To helmet or not to helmet

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,811
219
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多摩区
#2
I admit that I haven't worn my helmet for a while either, but couldn't notice any significant "softer approach" by motorists. :warau:


To test another theory, Dr Walker donned a long wig to see whether there was any difference in passing distance when drivers thought they were overtaking what appeared to be a female cyclist.

While wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14cm more space when passing.
So how about a wig instead?
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
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shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#3
I think you wear a helmet for yourself not the cars. And LIGHTS are much better at keeping motorists away than helmets obviously. I would like to see a survey as to how close drivers go to well lit up cyclists (even in the daytime). My bet is they would stay a lot further away.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#4
Aug 17, 2007
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Yotsuya, Tokyo
#6
Moral of the Story...

So, the study says that British drivers have it in for male cyclists, but have it off for female cyclists? I'm not sure I understand the ramifications...

Anyway, the point surely is that if you are hit by a British motorist from sunny Bath or Bristol (and they're probably not the worst!), who may well be shaving you a little more closely just because you're wearing a helmet, you are statistically less likely to end up like a vegetable if you're wearing a helmet.

The same sort of thing must have happened after mandatory seatbelts went into affect: people increased their speed and aggression because they felt protected and perceived that other drivers were too. Cars see a helmet as a sign that you are protected or that you know what you're doing. :eek:uch:

I'd be interested to know whether motorists "adjust" for children on bikes, or cut even closer to road cyclists on multi-thousand dollar machines dressed in team shirts.

Anyway, I'll still be donning the brain bucket.

Thoughts?
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
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Kita-Ueno
#7
Very close (literally)

So, the study says that British drivers have it in for male cyclists, but have it off for female cyclists?
I think it's more a case of what drivers perceive as "predictable".
Men, being the most predictable creatures (something that the ladies often complain about); while women are by nature, inquisitive - often changing directions without much notice.

I'd be interested to know whether motorists "adjust" for children on bikes...
Children are less predictable still, and hence given much more of a wide berth than even female riders. >No offense, Kori :D!
(Author's note*: It is only in Japan that I've seen signs that read, "Beware of children who may run out in front of you - 飛び出し注意!" That puts all of the onus on the driver/rider. In western countries, if a child runs out in front of a moving vehicle, it is the child's fault - or if the child is too young, the responsibility rests with the parents for not teaching/training/instilling the sense of responsibility to the child.)

You are statistically less likely to end up like a vegetable if you're wearing a helmet.
SPOT ON! No argument with that one!

Personally, I usually take it as a compliment that the driver has enough confidence in my ability to ride in a straight line, that he or she doesn't have to swerve too far off their own line to get around me. Conversely, I feel somewhat insulted when a driver feels he/she has to pull all the way over into the oncoming traffic lane just to get around me.

And similarly to the drivers we have to deal with everyday, I have no qualms going past a truck or bus with only 6 inches to spare (or vice-versa); But I absolutely will NOT pass an "un-helmeted" female or child rider unless I have a good 6 feet of clearance.
They are just too unpredictable. I can relate to driver's sentiment in this respect.

Anyway, that's just my opinion (20cents worth).
T
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
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Tokyo
#8
Having been thrown 15 meters when a car took me out at a red light, I'm pretty passionate about helmets. With the initial impact (w/ the car) and the secondary impacts (a few times with the pavement), my helmet cracked thru in over dozen places, but the sucker kept protecting.

The real reason I use it is to cover my receding hairline - just got to watch out for the funny tan lines:warau:
 

marc

Speeding Up
#10
I wear mine all the time (well, when I'm on my bike), but car accidents aren't my real worry. My helmet's given me far more protection from hanging branches and when I've been caught off guard by a stray obstacle and taken a tumble all by myself.

Last month, I was riding home from work at night along the Arakawa when something really smacked against my helmet. Either it was a honking huge bug, someone hidden in the dark throwing rocks, or a bat with faulty sonar. Without the bucket that would really have stung.
 

massa

Warming-Up
Feb 22, 2008
174
0
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Setagayaku
#11
Thank you Ash for heads up.
The outcome of the survey is quite opposite to what I expected to be. I hope this survey to be continued through much more various cases in terms of cyclist's appearances and occasions. And at the same time this report is very much stimulating and exciting because the survey was done from psychoanalytic point of view. Let's see what will be reported next.

For a mean while, we might need scarf on helmet.
 
#12
Children are less predictable still, and hence given much more of a wide berth than even female riders. >No offense, Kori !

And similarly to the drivers we have to deal with everyday, I have no qualms going past a truck or bus with only 6 inches to spare (or vice-versa); But I absolutely will NOT pass an "un-helmeted" female or child rider unless I have a good 6 feet of clearance.
ooo, I got called out specifically? Is that because I'm the only female who reads these boards or because I'm the most likely to get offended. ha ha.

maybe they gave him extra clearance because he was obviously a guy with a bad wig... I'd stay clear of a male cyclist with out a helmet but a long wig too! how much clearance for a "new half" as the Japanese say.

(and no offense meant to any actually transgendered individuals.)
 
#16
So... if a crash is bad enough to kill me, a helmet might not make a difference. But for those-- oops I didn't unclip in time or caught the edge of the road minor crashes... I may not get a concusion? Or scratch up my face ?

Yep still sold on wearing a helmet.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#17
Old thread revival, but while it's bumped...

One advantage of wearing a helmet that I rarely see discussed is that should you get in an accident, EVERYONE--from the police, the doctors, to the insurance people--will ask you "were you wearing a helmet?" Being able to say "yes" seems to give you legitimacy, and says you are not a reckless hoon who deserves what he got etc etc; also, injuries sustained cannot be blamed on not wearing a helmet (ie, kind of your own fault).
 
#18
I'm curious if there is any data on the increases in neck injuries caused by helmets giving a much bigger lever when it hits the tarmac?

Anyone have any leads on BIG helmet makers? I have never found a comfortable lid as my noggin is gigantic...