Powered pedal cycle in collision

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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There is also a suggestion that every helmet wearer is constantly attacking non wearers and trying to force his/her opinions on them. Broadly speaking, if this thread is anything to go by, the non wearers are not doing a bad job of that either.
As I'm that person doing that suggesting, let me correct your gross exaggeration. I didn't infer every helmet wearer or quantify in any way, and it's not true that non wearers are doing that in the same way. As I stated, helmet wearers sometimes see fit to walk or cycle up to me and start lecturing, something others have apparently suffered, but I've never heard of a non-wearer lecturing a wearer outside anywhere. All I'm doing in here is defending a position against the pestering and asking the wearers to just wear the damn things, shut up and mind their own business.
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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This assertion never fails to amuse me because it defies both logic and historical fact. There is not one shred of evidence to support it from any seafaring nation [including the UK] and lots to contradict it - so please..... no more flat earthers!
You surprise me! Not only was the earth believed to be flat, it was also described as such with an elephant holding up each corner and the god Atlas holding up the whole. There were even illustrations in England of that, without revelations on how Atlas with two arms held up elephants at four corners though. And yes, Ancient Greece and Rome were seafaring peoples too.
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Apart from that, no matter what everyone says, making people wear helmets will put people off cycling.
Exactly right, and I've previously said that the day it became law is the day I never cycle again.

In fact the government know that's a widely held view and it's why they refuse to legislate, even blocking the recent attempt to make it compulsory for children. Their objective is to increase cycling, and that's why they'll always oppose compulsion.
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Orraman

Pedelecer
May 4, 2008
226
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I have searched this thread and found no direct reference to the AtoB article on Dr. Ian Walker of Bath University which describes his experiments that recorded the measured distances of passing vehicles from cyclists.
In 200 miles of city and suburban cycling using an ultrasonic sensor and a video camera he was indeed knocked down by a bus and by an HGV.
Details, facts, and graphs in AtoB issue 56 October 2006 together with other articles and photos of considerable interest.

Cycle helmets are a 'feel good' factor for motorists. Yours truly.

I am back on my hobby horse, well, yes and no, a long wheelbase recumbent courtesy of a new electric motor and I can face once again slamming into a car feet first and walking away.
With under-seat steering there is nothing to cause cataclysmic personals injury as one slides clear.

For those genuinely afraid of head injury I see it as a "no brainer" to prevent yourself from head-butting something hard by removing the possibility of going head first over the front wheel.

Dave
 

Phil the drill

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 14, 2008
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A surgeon then falsely states there are no standards for cycle helmets( there is the EN standard at present moment) and that full face helmets dont offer much protection to motorcyclist.
OK, read my post, I said no EFFECTIVE standard, NOT no standard.

I also stated that full face helmets can offer substantial protection from facial injuries, but much less so to the much more potentially fatal acceleration/deceleration and neck rotational injuries.

I have treated many people unfortunate enough to have either m/c or cycle injuries over the years, and I stand by my experience. What's yours?

Phil
 
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john

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Nov 1, 2007
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My understanding is that the emissions produced by the production of the average car (including metal extraction, transport and plastics production (which also requires oil btw)) are in the order of 2-3 times more than those produced by the said car during it's entire working life.
That information is incorrect. This 'myth' was started by a market survey company in America and reported in a motoring magazine. I read their report fully and can assure you that their research methods were flawed and very unscientific. It would never get published in a scientific journal.
 

flecc

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That information is incorrect. This 'myth' was started by a market survey company in America and reported in a motoring magazine. I read their report fully and can assure you that their research methods were flawed and very unscientific. It would never get published in a scientific journal.
Their method may indeed be very flawed and the conclusion of 2 to 3 times inaccurate John, but surely what matters is whether its 1 times or more of the usage during the average car life. Flawed though it seemingly was, it seems possible that their error was less than double to treble the true amount, since over that is a huge error.
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john

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Nov 1, 2007
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Their method may indeed be very flawed and the conclusion of 2 to 3 times inaccurate John, but surely what matters is whether its 1 times or more of the usage during the average car life. Flawed though it seemingly was, it seems possible that their error was less than double to treble the true amount, since over that is a huge error.
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Their error was indeed huge. Here is some data that should indicate that:
In 2006, US emissions of CO2 from transportation were 1,884.7 MMT, emissions from industry were 1,776.8 MMT.

If we assume that the US produces as many vehicles as it uses (I don't know how true that is), vehicle production emissions must be considerably less than use, or the rest of industry would produce no emissions at all!
 

halflife

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Jul 12, 2008
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I can't see that Rooel was trying to persuade anyone not to use a helmet. It seemed to me that he was just pointing out the limitations of the protection they give.

In sharp contrast peckerman, you are clearly trying to persuade others to use helmets. Why not leave others to decide for themselves? It is their business.
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That is an interesting point Flecc. What if we compare to safety belts in cars. Here there was statistical proof that they saved lives and hence saved the tax payer money so the wearing of them became law. The problem with cycle helmets, as some have already pointed out is there is not evidence once way or another that I have seen. If there was proof that they did save lives then they should be worn (we don’t always know what is best for us until it is too late). Still until it is proven one way or another we should leave everyone to their own opinion. I always wear one on road becasue I had a motorcycle crash a few years ago and the helmet (Completely different from a cycle helmet i know) saved my life. I absolutely hate wearing it though, think they look silly and make you head sweat.

The only other point i want to make is about the earlier comment that car drivers somehow treat you different if you have a helmet on.:D Sorry but come on! do you really think a car going at 60 mile an hour comes around a bend, sees someone in a helmet on a bike and changes their driving accordingly? not a chance, the problem is that often they just dont see us because they are too busy on the phone or not paying attention.
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Here there was statistical proof that they saved lives and hence saved the tax payer money so the wearing of them became law.
A bit off the helmet subject, but unfortunately this turned out to not be the case, the notion that they are necessarily life saving overall being a myth. The government were rather embarrassed by their own Road Reseach Laboratory when the latter released their research some three years after the law came into effect. In fact lives had been exchanged, those who would earlier have been killed were being saved, while others who would have gone through the windscreen at higher speeds and often survived, albeit scarred, were now being killed by the seatbelt. The RRL had determined that the critical point was an impact speed at the occupant's body of 26 mph, above that point on average the seatbelt rupturing internal organs and causing death. Similar evidence was emerging in the USA, and it was that which led to the urgent speeding of development of airbags in cars, those better at cushioning the body against internal organ damage.

This revelation about the failings of seatbelts echoed a similar situation of many years earlier where life swapping resulted from the silly introduction of enforced driving on dipped headlights in town, a cheap alternative to the dim-dip that was originally intended. Car driver deaths dropped sharply, but pedestrian deaths rose to the same degree due to dazzled drivers not seeing pedestrians crossing, very much a case of a government playing God and deciding who should die.

Two years after that introduction an MP questioned in the House why this was allowed to continue and was told that the government was aware of the situation and was urgently reviewing it. Seven years after the introduction of that law, the death swapping was again challenged, this time by a baroness in the House of Lords. She was told that the government was aware of the situation and was urgently reviewing it! Yes, really. You might wish to follow what government directs, but on the evidence of this sort of disgraceful and contemptuous lack of concern for those innocent pedestrians, I won't be joining you. I will continue to treat law as an option, as the saying about the law goes, for the obedience of the foolish and the guidance of the wise.

The only other point i want to make is about the earlier comment that car drivers somehow treat you different if you have a helmet on.:D Sorry but come on! do you really think a car going at 60 mile an hour comes around a bend, sees someone in a helmet on a bike and changes their driving accordingly? not a chance, the problem is that often they just dont see us because they are too busy on the phone or not paying attention.
The study which was reported in the A to B magazine measured, amongst other things, the clearance given by drivers to cyclists according to what they were wearing. It was shown that drivers gave more clearance to bare headed cyclists, the more obvious the helmetless head, e.g. blonde wig, the greater the clearance. So car drivers do respond, though it's probably as much instinctive rather than drivers thinking this through.
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Their error was indeed huge. Here is some data that should indicate that:
In 2006, US emissions of CO2 from transportation were 1,884.7 MMT, emissions from industry were 1,776.8 MMT.

If we assume that the US produces as many vehicles as it uses (I don't know how true that is), vehicle production emissions must be considerably less than use, or the rest of industry would produce no emissions at all!
Thanks John, they really walked into that one, didn't they. :D
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The Maestro

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May 15, 2008
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I actually heard something different although anecdotally and probably apocraphal which was that after the seatbelt law came into effect there was such a massive number of healthy people's lives saved that hospitals then had a massive shortage of donor organs. So even if they saved lived they still result in other people dying!
 

flecc

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I actually heard something different although anecdotally and probably apocraphal which was that after the seatbelt law came into effect there was such a massive number of healthy people's lives saved that hospitals then had a massive shortage of donor organs. So even if they saved lived they still result in other people dying!
I'm quite sure that wasn't a fact for another reason, one that supported what the RRL had reported. Government had boasted of the accident reduction just before the RRL report, with a claim that the admissions to hospital A & Es had been halved, a fairly unlikely story but they were seriously saying that.

However, showing just how stupid governments and the civil service can be, only a year later the story about junior doctors in A & E having to work 110 hours a week got into the news. Since the claim was that the admissions had been halved, they must have worked 220 hours a week previously. Trouble is, there are only 168 hours in a week!

A government once again caught out by their own lies.

You'll gather that I'm a long term government watcher, recording each potentially suspicious incidence and keeping an eye on developments in that story thereafter. I've got some real horrors complete with the government's own statistics to show just how much we are deliberately and systematically lied to, but they are outside the scope of this forum.
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Nick

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Nov 4, 2006
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You make some interesting points Phil, along the lines of those made by a consultant neuro-surgeon I used to know. I chatted to him once about full face crash helmets for cars and motorbikes and, as I recall, his point was that in instances of high impact (and I'm not sure of what that means exactly, although he said such cases were not uncommon) a crash helmet cannot dissipate the forces sufficiently, resulting in the entire brain being damaged - due to the way a helmet distributes the impact over a larger area than the point of impact. In similar cases where the person was not wearing a crash helmet, or it came off, my understanding of what he said is that there would be massive damage to a relatively localised part of the brain. He said it was debatable which was the 'better' scenario, as it could depend on which part of the brain was badly affected, amongst other factors. However, although he was by no means anti-helmet, he maintained that in high impact situations, you might be no better off and, quite possibly, worse off - when 'worse' might be 'dead' and 'better' might be severely brain damaged.

I've not seen him for about 5 years and I guess helmets have improved, and I don't mean this as an anti or pro post, I just found it interesting talking to a neuro-surgeon keen on motorsport who pointed out some things that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of.
 

flecc

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That's very interesting Nick, certainly something I wasn't aware of and hadn't considered. It's the opposite of the airbag v seatbelt case, where the airbag is kinder by spreading the loading, seemingly more logical but obviously not always so.
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Django

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 11, 2007
453
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You make some interesting points Phil, along the lines of those made by a consultant neuro-surgeon I used to know. I chatted to him once about full face crash helmets for cars and motorbikes and, as I recall, his point was that in instances of high impact (and I'm not sure of what that means exactly, although he said such cases were not uncommon) a crash helmet cannot dissipate the forces sufficiently, resulting in the entire brain being damaged - due to the way a helmet distributes the impact over a larger area than the point of impact. In similar cases where the person was not wearing a crash helmet, or it came off, my understanding of what he said is that there would be massive damage to a relatively localised part of the brain. He said it was debatable which was the 'better' scenario, as it could depend on which part of the brain was badly affected, amongst other factors. However, although he was by no means anti-helmet, he maintained that in high impact situations, you might be no better off and, quite possibly, worse off - when 'worse' might be 'dead' and 'better' might be severely brain damaged.

I've not seen him for about 5 years and I guess helmets have improved, and I don't mean this as an anti or pro post, I just found it interesting talking to a neuro-surgeon keen on motorsport who pointed out some things that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of.
Very interesting. See this article in today's Motorcycle News for an overview of the latest helmet technology. Navigate to page 15 and zoom in on the text.
 

Phil the drill

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 14, 2008
395
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Their error was indeed huge. Here is some data that should indicate that:
In 2006, US emissions of CO2 from transportation were 1,884.7 MMT, emissions from industry were 1,776.8 MMT.

If we assume that the US produces as many vehicles as it uses (I don't know how true that is), vehicle production emissions must be considerably less than use, or the rest of industry would produce no emissions at all!
Hmmm..,

At first sight these figures look damning, but I think that they cannot be interpreted quite as easily as they may at first appear:-

1) They don't allow for the fact that a great many of the vehicles used in the USA are NOT manufactured there. There is a substantial enrgy cost in both their manufacture and transporting them there, which will not feature in the figures.
2) Of the vehicles made in the USA, many of the components are manufactured at different sites (including abroad), and the emissions of the vehicles that transported them to the place of manufacture will have been included under vehicle emissions, whereas they should in fact be classified as manufacturing output since they are an integral part of the vehicle's production.
3) Those vehicles need to be transported to their place of sale..... see (2) above.
4) Old vehicles need to be disposed of, there is an emissions cost with this too...unless they are just 'dumped'
4) These figures will not, in most cases, include raw material energy and emissions costs. Many of these materials are mined, quarried, processed and transported from many different parts of the world, at huge emissions costs, including transportation. In addition don't forget that caterpillars, tractors, diggers, swingshovels, lorries, ships, and trains, all feature in 'vehicle emissions' - it's far from solely down to the private car.
5) When the car is manufactured, it still has an energy cost. It may be say 15-20% more efficient than it's predecessor, but what you have to do is enough miles to allow that DIFFERENCE to make up the total production and manufacture emissions, and disposal of the old vehicle. I dare to suggest that in most cases that is one hell of a lot more miles than most of us will ever do in our cars.......
6) Don't forget that in the manufactuing process everything from the
quarrying/steelmaking/fabrication/plastics moulding/ (plus the vehicles and plant used in these processes), car manufactuirng plant, factory machinery etc also has to be included in the energy cost, as does a proportion of the ship building/lorry/train/plane building and running costs used in their transport.
Total energy costs for complex items are almost incalculable due these factors, and the diversity of sites in which these processes are carried out makes the problem all the harder.

I still reckon overall, that unless you are a very high mileage user (and let's face it most of us electric bikers aren't!), you do the environment a favour by sticking with the old jalopy!!!!

Of course, if you fancy a change you must do as you please, I AM NOT a believer in in the 'nanny state' and firmly believe in your freedom to choose. I do think however, that the 'facts' as presented by both governement and many environmental lobby groups are a great oversimplification and very misleading, so make sure that you exercise your decision wisely and interpret all official figures with the caution they so richly deserve!

Finally, I DON'T count myself as an expert, so if you disagree with me, FINE I don't mind, so keep your hair on when you reply please!!!! (I'm not casting any aspersions on anyone, and I'd rather not have too many personalised ones back. I'm concious that Flecc was given rather a hard time of it for expressing his personal preference not wear a helmet. What happened tolerance?)

Cheers, Phil
 

Phil the drill

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 14, 2008
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Very interesting. See this article in today's Motorcycle News for an overview of the latest helmet technology. Navigate to page 15 and zoom in on the text.
Hi
It is an interesting subject. I would state that in overall terms I am in favour of motorcyle helmets, but I caution people not to overate the protection that they give you.
Wearing motorcyle armoured clothing, boots and helmets can definitely help, especially in low speed impacts and 'ground slides'. This is especially the case for ankles, elbows, knees, hips and back. The helmet will give substantial protection from abrasions, and low speed impacts. The trouble is, wearing the gear tends to give one the feeling of invulnerability, and security, that is beyond their ability to protect. Certainly I'm aware of this when I ride my motorbike and I have to keep reminding myself of it!
In high speed impacts the problem is one of deceleration. The brain is a very soft structure enclosed in a rigid box (the cranium). In rapid decelerations the brain is forced forward hard into the anterior part of the cranium, 'squishing' it up and damaging it severely. Note that the brain is a collection of delicate biological 'wiring' of staggering complexity, minaturised to astonishing degree - Intel doesn't even come close!!!. The damage is largely irrepairable. In addition the major blood vessels which supply the brain travel through small holes (foramen) in the base of the skull, and these are frequently torn at the point where they enter the skull, as a result of this forward movement of the brain (rapidly fatal). Just as bad, the brainstem, at the top of the spinal cord can be stretched and broken or damaged by these decelerations. The regions controlling our breathing (respiratory 'centres') are located here, so severe damage here is pretty bad (usually terminal) news. Even if this survives it may result in quadraplegia (paralasys) of the all of the limbs as a result of damage to the connection between the spinal cord and the brain.
The helmet is important here because some are comparatively heavy and all have a significant weight. This adds to the forward momentum of the head and thus can increase the severity of the deceleration - with possibly increased internal damage. EXTERNALLY all can look well, because the helmet has protected the cranium, which may remain relatively undamaged.
It is important to never lose sight of the fact that it is injury to the brain which kills, and paralyses, NOT injury to the cranium. Death after skull fracture is due to underlying brain damage, not the fracture itself. There are occaisions when the fracturing of the skull can save the brain from more serious injury, by dissipation of the force of impact, and reducing internal movement - however, please DON'T take that as some sort of statement that motorcyclists are better off without them altogether, that is not what I am saying.
This is a complex subject and beyond full discussion here, but I hope that this little account may help some to understand that things are not quite as clear cut as they may seem vis-a-vis helemts and the reduction of morbidity in accidents. It is certainly true that accident victims look a whole lot prettier when they wore a helmet, but they may not always be in a position to appreciate it....
As you will note most of what I have said relates to motorcyle helmets, the issues differ considerably in the case of cycles.......but thats a whole new story, and my fingers and eyes are getting tired....

Phil
 

essexman

Pedelecer
Dec 17, 2007
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cb11
This is such cool random frothing thread. I thought i should stick my 2 pennies in just for the hell of it.

1) re space for cycle lanes in UK cities. Right on man! Theres load of space , but people park their cars on it. Cambridge is making moves to alter this. Also compulsary purchase is used for many transport shcemes in the UK eg motroways, rail, airports etc , but never so far for cycle routes... Think about it....

2) Helmets and choice. For those advocating freedom of choice and apathy. If it wasnt for the people who rant and rave about this, you would have no freedom of choice, they would be compulsary. So say thankyou to the ranters and ravers.

3) The EU is looking at airbags designed to protect pedestrians from collisions. Hurrah!
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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2) Helmets and choice. For those advocating freedom of choice and apathy. If it wasnt for the people who rant and rave about this, you would have no freedom of choice, they would be compulsary. So say thankyou to the ranters and ravers.
Sorry, not so. :p

The reason we have freedom of choice is political. The government wants us to cycle more, but also knows helmet wearing would put many off doing that. Therefore it doesn't legislate and even blocked a bill to make it compulsory for children, since they recognised that was a "thin edge of the wedge" attempt which would also deter children from cycling to school.

Governments take no notice of ranters and ravers. Before compulsion, some 92% of drivers didn't wear seatbelts and most vigorously opposed the legislation. No notice was taken and that law was ruthlessly imposed and still is, far more attention paid to it than to the things we do want like burglary and vandalism prevention and detection.
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