(Please visit one of our advertisers)

No donations or subscriptions are required

   OR   
   
Subscription choices:
Board Karma = 40  (3452 positive of 3834 votes is 40 %pts higher than a neutral 50%)
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 To Encourage Biking, Cities Lose the Helmets
Member Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  

twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  1:50 PM                       Like
The New York Times recently published an article (here, but I can't say for how long) about how some cities in Europe are no longer requiring or even encouraging the use of helmets while riding bicycles, especially for bike-sharing programs. The essence of the argument is that the health benefits of riding outweigh the risks of riding without a helmet, and forcing people to ride with helmets discourages bicycling.

The following excerpt captures the main theme:
quote:
But many European health experts have taken a very different view: Yes, there are studies that show that if you fall off a bicycle at a certain speed and hit your head, a helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injury. But such falls off bikes are rare - exceedingly so in mature urban cycling systems.

On the other hand, many researchers say, if you force or pressure people to wear helmets, you discourage them from riding bicycles. That means more obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And - Catch-22 - a result is fewer ordinary cyclists on the road, which makes it harder to develop a safe bicycling network. The safest biking cities are places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where middle-aged commuters are mainstay riders and the fraction of adults in helmets is minuscule.

"Pushing helmets really kills cycling and bike-sharing in particular because it promotes a sense of danger that just isn't justified - in fact, cycling has many health benefits," says Piet de Jong, a professor in the department of applied finance and actuarial studies at Macquarie University in Sydney. He studied the issue with mathematical modeling, and concludes that the benefits may outweigh the risks by 20 to 1.
How does this apply to motorcycles? Well, we can't claim any aerobic benefits, but one comment did stand out: "...it promotes a sense of danger that just isn't justified." It's an interesting twist on an old argument. I could easily see this being put forth as an argument for eliminating helmet laws, accompanied by lots of statistics about how many miles motorcyclists travel without having an accident. Watch for it -- and you heard it here first (unless you read the New York Times).

Full Disclosure: Whether on a bicycle or a motorcycle, I always wear a helmet. No exceptions, even when riding around the block to test an adjustment that I've just made -- and Colorado does not require me to wear a helmet.

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6922 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  2:50 PM
I'm of the opinion that if I'm not riding in traffic, not exceeding about 10 mph, and not in a difficult riding environment such as riding a mountain bike off road, a bicycle helmet is not going to make a significant difference.

I generally wear a bicycle helmet when riding my bicycle, but I don't always bother with it for easy riding, and sometimes take it off and hang it from the handlebar when I'm hot and going uphill.

I wouldn't feel a strong need for a motorcycle helmet either, if I never went faster than about 15 mph. But motorcycles are faster, so the need is much greater.
Go to Top of Page

gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  3:10 PM
Meanwhile, Whatever happened to this? No report to date. Killed by the AMA and the MIC-MSF? How much money was spent for nothing? How many preventable deaths and injuries in the meantime? Who is culpable? Who cares?
http://www.safetyresearch.net/2009/...-motorcycle/

And for those who do not know the history of the AMA-MIC, here is some insight, http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/about/history

Edited by - gymnast on 10/02/2012 3:18 PM
Go to Top of Page

twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  3:22 PM
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast

Meanwhile, whatever happened to this?
After reading the article, perhaps it's a good thing that the money was never spent. We could certainly use an update on the Hurt report, but this study was not likely to produce it. Key points for me are:
quote:
According to a 2007 news article in USAToday, the boondoggle can be boiled down to two words: no helmets.
The initial proposal called for NHTSA to conduct the study, but the AMA objected. Edward W. Moreland, the AMA's vice president of government relations, was quoted in 2007 thus: "They want to focus on protective equipment." (Read: helmets) The association, he said wanted "...an independent third party" to run the study.
and
quote:
So, let's review: Senator Inhofe and motorcycle lobbying groups force a study on an institution that wasn't eager to take it on, insist that it be performed in a certain way to prevent the study from coming to obvious conclusions, such as: protecting your head in a crash is a good thing. This study that was so important to the industry may not ever be conducted.
Go to Top of Page

gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  3:25 PM
And further, a 2009 study on the subject of bicycle helmets discouraging bicycle use (and economic activity?).

http://www.gse.uci.edu/docs/Carpent...pt_50409.pdf
Go to Top of Page

do_I_need_one
Starting Member
7 Posts


rossland, bc
Canada

Ducati

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  9:20 PM
Absolutely no relationship to motorcycles. Even the bicycles ridden in urban environments in Europe are different than in North America. Distances are less. You rarely see anyone commuting a long way. 3 speeds or single gear are common.

Drivers are used to seeing them and not as a menace as is usual here. There are real bike lanes. Here if you are on a bike you are probably in high speed traffic and having to travel fast too.

The question really is silly because it brings up the old "debate" on wearing helmets, and it is an apple and oranges thing.
Go to Top of Page

gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 10/02/2012 :  9:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by do_I_need_one

Absolutely no relationship to motorcycles. Even the bicycles ridden in urban environments in Europe are different than in North America. Distances are less. You rarely see anyone commuting a long way. 3 speeds or single gear are common.

Drivers are used to seeing them and not as a menace as is usual here. There are real bike lanes. Here if you are on a bike you are probably in high speed traffic and having to travel fast too.

The question really is silly because it brings up the old "debate" on wearing helmets, and it is an apple and oranges thing.



Which are the apples and which are the oranges? http://www.eurailsafe.net/subsites/...e3.3.1.3.htm
And maybe there is just an an entire orchard. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_e...urywkshp.htm
Go to Top of Page

Horse
Senior Member
258 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 10/03/2012 :  7:36 AM
This study that was so important to the industry may not ever be conducted

Does this help:

http://www.maids-study.eu/
Go to Top of Page

twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 10/03/2012 :  9:32 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Horse

Does this help...
I downloaded this study over three years ago and thought it excellent. I remain on their mailing list and I recommend reading the study. Regarding helmet usage, there are a few key findings that bear repeating.

Riders wear helmets, perhaps because they are required to do so:
quote:
The most significant form of personal protective equipment worn by any PTW rider or passenger is the safety helmet. Table 9.5 indicates that the great majority of PTW riders wore a helmet at the time of the accident (90.4% or 833 cases). Helmets were mandatory for all riders in the five sampling regions yet 73 cases reported a PTW rider who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
Riders wear good helmets:
quote:
Table 9.7 indicates that most riders preferred to wear full face helmets (67.6% or 623 cases), Open face helmets and half type helmets were reported with near equal frequency (9.1% and 8.9% respectively).
When helmets are ejected during an accident, it's a pretty safe bet that the chin strap wasn't fastened:
quote:
The data indicates that in 9.1% of cases, the helmet was ejected from the rider's head at some point during the accident. Table 9.12 indicates that for those cases in which a helmet ejection occurred, there were 58 cases (6.3%) in which the reported ejection was because the rider failed to fasten helmet chin strap or had removed it. There were 13 cases (1.4%) in which the helmet ejections were due to some type of damage to the helmet during the collision sequence. There were only 6 reported cases in which the passenger helmet was ejected, and all of these ejections were due to either loose fastening or a poor helmet fit.

Glossary: PTW = Powered Two-Wheeler
Go to Top of Page

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2268 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 10/08/2012 :  2:54 AM
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast

Meanwhile, Whatever happened to this? No report to date. Killed by the AMA and the MIC-MSF? How much money was spent for nothing?


I'm just happy it has not (to date) showed up on the news in a report of big-wig bureaucrats hot tubbing their way around Las Vegas.
Go to Top of Page

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17333 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 02/15/2018 :  3:56 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Reviewed an interesting site today on the 10 most bike-friendly cities in the world. Two of them are in the United States.

Enjoy: https://www.bikemunk.com/bike-friendly-cities/
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  
Jump To:
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle © Master Strategy Group Go To Top Of Page
  This page was generated in 0.41 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05