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Bike helmets don't prevent concussions
Last Post 06/08/2013 07:22 PM by 79 pmooney. 34 Replies.
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Keith Richards

Posts:743

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06/05/2013 02:16 PM
I think people need to be honest about what a helmet is going to do for you. All you have to do is look at a helmet, which is 250g of styrofoam, to realize that they are designs to save you from catastrophic head injuries under MOST circumstances. Not all.

Having also shattered a helmet (or three) in my day, I can attest to the fact that they do help. But people need to be easy with their expectations.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Master50

Posts:238

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06/05/2013 09:38 PM
Posted By Kameron Kameron on 06/05/2013 02:03 PM

100% disagree respectfully. I for one have no doubt I am walking today because of that 250g foam on my head during my accident. If you had seen my helmet and pictured my head instead of the helmet we wouldn't be having this discussion.

k



The forces can all be recreated and modelled. the Energy levels can be calculated and all the other physical properties of your crash. They can analyze all the data points but none of it can prove the helmet saved your life You have made a faith based Analysis based on your emotional reaction to the visual and emotional cues. You are alive and your helmet was destroyed so it certainly is provable the helmet absorbed a lot of energy but you only have an opinion on what that represents in the scale of survival? It is also completely possible the helmet was in fact the tipping point on survival but that too is probably impossible to prove. The other minor point is some people die and other live under what appears to be the same conditions. What might that prove? It is this emotional faith in that Styrofoam, which makes this debate Impossible to treat as an engineering problem. The basic safety design of a bike helmet is a 2 KG head form dropped from 6 feet. That is about the same energy level of tripping on the sidewalk except we often sit higher than that. The energy of that simple fall is still pretty high but it certainly is not designed to provide significant protection at much higher energies. ( note for the non physicists. At 60 kph the drop speed is the same if you were track standing. At 60 if your head stops suddenly you are dead. So there better be a lot of deceleration before you hit anything immovable with your head. At 60kph the vertical fall is the design parameters of your helmet but the forward momentum is only being absorbed by your head skipping along the road surface while your skin slows you down. That is what a bike helmet is designed for. Protect your skull from a 6 foot fall and protect your scalp from the road abrasions until you stop. Seems like a good reason to wear a helmet, so I do, and I am really glad your helmut might have saved your life. For you there is no debate but the curiosity in me wants more understanding of these dynamics.
79pmooney

Posts:1177

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06/06/2013 01:07 AM
Master 50, I did an undocumented impact with mine today. I lost it going 25 when my rear tire blew. I may have touched the curb. Went down very hard. Busted collarbone, major impact with my hip though it passed the X-rays. Real contact with my helmet, both contact I remember clearly and quite visible looking at it.

Not making a point here. Just that it appeared my helmet did its job rather nicely. No evidence of any concussion. I was fully with it the whole time except that I cannot account for all my abrasions but I think that is just because it happened so fast. Now, there was no evidence of skidding on my helmet, just impact, so it appears it did exactly what it was designed to do.

Irony, I dropped that letter to Bell in the mailbox at the start of today's ride.

The doc started to suggest I may want to reduce my riding. I handed him my letter to Emergency Responders. He got how important riding is to me and thanked me for showing it to him.

Ben
Master50

Posts:238

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06/06/2013 10:11 AM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 06/06/2013 01:07 AM
Master 50, I did an undocumented impact with mine today. I lost it going 25 when my rear tire blew. I may have touched the curb. Went down very hard. Busted collarbone, major impact with my hip though it passed the X-rays. Real contact with my helmet, both contact I remember clearly and quite visible looking at it.

Not making a point here. Just that it appeared my helmet did its job rather nicely. No evidence of any concussion. I was fully with it the whole time except that I cannot account for all my abrasions but I think that is just because it happened so fast. Now, there was no evidence of skidding on my helmet, just impact, so it appears it did exactly what it was designed to do.

Irony, I dropped that letter to Bell in the mailbox at the start of today's ride.

The doc started to suggest I may want to reduce my riding. I handed him my letter to Emergency Responders. He got how important riding is to me and thanked me for showing it to him.

Ben


Glad it turned out without a head injury. I broke my collar bone on February 10th and I cracked my Giro. Got a crash replacement. I am pretty sure the helmet prevented a scalp bruise but I did wonder if my head would have hit the road without the helmet? IE the hit was pretty light. I basically landed on my shoulder blade but the collar bone was where the forces overcame the tensile strength of the bone. I guess I should be very grateful it wasn't the scapula as that takes much longer to heal. At the time I did not know I cracked the helmet as it was at the tail and you had to pull the helmet apart to reveal the break. definitely had nothing to do with my survival but the fact that I didn't even get a bump only indicates it was a minor hit.
79pmooney

Posts:1177

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06/08/2013 07:22 PM
I got to thinking more about my crash, helmet and damage to my other ear which was nearly sheared off by the strap. Obvious conclusion: I should have had the strap tighter. My glasses also did a major number on my nose and cheekbone. I came to the same conclusion. Then I started think about no concussion and that recent research. I may well have achieved that outcome by having the loose strap, allowing my helmet to slide rather than accelerate my head. If that is the case, then I made the right move. One concussion saved is seriously big for this often impacted noggin.

I might write Bell and suggest I want the new helmet for vanity reasons!

Ben
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