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Case against Compulsory Helmet Wearing for Cyclists

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by LucasHodge, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. I just read this article (below) and would be interested to see other peoples opinions to riding without helmets and if it should be compulsory?

    Personally I prefer to ride without a helmet and on a large number of occassions when I am riding through parks or quieter streets I don't use a helmet. I do use a helmet if it involves more public road spaces, more so because it is a compulsory thing and I would rather not pay a fine than because I feel it is going to save my life.

    The most interesting thing noted in this article (though I would like to see some real figures) is a helmet is more likely to save people from head damage if they are a motorist rather than a cyclist!! ironic!!!

    Full article:

  2. oh god!!! for a second there i thought you were talking about motorbikes.... was about to ask when was the last time you visited a shrink :shock:

    the fact still stands that you WILL reduce head injuries if you do smack your head. i've actually hit my head twice on a bike, once hitting a pole, once hitting a tree. when i hit the pole, i was wearing a helmet, my body copped it worse than my head from falling back on the bike. the second time, i wasn't wearing a helmet, i didn't get to think about my body cos i was knocked out cold. i can tell you that once that happens, that helmet will be on your noggin every time, not on the handlebars.

    i dont think its really to curb deaths on the road from cyclists, but more to get kids into a good habit. i doubt that a copper will pay much if any attention to a grown man not wearing a helmet, but they will stop a kid to teach them a lesson. you might veiw it as a bit unnecissary, but if you had a kid on the road, would you prefer them to be wearing a helmet or not? if most people didn't wear helmets, then the kiddies will follow by example.....

    thats what i think anyway :wink:
  3. if I am riding on any hard surface..road footpath
    I always wear a helmet or head protection..always have
    even years ago, those head things the road riders wore...
    coz I do, I am still around...
    Back in 1999 while riding around Albert Park at a fair pace,
    a jogger ran out between parked cars, wasn't looking and straight into me....
    she ( the jogger) went to hospital with a suspected broken arm
    I went to hospital with concussion and a cracked skull
    The neurosurgeon said if I hadn't worn a helmet, I would be dead
    The helmet?...stuffed! (along with a new bike jersey and the bike)
    yes I still ride
    and no, I don't need a government to tell me to wear a helmet!
    on the soft stuff up the park...???
    the helmet comes off ocassionally...my choice 8)

    my 2c

  4. Hi Lucas and welcome to the forum.

    I only have anecdotal evidence to support a case for the use of helmets. In 1984 an experienced cyclist fell off his bicycle while stationary and hit his head on the curb only to be pronounced doa at Shep Base Hospital.

    I myself T-boned a car at over 100ks and was found in a paddock with a cracked helmet covered in paint from the impact with the offending car. I survived with nothing more than a nervous twitch whenever I see an old fart in an old Holden.

    My conclusion is to don the helmet whenever I venture near cars, but I suppose each to their own is what you are arguing, but I still think helmets work. If not compulsory, I think the only ones who would wear them would those that survive a stack and realise their value. That's my 2C worth.

  5. Hi Lucas welcome to the forum do you ride a bike with a motor or a deadly treadly? Having recently i.e 3 weeks ago been encouraged to wear a full faced claustrophobic entrapment I must admit while I love to ride helmetless hair blowing free in the wind but my brain smutty as it may be & my looks (ok pure vanity!) are my first consideration!

    Think of this lying there as a vegetable brain fully active saying if only you'd worn a helmet Richard Cranium!
  6. I gotta say that was an increadible poorly written article. he uses football as an example of research. bit of a diferent thing really. which football code which helmets?

    anybody claiming that your head surface are and mass is increase should wake up the the fact that if you're about to headplant into the ground at 50km/h, it probably is sematics as to the extra 2.5 cm added. and even then it was a "may". i.e. some doctor was asked at the endof a 13 shift "could it cause brain injury?" "it may" ahha proof of evil government control.

    then the favourite civil liberties line was thrown in.

    bleh that group has way to much time on their hands
  7. russ do you come with english subtitles I'm well over point 05 & my post made more sense than yours or else I'm really too pissed to go to work tomorrow so correxct me if you want & I'll take an extra day of my annual leave!
  8. An illogical article written by a fantatic. He asks government/others to prove their case for mandatory bicycle helmets, but then fails to provide any evidence for his own opinions and claims of statistics (Eg. "In fact, bicycle-related fatalities in Australia had been declining.").

    Monash University Accident Research Centre does a lot of work with brain injury accidents, inlcuding bicycle helmet usage analysis. For example, checkout http://www.monash.edu.au/muarc/reports/muarc076.html

    Lucas, do you think that by just riding in parks and quiet streets, you won't possible sustain a fatal head injury if you fall, or just that you think the risk of such an accident is at such a low level that your willing to accept that risk for the sake of 30seconds to attach a helmet and less than ½kg of weight on your head?
  9. I had a get off form a trail bike a while ago and it was only for the fact that I had a good helmet that I am able to write this now.
  10. Personally, I don't like being told how to live my life by anyone, but it's the responsibility of all of us to set a good example for the younger generation, so they can grow up and do the same for theirs.

    I wear my bicycle helmet on the odd occasion I ride it, but I would be just as happy without it. I think there should be an age where as adults; we have the right to decide what's right for us.
  11. Hmm bicycles.. helmet or no helmet...

    Just like my motorbike rifing skills... I flipped a pushy once as well.

    Hmm... I wont think about that too much.

    But basically I was still moving foward in the riding postion but if I looked down at my feet I was looking at the sky (if you can imagine it). Sliding along on my head I was. Another time I flipped the bike at a low speed and ended up on my head. Was my sisters lil stunt bmx, was prone to flipping that lil pink thing.

    Maybe I'm just no good on two wheels?

    Moral of my story / rant.... give me a helmet anytime... IM A CLUTZ!
  12. I ride quite alot to keep fit now thatI'm off the smokes, and have always worn a helmet.

    My kids ride in the back yard and wear helmets.

    Regardless of what you think they look like on ya melon, they do save lives.
  13. how many accidents where helmets saved people and not recorded (personal my sons have had 3 on there bikes and the helmets saved them on 3 occassions), goverments telling people what to do, freedom of choice .
    sorry all bollocks

    ask any nurse who's has worked in A&E , head and spinal injury units , ambo's etc
    how many times has a patient said "it could have been worse if I wasnt wearing my helmet"
    theres your proof.

    helmets should be compolsary for all people.
    why , you explain freedom of choice to a mother who has lost her child from a simple fall of a push bike.
    not a big accident simple fall , grazed knee and the helmet if worn would have saved his head from hitting the concrete.
    it happens all the time , and if you dont believe me a quick call to the royal childrens hospital will back my comments up.
  14. sorry

    welcome lucas :wink: :LOL:
  15. We're talking treadlys here, right ? I used to ride a lot, and I was one of the earliest takers for the "recommendation" of wearing a lid on a bike. Had me a red cruiser-style lid (open face but full head cover) - never went out without it.

    To this day I wouldn't get on a bike, motorised or pedal-powered, without my lid. Always been a firm believer in helmets.

    And besides, I know the day I DON'T wear it is the day I come a cropper.
  16. I used to have one of those open faced cruised type of bike helmets as well.... people thought I used to use my harley helmet when out on my pushy... used that thing all the way up till yr11 when the teacher of biker ed went off at me!
  17. Could be gridiron Russ.

    Me, I think helmets should be compulsory. I always wear one on the pushie or the real bike and I will be encourage my son to wear one as well (as soon as he is old enough to ride).

    I just think "Why take the chance?"
  18. I'm never one for saying "this MUST be done" - personal choice once you're 18 I reckon. Legislate it for "kids must wear a helmet" and then once you're 18 you can choose - then its your problem if you crack your noggin on something hard.

    Me personally would always wear a lid, but I don't see why, if you want to kill yourself on a treadly, then you have to. Besides, enforcing a silly helmet law wastes valuable time for our law enforcement officers. Maybe let health insurance companies deny a claim if you weren't wearing a lid.

    Just my additional $0.02 (+GST)
  19. That's the real issue though, it's not just your own problem. Even if you do die instantly, there's still the social cost requirement of ambulance and coroner etc. If you don't die instantly, then the social cost requirement increases exponetionally ... hospitalisation, rehab, reskilling (if brain damaged), etc. I, as a taxpayer, have to pay for your decision not to wear the helmet.

    It's because of stupidity that affects all of us that we require laws against many things. The social fibre of any community of any size requires that the majority has their impact minimised by the stupidity and recklessness of the minority.

    Now, if only I could get the government to stop using my taxes to pay for ambulances/hospitals/etc. to attend habitual drug overdoses...
  20. The case for wearing a helmet especially on pavement is stronger reading your responses. I have crashed 3 times all without helmets an at a decent speeds approx 30-40 kph on pavement. Once going from sidepath to road and twice when a dog has run in front of me and all three times I have managed to fall on my side an escape without anything more than a few scratches. I put it down partly to my co-ordination on a bike and luck. I have taken the point of view that a helmet is about as useful as a helmet on a skydiver in the past and any crash that I was not in control of the circumstances ie crazy motorist a helmet would not make any difference. But I realise that even the most skillful rider cannot depend on skill alone as some of your stories involing pedestrians and motorist attest to.

    So should we wear helmets, well children and anyone not possessing some skill on a bike definetely. For me I am still a little undecided but I am starting to lean toward wearing a helmet.