Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmets?

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Azrael
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Azrael » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Роберт wrote:
Azrael wrote:...for the sake of our doctors?
Well, we should.
Really? Why?
I should have been clearer ... Not for the sake of our doctor, though.
Ah, good. We agree.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Роберт » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:13 pm UTC

eugene wrote:
Роберт wrote:Well, we should. And there are secondary effects from both of those things. However, I think they are arguably not enough to merit legislation.

You can't be serious. People claim that it costs about $140 billion a year. I'd say it's quite a bit of secondary effects.

Well, by legislation, I meant something like making soda illegal.

I'd be fine with taxing unhealthy foods a bit (to account for the negative externalities) and subsidizing healthier foods. For example, I'd like people who eat white bread to pay a few cents more so I don't have to pay as much for my whole wheat bread.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby bentheimmigrant » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:So we should all stop overeating and under-exercising for the sake of our doctors?

Ludicrous.


Assuming that was aimed at me...
So we should all stop strawmanning and over-strawmanning for the sake of our strawmen?

Obesity and a mangled person are different kinds of disturbing, and I don't really see a direct relationship between the two situations. I was simply replying to the idea that the only person who suffers because of people not wearing their seatbelts are the seatbelt wearers... (edit: or not-wearers, as the case may be)
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby eugene » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:Obesity and a mangled person are different kinds of disturbing

On the other hand, obesity is much more widespread. So if you are an EMT, then, based on the numbers someone quoted, you probably won't see many people smashed due to lack of seatbelts. If you are a doctor, then overweight people will come every single day.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby bentheimmigrant » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:32 pm UTC

eugene wrote:
bentheimmigrant wrote:Obesity and a mangled person are different kinds of disturbing

On the other hand, obesity is much more widespread. So if you are an EMT, then, based on the numbers someone quoted, you probably won't see many people smashed due to lack of seatbelts. If you are a doctor, then overweight people will come every single day.


And this will gradually have an ill effect on you state of mind? I would say that it doesn't take more than one really disturbing image to have such an effect. Cannot be unseen and all that malarkey.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Azrael » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:38 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:There are doubtless emotional effects on the EMTs attending the scene, in terms of having to deal with seeing another person being injured.

Azrael wrote:So we should all stop overeating and under-exercising for the sake of our doctors?


bentheimmigrant wrote:So we should all stop strawmanning and over-strawmanning for the sake of our strawmen? Obesity and a mangled person are different kinds of disturbing, and I don't really see a direct relationship between the two situations. I was simply replying to the idea that the only person who suffers because of people not wearing their seatbelts are the seatbelt wearers... (edit: or not-wearers, as the case may be)

Yeah, it's not a strawman when I'm not misrepresenting your position. You were concerned with the emotional effect on the medical professional having to deal with the type of problem they are employed to treat. If you were trying to make the point in italics, you chose an entirely unsuitable analogy.

Traffic, health insurance premiums, unnecessary/inefficient use of taxpayer money ... there are a lot of much better externalities to take into consideration to justify seat belt laws.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby eugene » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:40 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:And this will gradually have an ill effect on you state of mind?

Sure, why not? You see something unpleasant for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 40 years. This causes lack of satisfaction with the job, increased stress, consequently hypertension, irritability, reduced life expectancy and all that...

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby bentheimmigrant » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Yeah, it's not a strawman when I'm not misrepresenting your position. You were concerned with the emotional effect on the medical professional having to deal with the type of problem they are employed to treat. If you were trying to make the point in italics, you chose an entirely unsuitable analogy.

Traffic, health insurance premiums, unnecessary/inefficient use of taxpayer money ... there are a lot of much better externalities to take into consideration to justify seat belt laws.


I suppose I don't see obesity as emotionally damaging for doctors, as in, seeing disturbing things can lead to problems as severe as PTSD. And I wasn't saying that this is the ideal argument for seatbelt laws, simply that there are more secondary effects than were being discussed.

There was a seatbelt ad (Not very pleasant, so don't watch if you don't want to see that sort of thing) over here a while back that featured a teenager killing his mum because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, and flew into the back of her seat during a collision.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby ElectricPi » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

As someone who does wear their helmet in their car on a fairly regular basis, I think I can shed some light on this. I think it is a good question, but I also think in general wearing a helmet in a street car is a bad idea, and mandating their use would be disastrous. Like anything else, it is a balance of harms.

Car helmets do significantly restrict your situational awareness. The restriction on your field of view is not great, but it is there, and they do significantly muffle sound. In street driving situations this could lead to increased collisions.

The weight of a helmet is a significant consideration to. A car helmet is not light weight. An unrestrained helmet would likely cause more injuries than it prevents in ordinary street driving situations. There are head and neck restraint systems to alleviate that, but they cause even worse problems for street driving. Most of the systems require the driver to be belted into a 5 point racing harness, and even those that do not require that severely limit the drivers ability to turn their head. Most of the systems are not particularly effective in side impacts either. In a racing situation this is not a problem because the driver does not have to deal with things like cross streets and angled intersections, and most hard impacts will be primarily front or back. I have driven a car with 5 point belts on the street, and I can guarantee that if everyone drove around strapped in like that (even without helmets), there would be a lot more accidents.

There is also the quality of life argument. When considering a remote chance of an injury (modern cars are quite safe, especially when seat belts are worn) even a relatively minor inconvenience should have some weight. Helmets are hot. They get sweaty and are difficult to clean. They *will* leave you with helmet hair (and not the news caster kind). A properly fitted helmet will be quite tight, so they are not comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

In summary:
Regardless of head and neck restraint use, we can expect to see at least a small increase in collisions from helmet use.
Without head and neck restraint use, we can expect a huge increase in neck injuries.
With head and neck restraint use, we can expect a huge increase in overall collisions.
Helmet use will be unpleasant for drivers and passengers.

I do not think that the benefit from reduced head injuries outweighs any one of the drawbacks I listed, and I am quite sure that it does not outweigh all of them together.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby mosc » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:00 pm UTC

I don't think any sane person would recommend a motorcycle type helmet for inside a car. The design would be totally different.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:15 pm UTC

Obesity is already starting to influence the cost of services both for the obese and others. Ticket pricing for obese passengers on airlines is one example. And eventually the regulatory environment will attempt to catch up. Helmets in cars are a solution seeking a problem, since no one has established head injuries as a significant point of cost. Modern cars are designed to protect their occupants, so staying in your car seems to be a safe strategy, therefore seat belts.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby ElectricPi » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:36 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I don't think any sane person would recommend a motorcycle type helmet for inside a car. The design would be totally different.

There is actually a lot of overlap between the Snell SA rating (Special Application, the designation used for car racing) and the Snell M rating (Motorcycle), and as far as I know pretty much all SA rated helmets are DOT approved for motorcycle use (even if the manufacturer does not recommend that use). Many helmet manufacturers will offer the same helmet in both SA and M versions, with the only differences being fire retardant fabrics in the lining of the SA helmets, and a lower price tag on the M helmet. There are other differences in the standards, but a helmet can be manufactured to meet both at once.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby BlackSails » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:44 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
morriswalters wrote: Lesser injuries means shorter time to clear the scene.


So you think that paramedics get to the hospital faster when people are LESS injured?

No, I think that if there are no bodies lying around everybody gets to go home quicker.


EMTs dont get to go home either way - they are on a shift.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:48 am UTC

But everyone else does. :D

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby mosc » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:59 pm UTC

ElectricPi wrote:
mosc wrote:I don't think any sane person would recommend a motorcycle type helmet for inside a car. The design would be totally different.

There is actually a lot of overlap between the Snell SA rating (Special Application, the designation used for car racing) and the Snell M rating (Motorcycle), and as far as I know pretty much all SA rated helmets are DOT approved for motorcycle use (even if the manufacturer does not recommend that use). Many helmet manufacturers will offer the same helmet in both SA and M versions, with the only differences being fire retardant fabrics in the lining of the SA helmets, and a lower price tag on the M helmet. There are other differences in the standards, but a helmet can be manufactured to meet both at once.

So you're saying because race car helmets are like motorcycle helmets that the only two options within a car are either no helmet or a motorcycle type helmet? You did not understand what I said.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby RAKtheUndead » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

Surely, when it comes to driving on the road (rather than motor racing, which is a different story, given that the drivers are usually deliberately pushing their cars to the limits, and typically have skills well in excess of the average road-car driver), we should be pushing for active safety versus passive safety? First of all, passive safety factors increase weight as a general rule, which affects acceleration, braking and cornering - and the amount of momentum they have when they hit pedestrians.

Secondly, a lot of people vastly overestimate their driving skills; this is part of why we see so many people driving around while being distracted by mobile telephones, et cetera (the other part is inconsideration for other road users). Safety features just cosset drivers instead of teaching them how to drive their way out of problematic scenarios. While offering people the same sorts of safety features as they had in the 1960s just seems irresponsible, adding confidence to arrogant drivers isn't something we really want to do.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby ElectricPi » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
mosc wrote:I don't think any sane person would recommend a motorcycle type helmet for inside a car. The design would be totally different.

There is actually a lot of overlap between the Snell SA rating (Special Application, the designation used for car racing) and the Snell M rating (Motorcycle), and as far as I know pretty much all SA rated helmets are DOT approved for motorcycle use (even if the manufacturer does not recommend that use). Many helmet manufacturers will offer the same helmet in both SA and M versions, with the only differences being fire retardant fabrics in the lining of the SA helmets, and a lower price tag on the M helmet. There are other differences in the standards, but a helmet can be manufactured to meet both at once.

So you're saying because race car helmets are like motorcycle helmets that the only two options within a car are either no helmet or a motorcycle type helmet? You did not understand what I said.

I can only address what you write. Sane people definitely *do* recommend wearing motorcycle style helmets, and even actual motor cycle helmets in cars (for example SCCA Solo rules, page 42). In fact I think it would be fair to say that in the limited instances when helmet use in cars is recommended, it is almost exclusively motor cycle style and/or actual motorcycle helmets that are recommended. You are correct that they are not the only type of helmet that *could be* worn in a car, but they are essentially the only style that *is* worn in cars.

There is another potential drawback to full face car/motorcycle helmets in existing cars.
It has been brought to the attention of
SCCA Technical Services that the use of
full-face or closed-face helmets while driving
vehicles with active airbag restraint
systems may result in injuries in the event
of a crash that deploys the airbag.
...
Therefore, it is highly recommended that
full-face helmets not be used in vehicles
with functional airbag systems. Potentially
more restrictive language is currently
being considered for 2005, which could
appear in an early 2005 issue of Fastrack.

Jan 05 issue of Fastrack, Page 16, middle column under "PARTICIPATION BULLETIN". It appears that no rule change was made (June 2005 Fastrack, page 7, "No Action Required" point 14)

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Hemmers » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:13 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Isn't that exactly the reason the HANS device was invented and subsequently mandated in virtually every motorsport?

If it's good enough for formula one drivers, it's good enough for me.


Yeah, but it restricts your ability to twist in the seat. Race cars are only supposed to be going forwards, as are motorcycles, so helmets and HANS can work in those scenarios.

On a crowded freeway where you need to check both mirrors and blind-spots, a helmet will muffle your hearing, and even an open-face helmet is going to affect your peripheral vision. Then you're going to have to doff the helmet and HANs whilst trying to reverse into a parking bay. 3-point turns become a nightmare, and of course, safety equipment only works if you fit it properly. Given that people can't even adjust cycle helmets appropriately, one has to wonder what the value of car helmets would be in about 98% of cases.

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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Cloud Walker » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:55 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Lazar wrote:For seatbelts, I think you could make a case based on the safety of the people around you in the car. For example, an unbelted passenger in a rear seat can become a projectile and injure people in the front; likewise, an unbelted driver might lose control of the car where he otherwise could have maintained it, thus endangering the passengers.


First I would say that you can only count someone flying out of their own car and hitting someone in another car(whoever owns the car decides whether they make people wear seatbelts. As to that actually happening, or your example of someone losing control; do we have actual examples of either?


I meandered into this thread because I ran out of things to read while eating dinner, so just jumping in here real quick:

I've thrown a passenger into me just by making a hard right turn. (I didn't know he was unbuckled.) The forces in accidents can be much greater than those in a manual turn, so yes, unbelted people can easily fly around a car in an accident or during emergency maneuvers, driver included.
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Re: Should drivers and passengers in automobiles wear helmet

Postby Ortus » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Griffin wrote:
So, what do people here think? Do you know anyone who does this? Is it a good idea? Is there a noticeable increase in safety?



I'm pretty sure that most of the 'head' related injuries in a car crash are actually neck or spinal injuries, which a helmet protects not. I compete in a sport that requires the use of helmets, and recommends other such protective gear, but if the aim is to protect against head-specific injury (concussions, etc) a properly fitted mouth-guard would probably end up going a longer ways towards that than a helmet. Bonus points for a helmet and a mouth-guard.
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