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Death rate VS vegetable rate

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Death rate VS vegetable rate

Old 02-18-19, 01:03 PM
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base2 
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Death rate VS vegetable rate

In this forum, over the years there has been many a discussion among the "Helmets do nuthin'" crowd & the "Helmets protect yer noggin'" crowd. I don't have the time to call out individuals or link to specific posts or threads. We all know they're here. Citing links or posts would be an exercise in playing whack-a-mole anyhow & you all know how to use the search function.

So my actual question is: "Why do people, usually the anti-helmet crowd, but not always, tend to conflate brain injury statistics with death statistics?"

This is intended to be a human-nature question. However, I understand that inevitably, statistics will get brought up.

So, in order to facilitate useful discussion & to adress the issue of stats, we can classify or define any cycling mishap in one of 8 catagories.

With helmet, lives, brain injury.
With helmet, dies, brain injury.
With out helmet lives, brain injury.
With out helmet, dies, brain injury.
With helmet, lives, no brain injury.
With helmet, dies, no brain injury.
With out helmet, lives, no brain injury.
With out helmet, dies, no brain injury.

Did I miss any classification?

Last edited by base2; 02-18-19 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-18-19, 01:43 PM
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Well... if your bar is so low as to be excited at the prospect of 'living', albeit 'brain dead' then what can I say. As I've said before, I personally would rather not survive if the alternative is living as a vegetable. The smart cyclist will wear a helmet while at the same time doing everything in their power not to become involved in a situation that brings their head into hard contact with a fixed object. Everything in their power. This means riding very defensively with a surfeit of situational awareness. More of this is on the cyclist than a lot of cyclists think. The accident that really tests a helmet does NOT involve a car! If a car is involved all bets are off. Half of accidents involve a collision with a fixed object or slippery road surface or road debris, etc. Those are the accidents that bring you down hard and might involve banging your head hard against the pavement. Do not become blase about being overcautious about the riding environment because you have a helmet on.
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Old 02-18-19, 01:43 PM
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Wouldn't that be 8 categories?

-Matt
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Old 02-18-19, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Wouldn't that be 8 categories?

-Matt
You are right. Corrected.
Thanks!
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Old 02-18-19, 01:56 PM
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My last bike wreck: (2007)

With baseball cap, lived, no brain injury.

But I'm still a vegetarian.
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Old 02-18-19, 02:04 PM
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Man, so many downer threads lately.
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Old 02-18-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Wouldn't that be 8 categories?

-Matt
Binary hard.

-mr. bill
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Old 02-18-19, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
In this forum, over the years there has been many a discussion among the "Helmets do nuthin'" crowd & the "Helmets protect yer noggin'" crowd.
This, my friend, is a flat lie.

There is no way, no matter how much you pretend to be doing some sort of "scientific" inquiry, to get good data with a flawed premise.

The actual debates have been, "Only stupid riders don't wear helmets" versus "Helmets work in a limited number of circumstances, and I choose not use that particular bit of safety gear, just an many riders choose not to use hip, wrist, or elbow pads, despite those also working to some degree in some situations."

A lot of people who choose not to use all the available safety gear, make that choice because decades of riding how shown that that safety gear would be of limited utility. Some also point out that there is no actual evidence of exactly how much helmets (or any other safety gear) help in anything but low-speed tip-overs.

As you note .... nobody has the numbers. Also, these aren't the kinds of things lending themselves to easy lab testing. I suppose with enough of a budget, some sort of testing rig could be developed ... but since bike accidents come in so many varieties, it would be really hard to test them all. And because so few people die riding bikes, no one really wants to spend the money doing serious research---no matter what, nobody would profit much. Sad that science is a business, but it is.

Fact is, the two camps seem to be "I want to wear a helmet, therefore everyone should be forced to," and "I choose to continue to ride without every conceivable bit of safety gear, and since I am still riding more than five decades after I started, I'd have to say the evidence of my existence proves that wrist, elbow, hip, shoulder, and head pads are Not necessary to cyclists' survival."

None of the people who choose to ride without a helmet ever claim that anyone else shouldn't have the option, whereas I have seen several times where people who choose to wear helmets want helmets to be mandatory ... and how they justify that is the start of a lot of the debate. Not a lot of people are pleased when some stranger, with zero actual data, tries to impose his or her will on strangers, and then ridicules those same strangers for making different choices.

Helmet debates are a lot like Vehicular Cycling debates.... essentially religious in nature. Some people claim to have a "greater understanding," some received wisdom which makes their choices "better" than everyone else's. When pressed for actual proof, they have nothing. But some maintain that if a person always rides in the middle of a lane, cars and trucks simply cannot hit that person, while if a person ride to the right he or she is literally asking to be hit (patent absurdity.) Similarly, some maintain that any cyclist who is not already brain-damaged Needs to wear a helmet ... and again, actual, citable proof about how much of a difference it might make is lacking, and actual real-world experience is ignored or denied.

I don't mess with people's religions ... if it works for you, Great! I fight hard when people try to force their faiths or belief systems on me, or to have those faiths and belief systems instituted as law.

The arrogance and selfishness of people who "know better than everyone else" and try to make everyone accept their world views is titanic ... yet those people can never seem to see the beams in their own eyes. The people who do not want to be forced to accept anyone else's world views ... are Not demanding anything but freedom to choose, to follow their own faiths.

As I mentioned above, I have Never seen a person who only occasionally uses VC principles, try to deny others the right to ride VC all the time. I have Never seen anyone who chooses not to ride in full padding, try to deny others the right to use whatever safety gear each chose.

The problem is all one-sided here---a small cadre of people have deemed themselves the arbiters of cycling orthodoxy and are trying to impose their faiths on others. The others are simple saying, "Make your own choices, I will make mine."

That is the debate here. Not the crap that was stated in the first line of the first post.

If you start out dishonest, you can pretty much never end up anywhere worthwhile. Try starting out Honest. Then, when and if you get the data you are seeking---data which I would also find interesting---we could actually have an honest, adult discussion about it.

If you start off lying, then you eliminate yourself from the possibility of offering anything valuable before you start.

A good researcher makes sure At The Outset that the hypothesis is valid, that all the premises are valid, and that any experiments closely test the hypothesis. If you Really want to add something worthwhile to the discussion, please do. But you need to dump your own biases first.

Last edited by Maelochs; 02-18-19 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 02-18-19, 02:44 PM
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I for one always wear a helmet but I don't care if others do or not. I think it's a good idea but I don't think people should be mandated to under force of law. I have the same opinion on seat belt usage. I always wear one, I think everyone should, and anyone who doesn't is risking their life, but I don't think the state should force anyone to use them under penalty of law.
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Old 02-18-19, 02:47 PM
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I don't give a crap if anyone else on here wears a helmet. I've personally cracked two helmets on the pavement in the past two years, so I wear a helmet when I ride a bicycle.

Plenty of people are comfortable living with the calculated risk of no helmet-- and rightfully so, as I have 1,100+ logged rides over 4 years and have needed a helmet a total of 3 times.

But there's that very real chance that one of those "needed a helmet" moments could have led to a "need to relearn to walk and feed myself" situations, so if a foam hat can help prevent that, I'll wear it.
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Old 02-18-19, 03:24 PM
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@Milton Keynes and @DrIsotope are perfect examples of the balanced, intelligent approach. Make choices, respect others' choices. Likely they can acknowledge that helmets offer limited protection ion limited situations, but both find that personally, they are more comfortable wearing helmets just in case ... and in DrIsotope's case this has been borne out.

Neither disregard Others' experiences, neither demands others live according to their experiences.

When people are rational, there isn't much to debate about helmets. There is a lot to examine, and real numbers on stuff like severity of injury would be interesting to me. However ... because bikes are not equipped with accellerometers and most accidents are not videotaped, and not easily reproducible under lab conditions, it would be really hard to determine just how often and how much helmets made a difference. More bogus info, we don't need.

As I have mentioned before, I have twice gotten concussions while riding off-road---while wearing a helmet. In neither case did the helmet offer protection to anything but the skin of my scalp. I wear a helmet off-rad because I have been whacked in the head by low branches often enough, and because i expect to fall, when trying to clear obstacles I know from experience i usually cannot clear. Funny thing is, in most off-road crashes in which I would be engaged, a helmet is at its best--protecting skin (because I am slow.)

Where the real questions lie, is in the realm of high-energy collisions---where the impact might come from any direction. And those are the hardest numbers to get reliably.

Anyway ... I simply don't care who wears a helmet. I own two and wear them when I choose. I think the vast majority of BF posters wear helmets, and also believe in freedom of choice. It is just a few pushing the "everyone needs a lid" agenda. I would ask them ... "Can you not put a lid on it?"
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Old 02-18-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This, my friend, is a flat lie.

There is no way, no matter how much you pretend to be doing some sort of "scientific" inquiry, to get good data with a flawed premise.

The actual debates have been, "Only stupid riders don't wear helmets" versus "Helmets work in a limited number of circumstances, and I choose not use that particular bit of safety gear, just an many riders choose not to use hip, wrist, or elbow pads, despite those also working to some degree in some situations."

A lot of people who choose not to use all the available safety gear, make that choice because decades of riding how shown that that safety gear would be of limited utility. Some also point out that there is no actual evidence of exactly how much helmets (or any other safety gear) help in anything but low-speed tip-overs.

As you note .... nobody has the numbers. Also, these aren't the kinds of things lending themselves to easy lab testing. I suppose with enough of a budget, some sort of testing rig could be developed ... but since bike accidents come in so many varieties, it would be really hard to test them all. And because so few people die riding bikes, no one really wants to spend the money doing serious research---no matter what, nobody would profit much. Sad that science is a business, but it is.

Fact is, the two camps seem to be "I want to wear a helmet, therefore everyone should be forced to," and "I choose to continue to ride without every conceivable bit of safety gear, and since I am still riding more than five decades after I started, I'd have to say the evidence of my existence proves that wrist, elbow, hip, shoulder, and head pads are Not necessary to cyclists' survival."

None of the people who choose to ride without a helmet ever claim that anyone else shouldn't have the option, whereas I have seen several times where people who choose to wear helmets want helmets to be mandatory ... and how they justify that is the start of a lot of the debate. Not a lot of people are pleased when some stranger, with zero actual data, tries to impose his or her will on strangers, and then ridicules those same strangers for making different choices.

Helmet debates are a lot like Vehicular Cycling debates.... essentially religious in nature. Some people claim to have a "greater understanding," some received wisdom which makes their choices "better" than everyone else's. When pressed for actual proof, they have nothing. But some maintain that if a person always rides in the middle of a lane, cars and trucks simply cannot hit that person, while if a person ride to the right he or she is literally asking to be hit (patent absurdity.) Similarly, some maintain that any cyclist who is not already brain-damaged Needs to wear a helmet ... and again, actual, citable proof about how much of a difference it might make is lacking, and actual real-world experience is ignored or denied.

I don't mess with people's religions ... if it works for you, Great! I fight hard when people try to force their faiths or belief systems on me, or to have those faiths and belief systems instituted as law.

The arrogance and selfishness of people who "know better than everyone else" and try to make everyone accept their world views is titanic ... yet those people can never seem to see the beams in their own eyes. The people who do not want to be forced to accept anyone else's world views ... are Not demanding anything but freedom to choose, to follow their own faiths.

As I mentioned above, I have Never seen a person who only occasionally uses VC principles, try to deny others the right to ride VC all the time. I have Never seen anyone who chooses not to ride in full padding, try to deny others the right to use whatever safety gear each chose.

The problem is all one-sided here---a small cadre of people have deemed themselves the arbiters of cycling orthodoxy and are trying to impose their faiths on others. The others are simple saying, "Make your own choices, I will make mine."

That is the debate here. Not the crap that was stated in the first line of the first post.

If you start out dishonest, you can pretty much never end up anywhere worthwhile. Try starting out Honest. Then, when and if you get the data you are seeking---data which I would also find interesting---we could actually have an honest, adult discussion about it.

If you start off lying, then you eliminate yourself from the possibility of offering anything valuable before you start.

A good researcher makes sure At The Outset that the hypothesis is valid, that all the premises are valid, and that any experiments closely test the hypothesis. If you Really want to add something worthwhile to the discussion, please do. But you need to dump your own biases first.
I'm going to need a change of pants, I just came.
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Old 02-18-19, 03:42 PM
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Wtmi
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Old 02-18-19, 03:43 PM
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**** (or, ibtm to 'Helmet Thread 2').
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Old 02-18-19, 04:30 PM
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As asked before:

So my actual question is: "Why do people, usually the anti-helmet crowd, but not always, tend to conflate brain injury statistics with death statistics?"

For obvious reasons I left out:
With helmet, lived, no brain injury.
With out helmet, lived, no brain injury.
Neither necessitate a mishap condition. In fact, these 2 states would be the usual cycling norm.

I am not interested in a helmet vs no helmet thread. Like the theology/orthodoxy analogy above, it was properly noted there is little point in discussing further along those lines.

What I think may be a factor in the risk assessment is all the miles, all the hours in either condition (with or without) may lead to a selection bias towards one state or the other.

Combine that with the also true statement:
People tend to follow what ever "truth" that confirms their already held beliefs.

It's easy to discount data you don't like as being "insufficient" or "inconclusive" or whatever to marginalize it. The question & purpose of the thread is "why?"

Strictly emotion? Post-hoc rationalization? Group-think? All or none of the above?
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Old 02-18-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
@Milton Keynes and @DrIsotope are perfect examples of the balanced, intelligent approach.
But wait... they don't fit in either of your two camps!

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

Fact is, the two camps seem to be "I want to wear a helmet, therefore everyone should be forced to," and "I choose to continue to ride without every conceivable bit of safety gear, and since I am still riding more than five decades after I started, I'd have to say the evidence of my existence proves that wrist, elbow, hip, shoulder, and head pads are Not necessary to cyclists' survival."
See what happens when you write way too much?
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Old 02-18-19, 04:56 PM
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Precisely! It also would help, if apart from whacky prose styles (you ...know, the .....constant creative punctuation ....that renders dense prose Unreadible) they would stop, and look around. Freedom of choice is a myth, anyway. Uf I walk into a cinema, find the film boring, do I have the freedom of choice to start playing loud rap? Or, if I find my burger isn’t cooked, do I have the freedom of choice to force it down the cook’s throat? No, Of course not. But a simple safety device thzt saves lives, such as a helmet for a bike or a seatbelt for a car, gets the paper radicals snorting with anger.

Freedom of choice barely exists in modern life. If it did, we’d be on the brink of extinction. I appreciate we are anyway, because we ignored the environment for too long, but you get whatI l mean, Ii hope.
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Old 02-18-19, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
As asked before:

So my actual question is: "Why do people, usually the anti-helmet crowd, but not always, tend to conflate brain injury statistics with death statistics?"
Can't answer your question, as I have never seen people of whatever crowd conflating "brain injury" and "death" statistics. I suspect that foam hats do help reduce severity of concussion, though I have no idea how common an occurrence concussion is for cyclists. I'm not sure what I would "conflate" concussion to/with?

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Old 02-18-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Precisely! It also would help, if apart from whacky prose styles (you ...know, the .....constant creative punctuation ....that renders dense prose Unreadible) they would stop, and look around. Freedom of choice is a myth, anyway. Uf I walk into a cinema, find the film boring, do I have the freedom of choice to start playing loud rap? Or, if I find my burger isn’t cooked, do I have the freedom of choice to force it down the cook’s throat? No, Of course not. But a simple safety device thzt saves lives, such as a helmet for a bike or a seatbelt for a car, gets the paper radicals snorting with anger.

Freedom of choice barely exists in modern life. If it did, we’d be on the brink of extinction. I appreciate we are anyway, because we ignored the environment for too long, but you get whatI l mean, Ii hope.
In some areas we have even less freedom than you likely think and this is less about concern (or oppression) than it is about revenue. In my last city cycling helmets were required equipment by law and penalties of $300 for violators were common. What kind of motor vehicle infraction carries three figure penalties? In my present city adults do not need to wear helmets by law. But neither is there any law against public nudity. Just try it though. Forcing a burger down a total strangers throat is assault. Of course its illegal. SMH. Chances are good that a well run (relatively) blue city will have less need to create revenue making legal gotcha's around things that do not impact the quality of life of the populace.
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Old 02-18-19, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
As asked before:

So my actual question is: "Why do people, usually the anti-helmet crowd, but not always, tend to conflate brain injury statistics with death statistics?"
Because, as answered before, in the (pre-accident) minds of many they are one and the same. Brain injury = 'death'. I don't think that is overstating things. Ever meet someone post head trauma from a motorcycle or bicycle accident? Its not pretty. Very difficult IMO to say with a straight face that they survived the accident.
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Old 02-18-19, 06:57 PM
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The ones I don't understand, though, are the ones who carry a helmet on their bike but don't wear it. I've seen this on a few occasions. Why even carry a helmet if you're not going to wear it? It doesn't do any good not being on your head, and they're too bulky to just carry around with you for no reason.
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Old 02-18-19, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
@Milton Keynes and @DrIsotope are perfect examples of the balanced, intelligent approach.
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
But wait... they don't fit in either of your two camps!
I really didn’t think it was that hard, but ……
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I don't give a crap if anyone else on here wears a helmet. I've personally cracked two helmets on the pavement in the past two years, so I wear a helmet when I ride a bicycle.
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I for one always wear a helmet but I don't care if others do or not.
Those statements put them squarely in the “The others are simple saying, "Make your own choices, I will make mine" camp.

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
See what happens when you write way too much?
See what happens when you are so eager to make snide remarks, you don’t actually think much?
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Old 02-18-19, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
[
Anyway ... I simply don't care who wears a helmet. I own two and wear them when I choose. I think the vast majority of BF posters wear helmets, and also believe in freedom of choice. It is just a few pushing the "everyone needs a lid" agenda. I would ask them ... "Can you not put a lid on it?"
I certainly agree with the first part.

As for the second part, it's a two sided pointless argument. The evangelists would say their short piece and be on their merry helmeted way were they not without fail confronted by those who must assert that there could not possibly be the slightest reason a helmet could ever make a difference for anyone and all studies proving otherwise are so flawed and biased that they are wholly without value. If you don't want to wear a helmet, don't wear one. Why is there such need to prove your decision is morally and scientifically "correct"?
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Old 02-18-19, 08:47 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
The evangelists would say their short piece and be on their merry helmeted way were they not without fail confronted by those who must assert that there could not possibly be the slightest reason a helmet could ever make a difference for anyone and all studies proving otherwise are so flawed and biased that they are wholly without value.
Please quote three posts where the posters said helmets do not ever make the slightest difference in any situation.

I have read some of these threads (before the got transferred to one of the Helmet threads) and I don't recall Ever seeing that claim. Most anti-helmet wearers claim that the statistics about the amount of safety provided by helmets are flawed---and I think an intellectually honest examination would show that the studies don't show what people claim they do---but I have never heard anyone say helmets cannot help in some situations.

Te argument isn't that helmets never help at all ... the argument seems to be that helmets don't do as much as some peple claim, and as far as I have seen, there are no definitive studies (please provide links if you have them) which showw that helmets are as good as some claim.

I know there are reports---not scientific studies---from first responders and ER techs about the damages they see, and how in some cases a helmet has lessened injury ... but those are anecdotes, compiled by biased parties. ER docs and EMTs see the aftermath of some wrecks .... but they also see people who come in with helmets who die. And according to what I have seen, ninja salmons and drunks are the tree most prevalent cycling fatalities ... so whether or not they wore helmets is sort of moot. Further, no way to know if helmets would have helped or not.

Even the riders here whohave taken head-shots.... they have no way of knowing what might have happened had they not been wearing helmets. possibly nothing but scrapes, possibly concussions, possibly death---but that is Not scientific date, it is more anecdote. The simple fact that people die while wearing helmets shows that a lot depends on the force and the angle at which that force is applied. Rid e head down into a parked van at 20 mph, and helmet or not, you will die (as happened to a Canadian rider whose story was shared here.) Did he die from head trauma, a broken neck ... or something else? No data.

As far as scientific data is concerned there really is not---there have been no studies I can recall seeing here any attempt was made to recreate in a lab the various types of collisions which might cause a cyclist to take a blow to the head. Again, please provide links if you have them.

As for ER docs .. they have no way of knowing. They see an injury and Imagine that the person might have survived or been much less injured if the person wore a helmet ... but they don't know a thing about what happened. EMTs can reconstruct t what they think happened, but they have no idea if a person who died or was severely injured would have lived or escaped injury had the person been wearing a helmet.

We all can see without needing to think that in some cases, helmets provide a measure of protection. The actual amount of protection has not been quantified. Again if I am wrong I am eager to learn. Post links.

As I have said a few times in this thread, I would very much like to see better data on head injuries among cyclists ... but if it is just going to be more propaganda fodder, what a waste.

As it stands, helmets can be safely said to provide a certain measure of protection to skull and scalp in low- and medium-speed accidents, and some equally unknown but obviously smaller amount of protection in more severe cases. I don't recall anyone saying otherwise.
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Old 02-18-19, 09:02 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Precisely! It also would help, if apart from whacky prose styles (you ...know, the .....constant creative punctuation ....that renders dense prose Unreadible) they would stop, and look around. Freedom of choice is a myth, anyway. Uf I walk into a cinema, find the film boring, do I have the freedom of choice to start playing loud rap? Or, if I find my burger isn’t cooked, do I have the freedom of choice to force it down the cook’s throat? No, Of course not. But a simple safety device thzt saves lives, such as a helmet for a bike or a seatbelt for a car, gets the paper radicals snorting with anger.

Freedom of choice barely exists in modern life. If it did, we’d be on the brink of extinction. I appreciate we are anyway, because we ignored the environment for too long, but you get whatI l mean, Ii hope.
Wow. So inconveniencing people, and assaulting people is somehow comparable to not wearing a helmet?

So when is the part where you offer any reasonable argument to forcefully telling people what’s right for them?
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