decision to stop life support.  He left behind a wife and an almost 8 year old daughter.  It was tragic, and a simple thing as a helmet likely would have saved his life.

 

We stopped by a bike shop tonight on the way to our "night before college starts" dinner and got one.Yes, ds is an adult ---but not  one with matured frontal lobes  :tongue_smilie: and we a providing the bike, so I didn't feel a bit intrusive by basically saying  "I am supplying you with a bike on the condition that you are willing to protect yourself from injury,." We give our kids a ton of freedom and leeway, but there are still a few things we  draw a line on.  I think he will wear the helmet now that he has it. 

 

To everyone who posted recommendations, I really appreciate it!

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To the bolded - sure, most get in a car quite regularly.  And unless they are racing them they probably don't wear a helmet.  They may do any number of other sports as well, and the rate of injury in biking is lower than that in many other sports.

 

Working with people directly who have injures understandably tends to make them take a certain view on prevention.  That doesn't mean they are the best people to give an overview of the question - arguably they are likely to be the most biased view you could get.  I'm not sure why people who have an injured family member are now considered the best people to assess risks.

 

Those who study the question in a larger context - like epidemiologists - are probably going to give a more balanced perspective on the advantages and disadvantages, and they are typically more mixed in their view of bike helmets, and typically tend to suggest that adults can determine whether or not the bike riding they are doing warrants a helmet.

 

There doesn't seem to be any reference to:

a) bicycle falls which involved hitting the head but the person didn't report to a hospital

b) head injuries which aren't labelled as "serious" 

 

There is a lot of new information and new methods of measuring and dealing with concussions. I'll keep protecting my head and my dc's heads while bike helmet legislation does whatever it does. Whether it's law or not, I prefer to protect my brain when I can.

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ITA. Youngest ds thinks he doesn't need one. Argh. That's why I was considering just buying one and giving it to him. But we paid for the bike to be refurbished so I am very much of the mindset that if he doesn't agree to wear the helmet 100% of the time, the bike stays at home and he can walk around campus.

 

WIll also get the daytime running lights. Thanks.

Here they have been legally required since some time in the 90's. I find that they are much of a muchness for fit unless you have an unusual head. Remember if you land on it you need a new one.

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There doesn't seem to be any reference to:

a) bicycle falls which involved hitting the head but the person didn't report to a hospital

b) head injuries which aren't labelled as "serious" 

 

There is a lot of new information and new methods of measuring and dealing with concussions. I'll keep protecting my head and my dc's heads while bike helmet legislation does whatever it does. Whether it's law or not, I prefer to protect my brain when I can.

 

Individuals absolutely can choose to wear bike helmets if they want to.   

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I see commonalities in arguments on this thread and the meningitis shot one. Adult child living alone on own insurance or not and not dependant on us- yes- they can do awful things and we have no power, Adult dependent on us and on our insurance, things like meningitis with its resultant potential brain injuries or bicycle accidents with their brain injuries are very much parents' business. I have very good medical insurance but many here have lousy ones. A catastrophic brain injury is very much a parent's concern because the financial and caretaking of said dependent regardless of adult status falls on them.

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I see commonalities in arguments on this thread and the meningitis shot one. Adult child living alone on own insurance or not and not dependant on us- yes- they can do awful things and we have no power, Adult dependent on us and on our insurance, things like meningitis with its resultant potential brain injuries or bicycle accidents with their brain injuries are very much parents' business. I have very good medical insurance but many here have lousy ones. A catastrophic brain injury is very much a parent's concern because the financial and caretaking of said dependent regardless of adult status falls on them.

 

YES! This is essentially the issue with a slightly different twist because we have socially funded medical care in Canada. There are great battles between "personal freedom" and the right to receive socially funded medical care when you make poor choices about health and safety. And we have no positive incentives when we make good choices in Canada, such as many insurance companies provide in the US (e.g., receive money when participating in fitness programs). 

 

It took a very long time for seat belt use to become the law in Alberta when they were in regular use in most provinces and states. The reason? People battling for personal freedom to drive without seat belts and face the consequences of injuries. When the general population pays for the health care of poor choices, it can take a lot longer for laws to be put in place. When you pay for your own care, you can deal with the consequences yourself or work harder to prevent injuries. 

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YES! This is essentially the issue with a slightly different twist because we have socially funded medical care in Canada. There are great battles between "personal freedom" and the right to receive socially funded medical care when you make poor choices about health and safety. And we have no positive incentives when we make good choices in Canada, such as many insurance companies provide in the US (e.g., receive money when participating in fitness programs). 

 

It took a very long time for seat belt use to become the law in Alberta when they were in regular use in most provinces and states. The reason? People battling for personal freedom to drive without seat belts and face the consequences of injuries. When the general population pays for the health care of poor choices, it can take a lot longer for laws to be put in place. When you pay for your own care, you can deal with the consequences yourself or work harder to prevent injuries. 

 

I am not aware of any kind of research that shows that this kid of link exists.  

 

I think your own personal health and public health generally are pretty strong incentives to behaviour.

 

The research supporting bike helmet laws  has always been questionable - much more so than seat-belts, yet many places have them anyway.  The main people they seem to benefit is those who prefer us to think all bike riding is especially dangerous - car manufacturers.  We are finally talking here of revisiting them in order to make a public bike program - something that could have significant health impacts - viable.

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I am not aware of any kind of research that shows that this kid of link exists.  

 

I think your own personal health and public health generally are pretty strong incentives to behaviour.

 

The research supporting bike helmet laws  has always been questionable - much more so than seat-belts, yet many places have them anyway.  The main people they seem to benefit is those who prefer us to think all bike riding is especially dangerous - car manufacturers.  We are finally talking here of revisiting them in order to make a public bike program - something that could have significant health impacts - viable.

 

You don't need laws in place for a behaviour to promote injury prevention. People of all ages wear helmets for downhill skiing and skating, as the speeds can result in more severe injuries. Cycling is the same. Encouraging helmet use isn't supposed to discourage cycling, rather prevent injuries. 

 

I believe that bike programs should also be encouraged. One doesn't have to eliminate the other.

 

When's the last time you fell from a bike, skating or skiing, or is this all theoretical to you?  Slamming into the ground, ice, packed snow or pavement hurts. Hitting your head against the ground, ice or tree hurts.  I think it should be a pre-requisite for law makers and researchers to experience the pain before deciding the risk isn't high enough for others.

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I am not aware of any kind of research that shows that this kid of link exists.

 

I think your own personal health and public health generally are pretty strong incentives to behaviour.

 

The research supporting bike helmet laws has always been questionable - much more so than seat-belts, yet many places have them anyway. The main people they seem to benefit is those who prefer us to think all bike riding is especially dangerous - car manufacturers. We are finally talking here of revisiting them in order to make a public bike program - something that could have significant health impacts - viable.

The main people who benefit from wearing helmets is the people who wear them and don't suffer lifelong injury or die as a result of a fall or collision.

 

I know you'll never be convinced, but hopefully this discussion is making an impact on someone else reading this thread.

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One could easily argue that other beneficiaries are drivers who hit cyclists and don't have to live with the lifelong guilt that they killed someone, as well as friends, families and communities who don't have to suffer a preventable loss of their loved ones.

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You don't need laws in place for a behaviour to promote injury prevention. People of all ages wear helmets for downhill skiing and skating, as the speeds can result in more severe injuries. Cycling is the same. Encouraging helmet use isn't supposed to discourage cycling, rather prevent injuries. 

 

I believe that bike programs should also be encouraged. One doesn't have to eliminate the other.

 

When's the last time you fell from a bike, skating or skiing, or is this all theoretical to you?  Slamming into the ground, ice, packed snow or pavement hurts. Hitting your head against the ground, ice or tree hurts.  I think it should be a pre-requisite for law makers and researchers to experience the pain before deciding the risk isn't high enough for others.

 

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say here.  I understood you to be saying that because in Canada insurance doesn't act to discourage people from avoiding safety devices for monetary reasons, they are less likely to use them.  But that seems to be the opposite of what you are saying here?  I'm misunderstanding one of your comments I guess.

 

Sure. many people, especially if they are in very fast or violent sports, use helmets.  Much the way you see helmets in car racing.  That doesn't necessarily mean that all forms of those sports require those things - there is a big difference between doing bike stunts on a ramp or racing at high speed and a slower ride on a bike path or around a university campus.  There are all kinds of levels of risk within the activities.  

 

You will notice that helmet use isn't totally an obvious no-brainer though - no one wore helmets for recreational skiing 30 years ago, and they still don't in many popular ski areas in the world, or in the most popular biking countries.  I daresay those people have fallen off a time or two.

 

And even in the violent sports, safety equipment can have unexpected results - there is some really interesting research into helmets in American football, for example, and whether they actually create more serious head injuries.

 

Bike share programs have been shown not to work with helmet legislation.  People don't like to share helmets.  And having more bikes seems to outweigh the health and safety benefits of mandated helmets, even without considering the environmental factors.

 

Generally I like my legislation and medical advice to be evidence based.  I daresay that doctors, researchers, and lawmakers include any number of people that have fallen off bikes.  Laws and recommendations out of fear without information are usually bad.

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One could easily argue that other beneficiaries are drivers who hit cyclists and don't have to live with the lifelong guilt that they killed someone, as well as friends, families and communities who don't have to suffer a preventable loss of their loved ones.

 

That would kind of assume that the helmets reduced that sort of thing, which doesn't seem to be the case.

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The main people who benefit from wearing helmets is the people who wear them and don't suffer lifelong injury or die as a result of a fall or collision.

 

I know you'll never be convinced, but hopefully this discussion is making an impact on someone else reading this thread.

 

Convinced of what? 

 

That a helmet can prevent you from hitting your head.

 

Sure, it can.  And not just on a bike.

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It needs to fit properly to be effective.

 

The main difference in cost is breathability. The more air flow, the more it costs to get the same level of protection. Pretty much any bike helmet is going to meet the same basic standards.

 

It doesn't do any good if they won't wear it, or wear it hanging on a handlebar or their arm, or without the strap strapped, so it needs to be comfortable while fitting properly. 

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I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say here.  I understood you to be saying that because in Canada insurance doesn't act to discourage people from avoiding safety devices for monetary reasons, they are less likely to use them.  But that seems to be the opposite of what you are saying here?  I'm misunderstanding one of your comments I guess.

 

Sure. many people, especially if they are in very fast or violent sports, use helmets.  Much the way you see helmets in car racing.  That doesn't necessarily mean that all forms of those sports require those things - there is a big difference between doing bike stunts on a ramp or racing at high speed and a slower ride on a bike path or around a university campus.  There are all kinds of levels of risk within the activities.  

 

You will notice that helmet use isn't totally an obvious no-brainer though - no one wore helmets for recreational skiing 30 years ago, and they still don't in many popular ski areas in the world, or in the most popular biking countries.  I daresay those people have fallen off a time or two.

 

And even in the violent sports, safety equipment can have unexpected results - there is some really interesting research into helmets in American football, for example, and whether they actually create more serious head injuries.

 

Bike share programs have been shown not to work with helmet legislation.  People don't like to share helmets.  And having more bikes seems to outweigh the health and safety benefits of mandated helmets, even without considering the environmental factors.

 

Generally I like my legislation and medical advice to be evidence based.  I daresay that doctors, researchers, and lawmakers include any number of people that have fallen off bikes.  Laws and recommendations out of fear without information are usually bad.

 

I'll ask again, have you biked on a road lately? I do it daily, and just now almost got doored by a lady getting out of her car without looking, and almost got hit by a car not obeying a 4-way stop. I'd love to hear what you suggest is a daily activity riskier than cycling in traffic.  I believe that biking will probably be the highest risk behaviour than my children and I do on a regular basis.  Perhaps, statistically, motor vehicle collisions is higher risk for injury, but it's a lot more comforting to know that when I'm in a car and get hit I've got some protection. When I'm on a bike and get hit, I have very little. 

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I'll ask again, have you biked on a road lately? I do it daily, and just now almost got doored by a lady getting out of her car without looking, and almost got hit by a car not obeying a 4-way stop. I'd love to hear what you suggest is a daily activity riskier than cycling in traffic.  I believe that biking will probably be the highest risk behaviour than my children and I do on a regular basis.  Perhaps, statistically, motor vehicle collisions is higher risk for injury, but it's a lot more comforting to know that when I'm in a car and get hit I've got some protection. When I'm on a bike and get hit, I have very little. 

 

I bike around my home - not since I had the baby though, 10 months ago.  I've never liked biking in traffic, so I don't, with or without a helmet.  I'm not going to try and tell anyone else they shouldn't because it is too risky though, based on my feelings.

 

What would probably make a difference for me would be a lot more people biking.

 

But really, what have my feelings got to do with what is safe?

 

Driving is certainly more risky and likely to end you up with a serious injury.  A helmet on a bike can only do so much.  Being in a car does seem more protected - but I don't know that it is an accurate perception.  What seems "comforting" isn't necessarily what is safer, it's often what we are used to or what our culture tells us is normal.  Why not wear a helmet in the car, like a race driver?  There was at one time an attempt to introduce helmets for regular drivers.

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