Great Helmet War

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Cluts Jason Merle

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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In reading another article posted on this group I noticed someone
mention the Great Helmet War. Can someone please fill me in on
what this was all about?
-J


Dave Althoff

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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Cluts Jason Merle (j-c...@ux4.cso.uiuc.edu) wrote:
: In reading another article posted on this group I noticed someone

: mention the Great Helmet War. Can someone please fill me in on
: what this was all about?
: -J

Easy. There are essentially two arguments, both related.

a. Should helmets be worn while bicycling.
b. Should helmets be required (i.e. by law, etc.) while bicycling.

The arguments boil down into the following points of view:
a. Helmets are a good idea.
b. Helmets are a good idea and everyone should be forced to use them.
c. Helmets are a good idea, but no one should be forced to use them.
d. Helmets are essentially useless but wouldn't hurt.
e. Helmets are essentially useless and should not be required
f. Helmets are dangerous and should not be used

g. Without regard to effectiveness, helmets should be required.
h. Without regard to effectiveness, requiring helmets would be unreasonable.

Naturally, people holding any of these opinions are highly unlikely to
change, and any discussion quickly degenerates into name-calling,
meaningless arguments, and lots and lots of anecdotes. My suggestion is
that you not even bring the subject up. Whether or not you use a lid,
whether or not you advocate requiring them, don't even suggest to anyone
else that he use/not use one. Just like bringing up religion at a dinner
party.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
(hoping to stop this one before it starts...!)
--
/-\ _ _ __ *** .SIG NOW OPEN!!!! ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /XX\_ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ _/XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/23/95
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In article <3ukjq7$h...@acme.freenet.columbus.oh.us>,
dal...@freenet.columbus.oh.us says...

It's quite simple, really: As we all know, there are
people with brains, and people with nothing between
their ears. Cyclists with brains quickly realize
that it hurts (and worse) when you bang them on the
pavement -- and so they wear helmets. People with air
between their ears have nothing to protect -- and so
they don't.

Best,
Bastian Wimmer
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net


Dave Althoff

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Jul 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/23/95
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(previous post made comments about ears, brains, and such)

Dammit, that was exactly what I was hoping to avoid.

Here we go again...

--Dave

DEREK HODGE

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Jul 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/23/95
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BW+It's quite simple, really: As we all know, there are
+people with brains, and people with nothing between
+their ears. Cyclists with brains quickly realize
+that it hurts (and worse) when you bang them on the
+pavement -- and so they wear helmets. People with air
+between their ears have nothing to protect -- and so
+they don't.

Paranoid cyclists who wanted to reduce the risk of head injury to an
absolute minimum would do all their recreational cycling at home on
rollers, wearing their helmets.

They might think that anyone who accepts the extra risk involved in
riding on the road was a moron with nothing between their ears.

They would be wrong, just like you.


Derek Hodge (derek...@almac.co.uk)

* 1st 2.00j #5135 *

Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/24/95
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In article <3uu758$7...@acme.freenet.columbus.oh.us>,
dal...@freenet.columbus.oh.us says...

>
>(previous post made comments about ears, brains, and
such)
>
>Dammit, that was exactly what I was hoping to avoid.
>
>Here we go again...
>
Sorry if you took offense. I did not intend my
comments to be combative or anything of the sort. Nor
would I argue everyone's right to come to their own
conclusions about helmets, and wear them or not wear
them as they please. There are, however, some facts
that exist independently of people's opinions, tastes
and fancies. Fact 1: In the United States, over 900
cyclists are fatally injured every year. Fact 2:
Almost 80% of these die of head injuries. Fact 3:
Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
bicycling helmets. End of argument. Let's debate
these facts, not each other.

Best,
Bastian Wimmer
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net


Florin Feldman

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Jul 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/24/95
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In article <3utvol$n...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>, ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bastian Wimmer) writes...

>In article <3ukjq7$h...@acme.freenet.columbus.oh.us>,
>dal...@freenet.columbus.oh.us says...
>>
>>Cluts Jason Merle (j-c...@ux4.cso.uiuc.edu) wrote:
>>: In reading another article posted on this group I
>noticed someone
>>: mention the Great Helmet War. Can someone please
>fill me in on
>>: what this was all about?
>>: -J

[stuff deleted]

>>My suggestion is
>>that you not even bring the subject up. Whether or
>>not you use a lid, whether or not you advocate requiring them, don't
>>even suggest to anyone else that he use/not use one.

>It's quite simple, really: As we all know, there are

>people with brains, and people with nothing between

>their ears. Cyclists with brains quickly realize

>that it hurts (and worse) when you bang them on the

>pavement -- and so they wear helmets. People with air

>between their ears have nothing to protect -- and so

>they don't.
>
>Best,
>Bastian Wimmer
>ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net


This is a great example of the kind of morons who never miss
a perfect opportunity to shut up! The good advice was, and
will always be, do what you want to do, but let others do what
they want to do!

Florin


tony atoms

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Jul 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/24/95
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I think the key phrase was "bang them on the pavement." The helmet people, apparently, enjoy, or otherwise feel compelled to bang th=
eir heads on the pavement. If this is true, and I must say I find it a bit hard to accept, then a helmet would be an excellent thing=
to wear.

tony atoms finger for pgp public key
http://www.ecn.bgu.edu/users/uaadams/tone.html
------------------------------------------------------------
stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal
more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm

Information Services

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Jul 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/24/95
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>Sorry if you took offense. I did not intend my
>comments to be combative or anything of the sort. Nor
>would I argue everyone's right to come to their own
>conclusions about helmets, and wear them or not wear
>them as they please. There are, however, some facts
>that exist independently of people's opinions, tastes
>and fancies. Fact 1: In the United States, over 900
>cyclists are fatally injured every year. Fact 2:
>Almost 80% of these die of head injuries. Fact 3:
>Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
>bicycling helmets. End of argument. Let's debate
>these facts, not each other.

O.K., you're on; post the citations for the research which supports these
so-called "facts", including the statistical sampling methods used, the
qualifications of the individuals or organizations responsible for
collecting this information, corroborating studies, and dates performed.
When you've proven that your position is based on more than hearsay,
superstition and ignorance, we'll debate the relative merit of the actual
data upon which you've made these assertions.

RES
--
KPMG Peat Marwick | Los Angeles
Information Services | California, U.S.A.

Sara Easler

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
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In article <3uv0ov$j...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>, ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bastian Wimmer) writes:

|> Sorry if you took offense. I did not intend my
|> comments to be combative or anything of the sort.

Give me a break.

"and so they wear helmets. People with air

between their ears have nothing to protect -- and so

they don't."

Insults are kind of combative don't you think ? Whatever your
intent is, lacing your remarks with comments like this only fuel
'Helmet Wars' and detract from and meaningful discussion.

[snip]

|> and fancies. Fact 1: In the United States, over 900
|> cyclists are fatally injured every year. Fact 2:
|> Almost 80% of these die of head injuries. Fact 3:
|> Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
|> bicycling helmets. End of argument.

Please check your "facts." Where did you get them? Was it
from an advertisement for helmets by chance? Or from that
wonderful body of government beaueracrats, the CPSC?

My understanding is that you are correct about Fact #1 but
let's put it in perspective. The major cause of death for all
road users is head injuries, that includes motor vehicle ^^^
occupants (~40,000) and pedestrians (don't know exact figures
but know its' more than 900). Why single out cyclists for
helmets when they constitute a such a small minority?

As for "Facts' #2, & #3. Studies done on the effectiveness of
styrofoam helmets, in fact, vary greatly in their conclusions. The 75%
you cite is amongst the very highest of estimates. The studies
with such optimistic results tested styrofoam helmets under optimum
conditions, eg: fit perfect, brand new helmet and did not take into
account risk compensation. Other less published studies have
shown no benefit at all.

"Cycle Helmets - The Case for and Against" by Mayer Hillman
includes references to several of the studies done on bicycle
helmets. Based on the evidence presented in this report, the British
Medical Association recommended against mandatory helmet laws.
If you're interested in a copy write to :

Cycle Touring & Campaigning
69 Meadrow, Godalming, Surrey,
GU73HS, England

The call number is ISBN 0-85374-602-8

|> Let's debate
|> these facts, not each other.

This is inconsistent with the tone of your post.

Sara

Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
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In article <3v27g4$5...@omega.gmd.de>,
Wolfgan...@gmd.de says...
>

>If you have a brain, draw your conclusions. If you
don't, you
>obviously haven't.
>
Right. To quote our esteemed recent Vice President
Dan Quayle: "A mind is a terrible thing not to have".

Bastian Wimmer


Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
to
In article <24JUL199...@vax2.concordia.ca>,
flo...@vax2.concordia.ca says...
>

>This is a great example of the kind of morons who
never miss
>a perfect opportunity to shut up! The good advice
was, and
>will always be, do what you want to do, but let
others do what
>they want to do!
>
>Florin
>

If you would stop foaming from the mouth for a minute
and take the time to read my earlier post, you would
find that this is exactly what it says.

Bastian Wimmer
ima...@pop04.ny.us.ibm.net


Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
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In article <3v2vc5$d...@bcrkh13.bnr.ca>,
sea...@bnr.ca says...

>
>
>In article <3uv0ov$j...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>,
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bas
>tian Wimmer) writes:
>
>|> Sorry if you took offense. I did not intend my
>|> comments to be combative or anything of the sort.
>
>Give me a break.
>Insults are kind of combative don't you think ?

You're right. It was meant as a harmless joke -- but
I admit that it reads less benign than I intended it.
My apologies.


>
>|> Fact 1: In the United States, over 900
>|> cyclists are fatally injured every year. Fact 2:
>|> Almost 80% of these die of head injuries. Fact 3:
>|> Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided
with
>|> bicycling helmets. End of argument.
>
>Please check your "facts." Where did you get
them?
>Was it from an advertisement for helmets by chance?

These figures are published and frequently used by
the Snell Foundation, Velo News, and the Bicycle
Helmet Safety Institute (which is not a mercenary
organization financed by the helmet industry but a
non-profit, consumer advocacy program operated by the
Washington Area Bicyclist Association). I would be
the first to admit that some of these numbers, e.g.
the "75% that could be avoided", are open to
interpretation -- but not to negation.

>The major cause of death for all road users is head

>injuries, that includes motor vehicle occupants

>(~40,000) and pedestrians (don't know exact figures
>but know its' more than 900). Why single out
>cyclists for helmets when they constitute a such a
>small minority?


Because this is a newsgroup about bicycling, and
because we are talking about cycling helmets. It is
true that many more people die in automobiles (and in
Bosnia, Ruanda etc. etc.), but this has no bearing on
our discussion-at-hand. Besides, seatbelt use is
mandatory for drivers.

>As for "Facts' #2, & #3. Studies done on the
>effectiveness of styrofoam helmets, in fact, vary
>greatly in their conclusions. The 75% you cite is
>amongst the very highest of estimates. The studies
>with such optimistic results tested styrofoam
>helmets under optimum conditions, eg: fit perfect,
>brand new helmet and did not take into account risk
compensation. Other less published studies have
>shown no benefit at all.


My information is based on tests published in Cycling
Science Magazine. Again, reasonable people can
disagree about the numbers, but it's NOT reasonable
to conclude that helmets offer no benefits at all
(By the way: I don't kow what you mean by *risk
compensation*).

To this I add my personal experience as a cyclist who
rides about 6000 miles a year: having gotten myself
into a crash or two when I was glad that I did wear
my helmet, and observing a half-dozen of bad
accidents (and one that was truly horrible) where it
was totally obvious that the victims were paying a
very high price for not wearing one.

>
>|> Let's debate
>|> these facts, not each other.
>
>This is inconsistent with the tone of your post.

You're right. Please see above. Again, my apologies.
I will now retire from this argument, put on my
helmet -- and go cycling.

Best regards,
Bastian Wimmer
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net


Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
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In article <tomkDC8...@netcom.com>,
to...@netcom.com says...
>

>
> Fact 3:
>>Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
>>bicycling helmets.
>

>Yet in New Zealand and Australia this hasn't been
the case.

That must be because, being in the Southern
hemisphere, they're cycling upside down. I was
referring to statistical information collected in the
United States.

Best,
Bastian Wimmer


Thomas H. Kunich

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
to
In article <3uv0ov$j...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>,

Bastian Wimmer <ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net> wrote:
>1: In the United States, over 900
>cyclists are fatally injured every year.

Uh, how many crack babies die from tramatic birth? Who would you
rather put your money into?

>Fact 2:
>Almost 80% of these die of head injuries.

This is arguable because over half of these fatalities, as I understand
it, are from children being run over by cars WHILE ON THE SIDEWALK. The
head injuries comprise only the _immediate_ cause of death. Were their
heads completely undamaged, most would still die from other injuries.

Fact 3:
>Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
>bicycling helmets.

Yet in New Zealand and Australia this hasn't been the case. But I guess
actually practice doesn't make any difference to people who want to believe
that they had don a crash helmet stressed for direct 10 mph collisions and
then jam their heads into a car with combined speeds in excess of 35 mph
and be just as good as new!

End of argument. Let's debate

>these facts, not each other.

Bastian, it's difficult to just debate "these facts" when they are not
facts at all. And when the control freaks are willing to publish
any lie in order to give themselves ground to try and force others
to do what they conclude is in other's best interests.

Tell you what, it you are willing to wear a helmet and let me smack you
in the head with an aluminum baseball bat I may conceed that there is
some protection afforded by a helmet other than cursory.


Mark Hickey

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
to
to...@netcom.com (Thomas H. Kunich) wrote:

<typical helmet war drivel deleted to save bandwidth>

Folks, let me please summarize the last 10 Gigabytes of helmet war
data....

There are 4 types of people......

1)Folks who feel helmets help you avoid head injury.
They site the facts that they've fallen on their heads quite hard
without major trauma, and follow their common sense which says that
helmets probably protect you better than a good hairdo.

2)Folks who feel helmets don't help you avoid head injury.
They site the fact that most people who die in accidents were smashed
flat by a car/truck/tank, or hit a concrete block going 50mph. They
also believe they can avoid bouncing their head off the pavement
due to what they believe to be their superior bike handling skills.

in addition there are.......

3)Folks who feel that helmets should be mandatory (at least somewhere).
They feel that there will be some decrease in brain trauma if
everyone who bounces their head off the ground does so with an
inch or two of styrofoam around it. They feel that this will
limit the cost of recovery and rehabilitation on the overloaded
and overpriced medical system.

4)Folks who feel that it's their God-given right to NOT wear a helmet.
This group is actually comprised of both Folks from groups 1 & 2.
Folks from group 1 who feel this way are basically saying "hey, it's
your life - take any chances you want to". Folks from group 2 are
saying "You'll pry a helmet onto my head over my cold, dead body,
you Nazi!"

So in the future, instead of hashing out all of the needless, unheeded
diatribe that clutters up the bandwidth, and makes it hard to read the
really cool articles like "Y Bikes rule the woods" or "Kill a cockroach
and you kill the earth", simply answer this posting with your particular
persuasion.

For example, I am a 1-4. See how easy that is... hard to flame too!

> Tell you what, it you are willing to wear a helmet and let me smack you
> in the head with an aluminum baseball bat I may conceed that there is
> some protection afforded by a helmet other than cursory.

Well, luckily this isn't the type of accident I usually have.... but if
you'd like, we can take turns dropping it on each other's heads from....
say 8 feet. I'll take all the cursory protection I can get... ;-)

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles

Phill Clink

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Jul 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/25/95
to
Quoting CLUTS JASON to ALL about Great Helmet War

CJ}From: j-c...@ux4.cso.uiuc.edu (Cluts Jason Merle)
--}Subject: Great Helmet War
--}
--}In reading another article posted on this group I noticed someone
--}mention the Great Helmet War. Can someone please fill me in on
--}what this was all about?
--}-J
--}
--}

PULEEEEEZEEEEE, NOT AGAIN!!!!!!!!

Internet - phill...@emerald.com -
FidoNet - 1:152/22 -
RIME - Emerald -
Springfield, Oregon, USA

CMPQwk/1.42/8137
> The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Wolfgang Strobl

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Jul 26, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/26/95
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ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bastian Wimmer) wrote:

>Right. To quote our esteemed recent Vice President
>Dan Quayle: "A mind is a terrible thing not to have".

You started the debate by writing an idiotic insult as a followup to a
very moderate posting. When people complained, you turned around and
wrote "let's debate these facts, not each other". Now you got those
facts , but that obviously doesn't please you, either.

What's next? Wan't to correct my speling?

--
o ( Wolfgang Strobl Wolfgan...@gmd.de (+49 2241) 14-2394
/\ * GMD mbH
_`\ `_<=== Schloss Birlinghoven, P.O. Box 1316, | #include
__(_)/_(_)___.-._ 53731 Sankt Augustin, Germany | <std.disclaimer.hpp>


Wolfgang Strobl

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Jul 26, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/26/95
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ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bastian Wimmer) wrote:

>Because this is a newsgroup about bicycling, and
>because we are talking about cycling helmets. It is
>true that many more people die in automobiles (and in
>Bosnia, Ruanda etc. etc.), but this has no bearing on
>our discussion-at-hand. Besides, seatbelt use is
>mandatory for drivers.

Wrt. Bosnia: nobody argues about the fact that helmets are usefull for
soldiers, at least during war. But we aren't talking about soldiers in
war, but about normal, everyday traffic. Currently, we debate the
relative dangers of the various modes of transport, and the necessety
of various protective measures to be used in traffic.

So please spare us preprosterous remarks like the one above. Thanks.

Despite mandatory seatbelt laws, people get brain injuries while
driving a car in normal traffic, brain injuries which probably could
have been prevented - or at least lessened - by helmets.

The very same applies to pedestrians.

Together, these two groups make up about ten times as many deaths than
dead cyclists, in Germany. With the additional information that
bicycle traffic has roughly a ten percent share of traffic, in
Germany, we can guess that your chance of getting a brain injury
because of helmetless bicycling is about as high as your chance of
getting a brain injury because of helmetless driving or walking.

So if you believe that the risk of bicycling is so high that it never
should be practiced without a wearing a helmet, what, pray tell, does
prevent me and you from applying the very same reasoning and logic to
people walking or driving a car? After all, a lot more lifes could be
saved that way!

Using the words of the late Bastian Wimmer

"It's quite simple, really: As we all know, there are

people with brains, and people with nothing between

their ears. Pedestrians and car drivers with brains quickly
realize that it hurts (and worse) when you bang them on the
pavement or on the side window -- and so they wear helmets.

People with air between their ears have nothing to protect --
and so they don't."

Ok?

Dave Althoff

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Jul 26, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/26/95
to
Hey, at least this time it's under an *accurate* subject heading...

I agree. Let's put this one to rest before it gets a chance to get started.

David Casseres

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Jul 27, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/27/95
to
In article <tomkDC8...@netcom.com>, to...@netcom.com (Thomas H. Kunich)
wrote:

> Yet in New Zealand and Australia this hasn't been the case. But I guess


> actually practice doesn't make any difference to people who want to believe
> that they had don a crash helmet stressed for direct 10 mph collisions and
> then jam their heads into a car with combined speeds in excess of 35 mph
> and be just as good as new!

> ...


> Tell you what, it you are willing to wear a helmet and let me smack you
> in the head with an aluminum baseball bat I may conceed that there is
> some protection afforded by a helmet other than cursory.

The helmet doesn'y offer much protection in the direct collision with a
car. However, a lot of head injuries in bike crashes come from falling
(sometimes because of a collision) and hitting your head on the ground.
The impact doesn't depend much on your speed at the time of the fall,
mostly just on how far you fall.

Thought experiment: Imagine that you put a bar stool out on some
pavement, sit on the stool, then pitch yourself onto the ground head
first. Would you rather do this with or without a bike helmet?

Only an idiot thinks that a helmet provides serious protection in all
accidents, and only another idiot thinks a helmet is worthless.

--
David Casseres
Exclaimer: Hey!

Information Services

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Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to

>>Now, allow me to ask you some questions in return. Is
>>*Peat* your first name and *Marwick* your last? Or might
>>you have something in common with the Advertising and PR
>>Agency of a similar name?
>
>Awww, geee, now you're back to "stupid" mode.............
>It's not an advertising and PR company, it's accounting and
>management consulting.......I guess your knowledge of
>business is about as accurate as your "statistics"......

I have no idea how I missed the original post, but thank you Florin for
your eloquent response to it. I do indeed work for the accounting firm KPMG
Peat Marwick LLP. My name is Richard E. Strayer, which I usually
abbreviate "RES" on all of my posts.

>>And if so, are you putting your
>>company on record against bicycle helmets? Is it the
>>official viewpoint of KPMG Peat Marwick Information
>>Services that the position that helmets save lives is
>>based on *hearsay, superstition and ignorance*? May I
>>quote you? And may we know if you -- and/or any of your
>>clients -- have a financial stake in the issue?

Of course not; I speak for myself, as does most everyone else on the
Internet. And no, my viewpoint is not that the position that helmets
save lives is based on hearsay, susperstition and ignorance. My viewpoint
is that the spurious hype which you attempted to pass off as "fact" has no
foundation in reality; and you're more than welcome to quote me on that.

Neither I, my company, nor any of it's clients have any financial
interest whatsoever in either side of this ridiculous debate; and just
to set the record straight, I personally always wear a helmet. My
reponse has nothing to do with the issue itself; rather I was addressing
the ludicrous posturing and blatant absence of any credible statistics
which your post displayed, and which typifies nearly every post on this
subject. Individuals on both sides of this argument are allowing their
mouths to write checks that their statistics can't cash; my contention is
simply that you should either put up or shut up.

RES

Disclaimer For The Clueless: The views expressed in this and all previous
posts are those of the author, and in no way reflect the opinions or
policies of the employer through who's account they are posted.

Bastian Wimmer

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Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to
In article <kpmglibD...@netcom.com>,
kpm...@netcom.com says...

>
>O.K., you're on; post the citations for the research
>which supports these so-called "facts", including the
>statistical sampling methods used, the qualifications of
>the individuals or organizations responsible for
>collecting this information, corroborating studies,
>and dates performed. When you've proven that your
>position is based on more than hearsay, superstition and
>ignorance, we'll debate the relative merit of the actual
>data upon which you've made these assertions.
>
>RES
>--
>KPMG Peat Marwick |
Los Angeles
>Information Services |
California, U.S.A.

Wow. You found me out. The information that I earlier
rashly called *facts* is, indeed, based on hearsay:
from the pages of Cycling Science and Bicycling
magazines, and from publications of the Snell
Foundation and the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).
With hindsight I should have said *statistics*
instead of *facts*. I apologize -- and agree that
statistics can be used or mis-used to prove or
disprove a lot of things. With foresight, though, my
so-called *facts* have enough of the ring of truth to
convince me that I should wear a helmet when I get on my
bike. You do what you please.

Now, allow me to ask you some questions in return. Is
*Peat* your first name and *Marwick* your last? Or might
you have something in common with the Advertising and PR

Agency of a similar name? And if so, are you putting your

company on record against bicycle helmets? Is it the
official viewpoint of KPMG Peat Marwick Information
Services that the position that helmets save lives is
based on *hearsay, superstition and ignorance*? May I
quote you? And may we know if you -- and/or any of your

clients -- have a financial stake in the issue? (Sorry,
but I had to ask since everyone who speaks in favor of
helmets is immediately accused of being a paid stooge of
the helmet industry).

Thanks,
Bastian Wimmer
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.netIn article


Florin Feldman

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to
In article <3vavts$h...@news-s01.ca.us.ibm.net>, ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net (Bastian Wimmer) writes...

>I apologize -- and agree that
>statistics can be used or mis-used to prove or
>disprove a lot of things.

Congratulations, you've finally said something that is right!!!

>With foresight, though, my
>so-called *facts* have enough of the ring of truth to
>convince me that I should wear a helmet when I get on my
>bike. You do what you please.

Great attitude, now take the general advice of the group
and let's all drop the whole subject.

>Now, allow me to ask you some questions in return. Is
>*Peat* your first name and *Marwick* your last? Or might
>you have something in common with the Advertising and PR
>Agency of a similar name?

Awww, geee, now you're back to "stupid" mode.............


It's not an advertising and PR company, it's accounting and
management consulting.......I guess your knowledge of
business is about as accurate as your "statistics"......

>And if so, are you putting your

>company on record against bicycle helmets? Is it the
>official viewpoint of KPMG Peat Marwick Information
>Services that the position that helmets save lives is
>based on *hearsay, superstition and ignorance*? May I
>quote you? And may we know if you -- and/or any of your
>clients -- have a financial stake in the issue?

And now you add "plain silly" and "mean spirited"
to your "stupid" mode..........
Oh well, I guess it was too much to hope for, a little
peace in this ridiculous debate.....

Florin


Bastian Wimmer

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to
In article <3v5gcb$r...@omega.gmd.de>,
Wolfgan...@gmd.de says...
>

>
>So please spare us preprosterous remarks like the
one above. Thanks.
>

Man traegt also wieder Brett vorm Kopf?


Bastian Wimmer

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to
In article
<3v9akp$k...@lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,
gre...@umich.edu says...
>

>Bastian Wimmer (ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net) wrote:
>
>:Fact 3: Three fourths of these deaths could be
>: avoided with bicycling helmets.
>
>#3 isn't a fact. There are lots of badly done and
>biased articles in various publications which make
>various claims to this effect, or its opposite.
>There is ALSO good quality, well-done medical
>research in reputable, peer-reviewed journals.
>Bottom line: helmets probably can prevent about 1/3
>of deaths and 2/3 of serious head injuries (bad
>enough to require neurosurgery or to leave
>permanent disability such as seizures or movement
>disorders).
>
Thanks for the correction. I have no problem
accepting your figures. And, IMHO, they still amount
to a very powerful argument -- not for mandatory
helmet laws, not for giving *ulcers to an entire
newsgroup*, but for me to wear my helmet when I go
biking tomorrow morning.

Best,
Bestian Wimmer
ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net


Lee Albert Green MD MPH

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to

Not this again.

Bastian Wimmer (ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net) wrote:

: and fancies. Fact 1: In the United States, over 900
: cyclists are fatally injured every year. Fact 2:
: Almost 80% of these die of head injuries. Fact 3:

: Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with

: bicycling helmets. End of argument. Let's debate

: these facts, not each other.

#3 isn't a fact. There are lots of badly done and biased articles in

various publications which make various claims to this effect, or its
opposite. There is ALSO good quality, well-done medical research in

reputable, peer-reviewed journals. Several methods have been used, and
all converge at about the same numbers in *reputable* scientific work (not
advocacy publications!).

Bottom line: helmets probably can prevent about 1/3 of deaths and 2/3 of
serious head injuries (bad enough to require neurosurgery or to leave
permanent disability such as seizures or movement disorders).

We have no idea what fraction of lesser injuries they might prevent,
because no reasonable denominator can be established for exposure.

Baseline risk for death by head injury among serious cyclists is
somewhere in the one to two per thousand range. Helmets make a
significant reduction in a risk which is not very great to begin with;
i.e., a large relative risk reduction but a small absolute risk reduction.

Do I wear one? Yes. It's cheap, easy to do, and even a low risk of
ending up sitting in a nursing home drooling on myself is something I'd
prefer to reduce. Do the data justify haranguing those who choose
otherwise? Not IMO. So chill, already, before I end up having to treat
the entire newsgroup for ulcers!! ;-)

--
Lee Green MD MPH
Dept Family Practice
University of Michigan
gre...@umich.edu

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Gerry Hildebrand

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to

Deleted...

>My personal hypothesis is as follows:
>
>a) we see a statistical artefact here. Bicyclists, just like other
>people who attend in traffic, get head injuries, with a certain, small
>risk. The majority never gets hurt, at least not severe, and so sees
>no reason to change their behaviour. But those who get hurt and scared
>seek for explainations. They often reject the simple and obvious
>explaination: it was just by chance, or: it was because I took a risk
>which could have taken. People don't like such explainations. So the
>seek for a symbol for what went wrong. The missing helmet fits that
>role perfectly.
>
>b) There is a major difference in the risk perception between
>motorists and cyclists. The risk of the motorist is taken for granted,
>the risk of the bicyclist isn't, even if it is smaller (I've yet to
>see a good explaination for that observation). Sometimes that double
>standard is extreme, for example if newspapers report accidents in
>their "police report" column: car drove against wall, driver gets head
>injury and dies in hospital, bicyclist gets run over by a car and
>becomes paraplegic. They never fail to mention "he wasn't wearing a
>helmet!". Who? The bicyclist, of course!

I use to work with the Edmonton police and at accidents the police would
ask if the persons involved were wearing seat belt. Then later the
statistics would be person uninjured in accident was wearing seat belt.
Only no one would have been injured with or without seat belts.
Conclusion if you want the statistic to work just ask the right question.

--
Ride for life. Be active. Request bike lanes. Write your local politician.
ai...@freenet.toronto.on.ca or bw...@freenet.carleton.ca --- __o - __o
Gerry Hildebrand from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada ---- _`\<,_ --_`\<,_
Remember be good to each other:) ----- (*)/ (*) --(*)/ (*)

Tomasz Barczyk

unread,
Jul 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/28/95
to

Bastian Wimmer (ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net) writes:
> In article <tomkDC8...@netcom.com>,
> to...@netcom.com says...

>>
>
>>
>> Fact 3:
>>>Three fourths of these deaths could be avoided with
>>>bicycling helmets.
>>
>>Yet in New Zealand and Australia this hasn't been
> the case.
>
> That must be because, being in the Southern
> hemisphere, they're cycling upside down. I was
> referring to statistical information collected in the
> United States.
>
> Best,
> Bastian Wimmer
>

This is a very good example of total discharge the experimental
data.

Yes, helmet may help in some cases.
Yes, statistically it's benefit is negligible,
Yes, it is a HUGE market, worth targetting.

Tom Barczyk

Jeff M Younker

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
to...@netcom.com (Thomas H. Kunich) wrote:
>Could it be that they're on to something? Nah, not when we can
>pretend that an inch of styrofoam can withstand a 25 mph
>collision with a front fender.

The fact is that styrofoam can't withstand a 25 mph imact. It deforms
and in the process it absorbs a LARGE amount of energy. Easily enough
energy to prevent your head from cracking like a melon. Anybody with a
semester of physics should be able to calculate this for you.

Now I'm going to rant a little, and recount some events that I know
are not urban legends.

Personally, I hit a curb at about 25 mph with my *head*. When I hit I
flipped into the air and landed on my feet. I stamped around cussing
for a while, and then picked up my yamaha and drove home. That inch of
styrofoam is the only reason that I'm alive.

I watched a girlfriend broadside a car on her bicycle. She went over the
handlebars and hit the car with the crown of her head. It wasn't 25 mph,
but it was enough that she would have been in the hospital if not for that
inch of styrofoam.

I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough not to wear a
helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.

- Jeff Younker - je...@math.uh.edu - These are my opinions, not UH's -


jim frost

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
Steve Gordon <73750...@CompuServe.COM> writes:
>Especially when they can sell that 1/2 in. of foam for $99.50!!
>Ever notice how the biggest promotors of he3lmet wearing
>are bike shop owners???!

Oh please; you can get a decent helmet for less than $30.

The helmet manufacturers aren't all out to suck your blood. Most of
them offer extremely affordable helmets in addition to the far more
expensive fancy ones they use to fleece the fashion-conscious or offer
extra protection for the seriously insane.

I'm not affiliated with any bicycle sales organization, so this isn't
a sales pitch. I don't care whether or not you wear a helmet, either,
it's your head. When I was a roadie I never wore one; I didn't see
the need. In the woods, though, I find myself falling on my head a
lot :-).

jim frost
ji...@world.std.com
--
http://world.std.com/~jimf

Warren Block

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
Jeff M Younker (jeff) wrote:
: Personally, I hit a curb at about 25 mph with my *head*. When I hit I

: flipped into the air and landed on my feet. I stamped around cussing
: for a while, and then picked up my yamaha and drove home. That inch of
: styrofoam is the only reason that I'm alive.

I was hit by a car while riding, but the bumper hit the left pedal and
crankarm, so most of the force was transferred right into the bike's
frame. It went one way, and I went into the air, landing on concrete on
the back of my head and my right shoulder. My shoulder blade shattered,
which shows that there was definitely enough force to break a thick,
strong, bone, and certainly enough to break a skull. However, there was
no injury to my head, and in fact it didn't occur to me to look at my
helmet until the next day (trying to forget the pain of my broken
shoulder). The foam inside on the back of the helmet was crushed and
ripped...it had done exactly what it was supposed to, and without it, I'd
have been dead.

Today, I won't ride a bike around the block without a helmet.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------
| Warren R. Block * Email to: wbl...@silver.sdsmt.edu |
| Rapid City SD USA * Brought to you in majestic INEMASCOP! |
---------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas H. Kunich

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
In article <3v9akp$k...@lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,

Lee Albert Green MD MPH <gre...@umich.edu> wrote:

>Bottom line: helmets probably can prevent about 1/3 of deaths and 2/3 of
>serious head injuries (bad enough to require neurosurgery or to leave
>permanent disability such as seizures or movement disorders).

Studies always seem to misss the reality, don't they? Helmet laws
for motorcyclists and bicyclists have succeeded in reducing fatalities
through the same avenue -- decreased ridership.

Of course those stupid fools in Great Britain actually looked at the
facts and then their silly medical community decided that the reduction
in ridership decreased public health much more than the non-existant
savings in life from the non-existant increased safety from wearing
safety helmets.

Thomas H. Kunich

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
In article <3v9fr8$1j...@news-s01.ca.us.ibm.net>,
Bastian Wimmer <ima...@pop03.ny.us.ibm.net> wrote:

>Thanks for the correction. I have no problem
>accepting your figures. And, IMHO, they still amount
>to a very powerful argument -- not for mandatory
>helmet laws, not for giving *ulcers to an entire
>newsgroup*, but for me to wear my helmet when I go
>biking tomorrow morning.

Dastian, the point isn't to talk you out of wearing a helmet. I
wear a helmet. But the major causes of fatalities are overpoweringly
against a helmet offering any protection.

Wear your helmet. I bought my stepdaughters helmets and insist that
they wear them. But I insist more that they ride in such a manner that
they aren't relying on them for anything but that occassional silly
accident.


Steve Gordon

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
The problem for me is that a lot of organized
rides FORCE you to wear a helmet to participate.
I've been riding for over 40 years, and I think I've
earned the right to make my own decision.
P.S. Please don't give me the BS that "our insurance
requires us"....... Crap!!!
--
"See you on the road!"

Steve Gordon

unread,
Jul 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/29/95
to
>
> Could it be that they're on to something? Nah, not when we can
> pretend that an inch of styrofoam can withstand a 25 mph
> collision with a front fender.
>
Especially when they can sell that 1/2 in. of foam for $99.50!!
Ever notice how the biggest promotors of he3lmet wearing
are bike shop owners???!

Lee Albert Green MD MPH

unread,
Jul 31, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/31/95
to
Thomas H. Kunich (to...@netcom.com) wrote:
: In article <3v9akp$k...@lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,

: Lee Albert Green MD MPH <gre...@umich.edu> wrote:

: >Bottom line: helmets probably can prevent about 1/3 of deaths and 2/3 of
: >serious head injuries (bad enough to require neurosurgery or to leave
: >permanent disability such as seizures or movement disorders).

: Studies always seem to misss the reality, don't they? Helmet laws
: for motorcyclists and bicyclists have succeeded in reducing fatalities
: through the same avenue -- decreased ridership.

I'm sorry, but this is simply false. The studies in question were
case-controls. That is, the answer they returned is likelihood of injury
PER HOUR EXPOSED, not per population which may or may not ride bicycles.

Whether mandatory helmet laws reduce ridership is another subject. My
suspicion is that they probably do, but mostly by reducing the number of
the least skilled and least committed riders. Of course this group is
the most likely to have accidents. But this is still a different
question from whether and how much helmet use reduces an *individual's*
risk of injury. The data demonstrate that they do, to the modest extent
previously posted.

At the risk of being redundant (but because so many seem to flame before
reading), PLEASE read my post carefully. I did not, do not, and will not
advocate helmet laws. I am commenting on the data about protection
afforded to *individuals* who choose to wear helmets, NOT about helmet
laws. Helmet laws are a value judgment; helmet effectiveness is data.
Some who evaluate that data conclude that the modest but definite risk
reduction justifies requiring people to wear them, others feel that that
is too great an intrusion on personal liberty for such a modest risk
reduction and consequently limited impact on the public. That value
judgment is strongly made one way or the other by many people, who tend
to fall prey to the temptation to fudge the data to make their case
stronger. Please do not do so.

kre...@glenayre.com

unread,
Aug 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/1/95
to
Jeff M Younker <jeff> wrote:

>I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough not to wear a
>helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
>


Oh, how original.

MIS Dept RW Smith

unread,
Aug 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/1/95
to
In <3vls0u$2...@babylon5.glenqcy.glenayre.com> kre...@glenayre.com
writes:

How do you wash your hair with a helmet on?

Thomas H. Kunich

unread,
Aug 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/1/95
to
In article <173ECB3E6S...@american.edu>,
Denis McGurin <DM2...@american.edu> wrote:

> OK, make your own decision. It is your head.

My this is big of you.

>However, the leader
>of a ride has a right to make the rules for his/her ride.

No they do not. They may only exercise club policy. They may not invent
requirements as they wish. Furthermnore they may not restrict riders
from riding on the same road and along the same route as theirselves.

>Further,
>the club insurance probably does require them to require helmets.

Yes indeed, I'm sure that there is some totally stupid insurance company
out there that believes that they can dictate what is safe and what
isn't. Lead me to them! What standards to they require for helmets and
what ride leader checks these standards? Are 'hair nets' legal under this
definition? Yes, I'm quite sure that there are thousands of insurance
companies out there that want to open that can of worms.

Most of these ignorant policies are dictated by AGENTS who are making
false claims about their policies. Read your policy and be suprised.

>Unfortunately, we have become an extremely litigous society. While
>you may not sue the club, your legal guardian/heirs might. The
>insurance companies figure that helmets reduce injury/death and so
>reduce their exposure to paying.

None of which is changed whether you wear a helmet or not. The legal
question is whether or not a group of people riding on public roads
can be considered liable for the actions of one of themselves who
is there of his own free will.

The club needs the insurance to
>keep from being wiped out in a suit.

Quite the opposite, it is the presence of insurance that leads to most
of these types of law suits. Clubs have no money unless insurance can
supply it.

Whether either the club or you thinks
>the helmets offer any protection is irrelevant. You're both at the
>mercy of the insurance company in this situation.

#Excuse me, but the problem is your lack of guts to face the insurance
company down. It is very simple -- either they supply insurance or
they don't. If they do they do so at your terms, not theirs. There isn't
a bicycle club in this country that needs "ride" insurance. Simply
incorporate and as long as the board of directors doesn't allow
rides purposely designed to injure people you won't have any problems.

If there's a law suit just hire a lawyer with the available funds and
close the club if that's exceeded. Start a club under a new name
whenever you like. Incorporate as a non-profit association and
carry on. Or don't form a new club. Just everyone meet as before
and do whatever you were doing. It's a free country and the roads are
free.

> You can also make another decision if wearing a helmet bothers you,
>don't go on the club's rides. No one makes you go on them.

This is quite correct and the area clubs who demand helmets are now
complaining that membership is down. Screw them.

> IMHO and IME helmets offer tremendous protection. Example: When I was hit
>a tractor trailer while I was going 25-30mph and my roadrash was worse
>than my headache I was damn glad I wore that Bell Biker helmet and awfully
>sad I had to throw it away because of that LARGE crack in the shell.

Last year one of our elder members missed a driveway and hit a curb
dead-on. He went over the bars and landed squarely on his face. The
front edge of the helmet was broken. It has now become club mythology
that he was "saved by his helmet". Both that event and yours bear a
striking resemblemce -- neither can be used to understand what "might
have" happened.


Thomas H. Kunich

unread,
Aug 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/1/95
to
In article <3vh9c3$9...@lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,

Lee Albert Green MD MPH <gre...@umich.edu> wrote:

>I'm sorry, but this is simply false. The studies in question were
>case-controls. That is, the answer they returned is likelihood of injury
>PER HOUR EXPOSED, not per population which may or may not ride bicycles.

Dr. Green, we seem to have this argument every couple of months. How do
these studies estimate riders, mileage and TIME EXPOSED in a reliable
manner? Everything I've read shows from pretty crude 'guestimations'.

Even worse, I've heard one statistition say that a _single_ event was
data enough to extrapolate!

>Whether mandatory helmet laws reduce ridership is another subject. My
>suspicion is that they probably do, but mostly by reducing the number of
>the least skilled and least committed riders.

The very fact that you recognize that should also clue you in to the
further fact that a _lot_ of riders could stop riding without there
being significant changes in the statistics.

Child use of bicycles in California has dropped so drastically that
it is noticeable to almost any bike rider. Moreover, articles quoting
bogus studies have appeared in the newpaper touting great reductions
in head injuries due to the helmet laws for children.

Now add to this that most of the "low riders" (that catagory of custom
bicycle builders that haven't been chased off -- yet) don't wear helmets
and that any time now I expect to see some study saying that 97% or all
children with head injuries on bicycles were riding sans helmets.

Believe me, I understand that as a physician you should be concerned about
the physical well being of your patients. I only argue this with you
because I also think that it is up to the rest of us to strike the
balance with reality.

Wolfgang Strobl

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
DM2...@american.edu (Denis McGurin) wrote:

>My choice is I won't even go around the block without a helmet. Do whatever
>you want.

You really wear a helmet while walking around the block? Great.

--
o ( Wolfgan...@gmd.de (+49 2241) 14-2394
/\ * GMD mbH #include
_`\ `_<=== Schloss Birlinghoven, <std.disclaimer>
__(_)/_(_)___.-._ 53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany ________________


Robert Emmons

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
>Jeff M Younker <jeff> wrote:
>
>>I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough
not to wear a
>>helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
>>
>

If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
count helmets.

--
Robert Emmons When you believe things without proof
CalcShop Inc. you're in danger of believing almost
rem...@interramp.com anything.


jim frost

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
rem...@interramp.com (Robert Emmons) writes:
>If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
>this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
>count helmets.

This is not true. There are no helmet laws in the majority of the US
yet there are still a lot of people who ride with them. I do, for
instance.

I would probably agree that *fewer* people use them, although I
haven't been anywhere with a MHL so I'm not sure.

Marina Waltz

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
rem...@interramp.com (Robert Emmons) wrote:
>>Jeff M Younker <jeff> wrote:
>>
>>>I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough
>not to wear a
>>>helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
>
>If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
>this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
>count helmets.

Actually, that's not so. There isn't currently a helmet law
here, but I see far more cyclists, including children, with
helmets than without. (Before I get roasted, please note that I
said "I see more" and not "there are more". I have no idea what
the actual stats are.)

Regards,

Marina


Robert S. Fourney

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
In article <3vnrgh$4...@usenet1.interramp.com>,

Robert Emmons <rem...@interramp.com> wrote:
>
>If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
>this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
>count helmets.
>

Nope, I rode in Maryland when we were between lid laws and almost
always wore my full face, as did a lot of other riders and passengers.


>--
>Robert Emmons When you believe things without proof
>CalcShop Inc. you're in danger of believing almost
>rem...@interramp.com anything.
>

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Irony, or bait? I have a mother, I have a wife, I don't need Uncle sam to
tell me how I should dress every morning.


Bob Fourney


Benjamin Justin Cain

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
Jeff M Younker (jeff) wrote:

: The fact is that styrofoam can't withstand a 25 mph imact. It deforms


: and in the process it absorbs a LARGE amount of energy. Easily enough
: energy to prevent your head from cracking like a melon. Anybody with a
: semester of physics should be able to calculate this for you.

Well that's interesting. I didn't learn anything about the general
potential scattering problem until I was a senior in physics.

--

Ben
1992 FJ1200 "The Bushwacker" DoD # 1/137


Benjamin Justin Cain

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
Robert Emmons (rem...@interramp.com) wrote:

: If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
: this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
: count helmets.

Maybe we *should* do away with the helmet laws then. After all, if we
have to be told by the law to wear helmets, what exactly are we
protecting by wearing them?

Steve Gordon

unread,
Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to
>
> I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough not to wear a
> helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
>
> - Jeff Younker - je...@math.uh.edu - These are my opinions, not UH's -
>

That is EXACTLY my point. I am old enough to make
my own decisions. A lot of officious snots REQUIRE me to wear a helmet using the
"it's in our insurance coverage" horse-****.!

Sara Easler P180

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Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to

In article <173EDEAD5S...@american.edu>, DM2...@american.edu
(Denis McGurin) writes:

[snip]

|> The Plaintiffs can also take the leader to court, and riders on the ride.
|> This is more likely if the club is not incorporated, or has no insurance.
^^^^ ^^^^^^
Excuse me? What do you base this conclusion on? IMABHO, a lawsuit would
be more likely with insurance. Suing a nameless, faceless insurance company
with seemingly unlimited funds is a lot more attractive than suing an
individual with relatively limited funds, especially a fellow cyclist.

|> My view on the club insurance question is this: I won't lead a ride or go
|> on a ride of any club that doesn't provide insurance.

We have lots of lawyers, doctors and fairly wealthy individuals in our
club. I can understand why they are afraid and did not raise much fuss
when they insisted on club insurance. I consider it a little like buying
"insurance" from the judicial mob though, just short of extortion.
But this is a topic for a different news group.

Sara

Sara Easler

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Aug 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/2/95
to

In article <173EE6FC5S...@american.edu>, DM2...@american.edu
(Denis McGurin) writes:

[snip]

|> Walking/running - no helmet
|> Driving - no helmet

If you're stupid enough not to wear a helmet, you deserve to be
eliminated from the gene pool.

Sara

Robert Emmons

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3voocs$q...@srvr1.engin.umich.edu>,
hou...@news-server.engin.umich.edu says...
>
>I don't know where you're from, but maybe *you* should go to a
state
>that has no helmet law. There is no such law here in Arizona,
but I
>still see more bikers with helmets than without.
>
>--Dan

Oh! Testy! I certainly wouldn't wish death on you. You don't
even know if I favor or oppose helmets or helmet laws.

Robert S. Fourney

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3vqe9d$3...@usenet1.interramp.com>,
Robert Emmons <rem...@interramp.com> wrote:
>In article <3voocs$q...@srvr1.engin.umich.edu>,
>
>Oh! Testy! I certainly wouldn't wish death on you. You don't
>even know if I favor or oppose helmets or helmet laws.
>

Look bobby, nobody wished death on you. You spouted some
bulsh*t "facts" and told us to go look. Folks who live in non
helmet law states, and folks like myself who have lived and ridden
in both types pointed out that you could not have been more wrong.
Instead of admitting that you are full of doo-doo, you say that
your detractors are "testy" and are wiching you death (no idea wherer
you got that one from!). In another post you said that all the helmet
wearers in AZ were passing through from another state! AZ is not the type
of place you "pass through" in August if you can help it. If they are
passing through nothing prevents them from removing their (note spelling)
helmets once in AZ. You were wrong, you are still wrong, you are becoming
annoying by continuing to spout your wrongness.

Bob Fourney

mas...@ibm.net

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In <3vqe9d$3...@usenet1.interramp.com>, rem...@interramp.com (Robert Emmons) writes:
>In article <3voocs$q...@srvr1.engin.umich.edu>,
>hou...@news-server.engin.umich.edu says...
>>
>>I don't know where you're from, but maybe *you* should go to a
>state
>>that has no helmet law. There is no such law here in Arizona,
>but I
>>still see more bikers with helmets than without.
>>
>>--Dan
>
>Oh! Testy! I certainly wouldn't wish death on you. You don't
>even know if I favor or oppose helmets or helmet laws.

Speaking of testy... Dan, as far as I can tell, was not
wishing death on your or any such thing. He seemed to
pointing out the fallacy of your argument.

Whether or not you oppose or favor helmet laws has nothing
to do with the truth of your statement (or, in this case,
lack of).

Mike Stewart '84 Honda Sabre
mas...@ibm.net DOD #1734


Robert Emmons

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3vpa7h$g...@ixnews4.ix.netcom.com>,
dr_...@ix.netcom.com says...
>What???!!! We don't have a helmet law in Arizona and damn near
everybody I see
>going down the road on a bike is wearing one, except the Harley
riders, and
>even that's not 100%. It was 110 degrees out today and today
was no exception.
> I ride with a lid, but I'm against a helmet law too.
>

There probably just passing through from states with helmet

mas...@ibm.net

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In <3vqecu$3...@usenet1.interramp.com>, rem...@interramp.com (Robert Emmons) writes:
>There probably just passing through from states with helmet
>laws.

Is this bait, or would a person really risk looking ridiculous
to defend a point? Tom, John, you been hacking again?

131AA0000-RogersC(DR8926)273

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3vojie$1...@news.tamu.edu> bjc...@tam2000.tamu.edu (Benjamin Justin Cain) writes:
>Robert Emmons (rem...@interramp.com) wrote:
>
>: If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
>: this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
>: count helmets.
>
>Maybe we *should* do away with the helmet laws then. After all, if we
>have to be told by the law to wear helmets, what exactly are we
>protecting by wearing them?

Robert's statement is incorrect. The Hurt Study counted the helmets
and riders in a no-helmet-law-state and found that 50% of street riders
wore them anyway without coercion.

Chuck Rogers
DoD #0003 KotSBS
Honourary Brit #002
car...@dr.att.com
--

Mike Fleming

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3vnrgh$4...@usenet1.interramp.com>
rem...@interramp.com "Robert Emmons" writes:

> If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
> this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
> count helmets.

In the UK, before the introduction of mandatory helmets, 88% of
motorcyclists wore them anyway.

--
Mike (DF) Fleming MAG #79794 DoD #4446 Greenpeace #567708F

JKLO #004

dr rags

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
In article <3vnrgh$4...@usenet1.interramp.com>, rem...@interramp.com says...

>
>>Jeff M Younker <jeff> wrote:
>>
>>>I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough
>not to wear a
>>>helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
>>>
>>
>
>If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
>this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
>count helmets.
>

>--

>Robert Emmons When you believe things without proof
>CalcShop Inc. you're in danger of believing almost
>rem...@interramp.com anything.
>

What???!!! We don't have a helmet law in Arizona and damn near everybody I see
going down the road on a bike is wearing one, except the Harley riders, and
even that's not 100%. It was 110 degrees out today and today was no exception.
I ride with a lid, but I'm against a helmet law too.

--
;-------------------------------
; Dr_...@ix.netcom.com
; "Only two things are infinite, the universe and
; human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
; Albert Einstein
;-------------------------------


Robert Burnham

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
One difficulty here is that there are three distinct populations of
cyclists: experienced adult riders, casual adult riders, and kids. These
populations differ in knowledge of cycling and safety, and the law should
reflect this.

1. Experienced adult riders know enough to make an informed decision
about helmets and should have the freedom to choose not to wear one. (If
liberty and freedom mean anything, they have to include the freedom to
make stupid choices.)

2. Casual adult riders may or may not be knowledgeable, but in
practice many or most will probably err on the side of caution and choose
to wear one. When 30-year-olds mount their first bike in 15 years, they
have a lot of anxiety to deal with; helmets help. (But here again we're
dealing with adults who should have freedom of choice. And for the
helmetless newbie, perhaps roadrash or a bonk on the head will help the
learning curve.)

3. Kids below the age of vehicular majority (let's say 16 years)
should be required to wear them.

The problem, at bottom, is perceptual: adults can see (or learn to see)
bicycles as vehicles and behave accordingly on the road. But most kids
and their parents see bikes as toys. Anyone with ideas on how to break
this impasse?

Robert Burnham

Lee Albert Green MD MPH

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Aug 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/3/95
to
Thomas H. Kunich (to...@netcom.com) wrote:
: In article <3vh9c3$9...@lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,

: Lee Albert Green MD MPH <gre...@umich.edu> wrote:

: >I'm sorry, but this is simply false. The studies in question were
: >case-controls. That is, the answer they returned is likelihood of injury
: >PER HOUR EXPOSED, not per population which may or may not ride bicycles.

: Dr. Green, we seem to have this argument every couple of months. How do
: these studies estimate riders, mileage and TIME EXPOSED in a reliable
: manner? Everything I've read shows from pretty crude 'guestimations'.

The studies use several methods. There are case-controls, in which
riders are matched on various characteristics and injury severities
compared. These studies only see the people who get hurt of course,
which is why the only reliable data is on severe injuries and deaths, not
on minor injuries. Cohort studies are what you refer to, which use what
you term "guestimations". Your term is pejorative, however, and shows no
understanding of the sophistication of this sort of research. The
researchers are NOT making wild-ass guesses about exposure; they use
multiple methods and check their reliability against one another quite
carefully.

The most telling point though is that the studies replicate reliably, and
well-done studies of all methods used so far in reputable peer-reviewed
journals all converge on the same result. That's the benchmark of
reliability in science.

: Even worse, I've heard one statistition say that a _single_ event was
: data enough to extrapolate!

"Worse"? It may seem so if you've not studied statistics, but there are
indeed situations in which that statement is true. Very few of them, but
they exist. However, that's completely irrelevant here. The studies
in question are not based on "one" or even a few injuries. They're based
on hundreds or thousands of injuries.

: >Whether mandatory helmet laws reduce ridership is another subject. My

: >suspicion is that they probably do, but mostly by reducing the number of
: >the least skilled and least committed riders.

: The very fact that you recognize that should also clue you in to the
: further fact that a _lot_ of riders could stop riding without there
: being significant changes in the statistics.

Untrue, and again a misunderstanding of statistics. Whether most or a
minority of riders in the population wear helmets makes *no difference
whatever* in the RELATIVE risk. An individual's odds of death with
helmet are 2/3 of those without, of serious brain injury 1/3 of without.
The ABSOLUTE risk depends on how many people get into accidents where
they might be injured, i.e. the prevalence. If you have a population of
klutzes the absolute risk might be 6/1000 per year, vs. a typical
population of club cyclists which will be under 1/1000 per year. How
many people helmets can save is a function of relative risk reduction and
prevalence. Helmets prevent 1/3 of deaths, hence in the population of
klutzes they will prevent 2 deaths per 1000 per year if everyone wears
them, or 1 per 1000 per year if half the people wear them.

: Child use of bicycles in California has dropped so drastically that


: it is noticeable to almost any bike rider. Moreover, articles quoting
: bogus studies have appeared in the newpaper touting great reductions
: in head injuries due to the helmet laws for children.

I'm sure they have. But 1) helmet laws are a value judgment, and I'm
discussing helmet effectiveness not what you choose to do based on that
data (laws or no), and 2) newspapers are not my idea of the peer-reviewed
responsible medical literature.

: Now add to this that most of the "low riders" (that catagory of custom


: bicycle builders that haven't been chased off -- yet) don't wear helmets

: and that any time now I expect to see some study saying that 97% or all


: children with head injuries on bicycles were riding sans helmets.

But that is exactly the kind of study which would appear in the advocacy
press, NOT in the peer-reviewed literature. It doesn't tell me anything
to know what fraction of injured didn't wear helmets. It tells me
something to compare the degree of head injuries among helmeted and
unhelmeted riders who crash. If you don't understand this crucial
denominator issue, and why one study is bogus and the other reliable,
Streiner et al.'s "PDQ Epidemiology" is a very readable introduction to
the subject.

: Believe me, I understand that as a physician you should be concerned about


: the physical well being of your patients. I only argue this with you
: because I also think that it is up to the rest of us to strike the
: balance with reality.

The "rest of us"? I did not surrender my hold on reality when I took up
the practice of medicine, Mr. Kunich. I don't tell my patients what to
do, I tell them the facts (helmets are modestly effective, more than the
strident anti's want to admit and less than the strident pro's want to
claim), and let them make their own decision.

I would suggest that if you really want to strike a balance with reality,
you begin with some basic statistics and epidemiology, and with a clearer
distinction between the data and the value judgments people make based on
what those data mean to them. "2 per thousand per year" is data. "That's
too many, we should have a law" vs. "that's not many, keep your laws off
my head" is value judgment.

Craig West

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Aug 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/4/95
to
Daniel B Houlton (hou...@news-server.engin.umich.edu) wrote:
: Robert Emmons (rem...@interramp.com) wrote:

: : >Jeff M Younker <jeff> wrote:
: : >
: : >>I'm against mandatory helmet laws. If you're stupid enough
: : not to wear a
: : >>helmet, you deserve to be eliminated from the gene pool.
: : >>
: : >
:
: : If there are no helmet laws, no one wears helmets. If you doubt
: : this, just go to a state or country which has no helmet law and
: : count helmets.
:
: : --
: : Robert Emmons When you believe things without proof
: : CalcShop Inc. you're in danger of believing almost
: : rem...@interramp.com anything.
:
: I don't know where you're from, but maybe *you* should go to a state

: that has no helmet law. There is no such law here in Arizona, but I
: still see more bikers with helmets than without.
:
: --Dan

Robert's point is a lot clearer if you notice that this is cross-
posted from rec.bicicycles.misc. Most states don't have helmet laws for
bicycles, but do for motorcycles...

--
Craig West DoD#1748 Ph: (905) 821-8300 |1978 Honda CB750K Big Black Beast
Pulse Microsystems Fx: (905) 821-7331 |1975 Honda CB360T (RIP)
2660 Meadowvale Blvd, Unit #10 |1967 Kawasaki 250A1 Work in progress
Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA L5N 6M6 |cr...@pulsemicro.com

Robert S. Fourney

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Aug 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/4/95