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  1. #1
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    Default Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    O.K. I concede right now that most of you are laughing yourselves silly before reading any further than the title. I have to admit, on first thought it seems nuts to me too.

    Recently, on another thread in this forum, regarding seat belts, I asked Bird whether wearing helmets in standard street cars could improve survivability in an accident. Bird told a story of how just a cap saved his vision in a collision.

    So, just a few questions to ponder. I've mulled these over and am not sure what I really think. Just wanted to see how others would react.

    Stock car racers wear helmets; they also have roll cages bulit like an M1 Abrams, and everything else, but seeing the collisions they usually survive at 200 m.p.h. amazes me. Our local, rural fire station will often take the "leftovers" of vehicles involved in fatal local collisions and put them on display out in front of the fire station for local citizens to stop and examine. Personally, I think every local teenager should be required to stop and look. It really gives one something to think about. It reminds me of those times when I sit in my compact car, sandwiched between a semi and a Hummer, feeling like an anchovy in a sea of sharks.

    Motorcyclists, juvenile bicyclists, and skateboarders are required to wear helmets. Lots of times I've heard bikers complain that if they're required to wear helmets, then motorists should be also. Now I'm not advocating any requirements, just thinking they could have a point in saying the rest of us don't have to follow the requirements that they do. My first thoughts are the same thing I hear my students say, "It looks so Geeky!" I've witnessed a bicycle getting hit by a car before, and I relate that story to my students, telling them that safety is more important than what your peers think. Nevertheless, when I mulled over what the Harley riders say, I found myself thinking exactly what the little kids say, "But it would look so Geeky!"

    I Googled around all over the web and looked at differing styles, types of construction, and type impact designed for: batting, football, stock car racing, hockey, cycling, skateboarding, motorcycle, climbing/caving, kayaking, etc. Well, football helmets would look bizarre. And Bird, is my guess correct that if I wore a NASCAR or motorcycle helment in a street vehicle that the police may well pull me over just to ask what I'm up to? A baseball batting helmet would look the most like a ball cap and possibly draw the least attention (but the visor would be a hazard). A bicycle helmet would look strange and is designed to absorb one single impact and crack, not exactly what happens when a car rolls several times. The thing I thought was the best compromise of looks and function was a skateboard helmet.

    So, here are my questions:

    How many of you think I am absolutely certifiable? :-)

    If you saw someone in a street vehicle wearing a helmet, would you laugh at the person for looking nerdy? Would you call the COPs?

    After thinking it over for a bit, would you have any admiration for the person for not caring what others think and for having the guts to take an action to increase safety?

    Do you think wearing a helmet would increase a motorist's safety at all? If so, to what degree?

    IF, someone DID decide to wear a helmet in a car, what do you think would be the best type (I'm guessing NASCAR) in terms of function, but also do you think it would be reasonable to sacrifice some degree of safety for something that looks more socially acceptable (batting helmet)?

    How many of you are still doubled over with laughter? Is there anybody who thinks I'm NOT totally nuts?? :-)
    Last edited by Tom_H; 06-23-2006 at 03:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    How many of you think I am absolutely certifiable? :-)

    Most of us are.!!

    Why not just go with a slightly modified version of the racers helment with restraint reel.

    I personaly like the idea of the cages and 5 point harness but they would be costly and inconvienient for most people.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  3. #3
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    Just a guess, but I'd say helmets would prevent a small percentage of serious accident victims from recieving the occasional head injury.

    But the same end could be reached (and with possibly many more injuries saved) with better driver training. I drive 24 miles on 2 different interstates every day, each direction, to get to and from work. One is considered the most dangerous stretch of highway in the state of Kentucky (more deaths per passenger mile) I see what I've started calling "The Jeff Gordon Syndrome". Everyone thinks they're Speed Racer. These people throw caution to the wind and blast through traffic with total disregard for their saftey or the saftey of all those on the road with them. These are the people that need something on their heads..... MY BOOT.

    Rant over! I feel MUCH better now.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    Tom, of course wearing a helmet in a car would prevent some deaths and injuries. The question is how many? Another question is how much safety equipment and/or precautions will people tolerate and/or pay for. I recall, many years ago, seeing a prototype of an ultra safe car. All the seats, except for the driver's seat, faced the rear. How many people would buy one? Not many, would be my guess. In auto racing, I think those drivers know there's a good chance of being in an accident, and at a very high speed, while most people who get in their own car on the street don't even think about being in an accident. They don't think it's going to happen. We could all wear fire resistant clothing and helmets, add additional roll bars to the cars, and do all kinds of things that would enhance survivability, but it'll be a long time before things like that are accepted by the general public.

    But who knows? It might happen someday; just look at the evolution of the automobile in the last hundred years and it's anybody's guess as to what might happen in the next hundred years.
    Bird

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    1.4 million people sustain a TBI (Tramatic Brain Injury) each year in the United States:
    • 50,000 die;
    • 235,000 are hospitalized; and
    • 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.

    Causes for TBI:
    • Falls (28%);
    • Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%);
    • Struck by/against events (19%); and
    • Assaults (11%).

    That is 280,000 TBI's due to "Motor Vehicle" related crashes. TOTAL number of injuries to motorcyclist in 1998 were 49000 (includes ALL type of injuries not just head injuries/fatalities) so that would imply that the number of TBI's for NON motorcycle related "Motor Vehicle's" is greater than 231,000 per year. It would seem that a helmet would offer additional protection in these cases although I do not see me wearing a helmet in my auto anytime soon!

    Tim
    L5030HSTC
    HD Bucket/Woods Toothbar
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  6. #6
    reb
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    When I saw the title of this thread, I first thought of a military helmet for protection from the pistol-packing road rage idiots on Phoenix freeways.

    Your idea probably would be more effective in saving lives than some ideas already in use (IMO DRLs, for instance), but it is unlikely to go over. My wife, for one, would not like to muss her hair.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    Interesting numbers Chapmx. I had read, a few years ago, in a rational MC magazine, that the odds of having a head injury requiring hospitalization in an accident were the same for a bike or a car. Note this was for hospitalization, as death rates from head trauma were higher for a bike. This discussion was part of the "higher taxes" BS.
    BX2230 w/ FEL to care for 21 acres of woods, hills, pasture and swamp, 800' driveway

  8. #8
    Elite Member czechsonofagun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    I wear aluminium foil cap in the car to be safe - ****, I wear it everywhere to stay safe from them green little space alliens
    Regards,

    Prokop


    I was put on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    I ride motorcycles and hate helmet laws---that said I find it ironic that around here it is illegal to wear a helmet in a car or truck!!! I fought the helmet law because of the loss of hearing and peripheral vision they cause(something the lawmakers deny). When you ask why helmets are illegal in cars they say they impede your hearing and peripheral enough to make you unsafe while driving!!!

    Jerry

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wearing a Helmet in a Car

    I regurlarly ride motorcycles also. Mostly off-road as I have a MX track on my property (that is why I needed the tractor in first place ) but also dual-sport some and I always wear a helmet along with as much other safety gear as I can strap on BUT I am also against helmet laws, seatbelt laws, and pretty much any other legislation with a goal of protection of user at expense of user's ability to make their own decisions. Living in general is quite dangerous and has a 100% certainty that it will end in death ! I really prefer to make my own, hopefully well informed, safety/lack of safety decisions and not have them mandated by the Local/State/Federal gov't.

    Tim
    L5030HSTC
    HD Bucket/Woods Toothbar
    ATI Grapple

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