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anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm sure(25 posts)

anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm surebicycle268
Oct 4, 2003 2:03 PM
Crashed in the rain today. Wheels came out from under me at 25 mph or so. Messed my shoulder up pretty bad and the left side of my body looks like a rotten tomato. The force of the impact crushed my helmet. Without it, I'd be dead.
So it seems pretty simple...Wear your helmet- live. Go without- die.

So... Why would ANYONE not?.....
... it always happens to someone else...Akirasho
Oct 4, 2003 2:40 PM
... until it's you.

While nothing aside from not riding at all will guarentee your safety with respect to cycling, a helmet seems a relatively benign way of saving your family a bit o grief and further burdening an already overburdened health care system.

While it's been several years since... I still keep the cracked lid in my basement.

Hope you're already on the mend... and be careful out there.

Be the bike.
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm suregebbyfish
Oct 4, 2003 2:40 PM
If it didn't save my life, it certainly saved my brain. Once while mountainbiking, after a really technical downhill, I ran over a decaying log which somehow stopped the front wheel and with the momentum over the handlebars I went, smashing my head and face into the ground. I dusted myself off, wiped a little blood from my face and rode home. I didn't feel right for a few days, and several days later when I was on the phone with my mom, I noticed the helmet was cracked where my right temple would have been. No doubt I didn't feel well because of a concussion, but without the helmet it would have been a skull fracture, coma, maybe death! Never get on a bike without one!

Yep, that's why I never ride without one - I have 2 kids waiting for me at home...SS_MB-7
Oct 4, 2003 2:59 PM
I've had a few cracked/broken helmets in my 15 yrs of riding.

Just recently, I had to replace a Giro Exodus due to a nasty crash (MTB) which resulted in a cracked helmet. Saved my life? Hard to say. But, I'd to see the alternative if I hadn't worn one.

These are my two kidz that are waiting for me at home after every ride, race, etc., along with their loving Mom, Cari.

Tyler (left) now 3 yrs old and his sister, Kiley, now 1.5 yrs old.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life?lsalins
Oct 4, 2003 3:05 PM
I was hit from behind by an SUV going 50 mph, a hit-and-run. I flew 30 feet through the air. First thought: what and stupid and gruseome way this is to die. Then: am I ready to die? Answer: No!!!! So what can I do to give myself a better chance to survive? I do a half turn to the left. (If I had landed face first, the helmet wouldn't have saved me. My nose would have been in my brain.) I broke my knee cap, bruised my hip and shoulder and then cracked my helmet, but not my skull. Without the helmet I would have been dead. Bike was a pretzel.
Never caught the driver.
In a month I was riding again.
From the "uninsured driver's clause" settlement I got a better bike.
I never think twice. I always ride with a helmet.
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life?lyleseven
Oct 4, 2003 3:21 PM
Had two spills, one very serious. In both accidents, helmet saved my head, although broke vertebraes in my neck last time. Would have been dead or in wheelchair w/o helmet. You can't too much time and money shopping for a good helmet!
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm sureneurostar
Oct 4, 2003 3:56 PM
One hasn't save mine yet.

But one did save my gf's life. We were up mtn biking and she had a nasty wreck, ended up spending the night in a hospital. Also cracked her helmet, and ended up with a nasty concussion.

I'm definitely glad that she was wearing it.

Saved by the BelldaCaT_
Oct 4, 2003 4:27 PM
In a fast MTB downhill (about 33mph) I ran my head straight into a tree. I was out for a minute and my wife was paniced. I had to ride another 7 miles to get home. Things seemed alright until I threw-up dinner. My memory was terrable for over two months. I sent the helmet back to Bell and they sent me a new one with a certificate that read "saved by the Bell".
Yes, twice...Gregory Taylor
Oct 4, 2003 5:33 PM
The first was a solo accident where I wound up over the bars and smack on my melon. Broken helmet, memory loss, concussion. I'm sure that I would have been very seriously hurt without the helmet. The second time was about 18 months later when I got hit by a car. Over the hood and on my melon again. Another concussion and a trip to the hospital in an ambulance. By the way, you get MUCH better service in the emergency room when you arrive by ambulance.

So yes, I am a satisfied helmet user.
I could feel it crunch into the pavement.Chainstay
Oct 4, 2003 6:36 PM
That would have been my skull. I kept the split open helmet around for a few years and made sure the kids got a good look at it. Then one day I decided to see what kind of force it took to do the damage it sustained. Amazing. There is no way a skull can take those impacts without huge fractures.

My wife was glad I just broke a collar bone. We already have one kid with CP and she didn't need another invalid.
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm surelithiapark
Oct 4, 2003 7:20 PM
As a neurosurgeon, I've had several patients whose lives were not saved because they were not wearing a helmet. One was a very unfortunate fellow who fell over at a stopsign, couldn't get unclipped, and hit his head on the curb. A couple were children. Wear your helmet. Make your children wear helmets. Don't ride by me with your helmetless children unless you want to be reminded that the leading cause of death in people under 20 is trauma, mostly as a result of head injury.
Downhill MTB crashdgangi
Oct 4, 2003 9:15 PM
Just this summer I was in Winter Park Colorado ski resort riding my hardtail Trek down some of the black diamond (expert) bike runs. One particular trail that we liked had lots of jumps and other "tricks" added by the locals.

Near the bottom of the run I came across a really sweet looking jump. I had fun with many jumps on the same run so I did not think twice about hitting it. Just as I came to the jump, I realized that behind the jump was about 6' of ravine.

As you can guess, I was not going fast enough to clear the ravine and I caught my back tire on the opposite ledge. The force of the impact kicked my back tire up over the top of me and I endo'd, landing smack on my head and right shoulder (bike bounced another 10 feet down the trail). The impact was so strong that it actually crushed in my Giro helmet -- entire right front of the helmet caved in. My shoulder was a bloody mess and I had the worst case of whiplash ever. What really pissed me off is that I also smashed my brand new Nike sunglasses and shattered them.

Without the helmet, I would probably be either dead or gone to the hospital with severe head trauma. Why anybody rides without a helmet, I have no idea...

re: anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm sureEric F
Oct 4, 2003 11:38 PM
back when I was a little BMX punk I was dirt jumping one day. I was wearing my helmet because we were filming and my mom would of killed me if she saw me doing that stuff with no helmet. Anyways, I hit a jump, went about 9 feet in the air but somehow I managed to flip over and land head first one a sharp rock. My PROTEC broke (for those that don't know pro tecs are those helmets that don't break after one crash). My head would of been in 300 pieces if not for that helmet.

I never rode without my helmet again.
Oct 5, 2003 5:24 AM
One road ride accident where an 83 year old man hit me and a couple of mountain bike accidents.

Something I have always wondered, why don't snow skiers where helmets? Frequently (on the east coast at least) the snow is hard and really hurts when you fall. A lot of snowboarders where helmets, why not skiers. My dilema is that I work with the high school youth at church and we are going skiing this year. I will be wearing a helmet on the snowboard but a lot of them will not want to (It's not cool). What do you do?
Not cool helmetslithiapark
Oct 5, 2003 7:03 AM
Broken heads are less cool. I'm on the west coast and every year there is more than one young person that dies of a head injury while skiing or snowboarding. Our legal climate out here makes it such that for an organization not to require obviously appropriate safety equipment on an outing is just asking for trouble. There is no better way to ruin the mood of a joyous outing than to have one of the participants ambulanced unconscious from the mountain. It certainly doesn't help the congregation as a whole either.
This seems like a no-brainer to me.
Ski and snowboardingslo_brian
Oct 5, 2003 10:04 AM
Yes, us snow people really should. I had an accident 2 years ago on the slopes, which knocked me out and zapped my memory for a little while. Ironically, my helmet was on order and arrived in the mail later that week. Some people call downhill skiing an extreme sport - sounds like a helmet would be a good idea.

So, I haven't gone snowboarding again yet, but I'll have my helmet when I go this year! Interesting stuff:
Don't leave home without it! 6-months agotmguy
Oct 5, 2003 10:00 AM
Hit a steel plate in the road while commuting and front wheel got caught. Pitched over the bars and landed 28 ft from my bike (both wheels toasted, carbon fork cracked). Helmet cracked in two places over my right eye. ER staff said I would have has a serious head injury without the helmet. Still, three fractured ribs, chipped teeth, partially severed ear (got caught on the helmet strap), numerous stitches in face and road rash, was enough.

Back on the road one-month later for Bike to Work day!

The most important piece of bicyling equipment you own.
Oct 5, 2003 3:01 PM
Hi, I was in a training ride, and we were going around 25 MPH, the guy in front of me suddenly braked, and my tire overlapped his tire, and we all know what happens next. My front tire ceased to move, and I went over the handlebars, all I can remember is my shoulder hitting the ground. I was luckly 15 riders behind me didn't run over me. Oh yeah back to the helmet thing, once I collected myself and moved off the road, I noticed my helmet was crack on the side in 2 places, the cracks were fairly large. I had no idea that my head hit the ground, if it wasn't for the helemt, my skull would have been bashed in. Instead I had a unusable helmet and a perfectly safe head. I was back on the bike two days later. Only damage to my body was a torn clavicle ligament. I'm still amazed with the helmet (Giro Eclipse), I'm keeping it for good luck. Wear a helmet!
Don't want this to turn into a "can you top this"LO McDuff
Oct 5, 2003 3:49 PM
My brother was riding in an organized century and was hit by a pickup at about 70MPH. He got a brain injury that changed his life. He was in a coma for two weeks, went through (and continues to go through) tough rehabilitation. I am convinced that if he didn't have a helmet, he would be dead today.
More times than I care to rememberxcmntgeek
Oct 5, 2003 5:07 PM
The most serious was when I went down in a sprint at roughly 30 mph. I endo'd and hit head first, spear like, into the ground. When I got up my helmet fell off of my head beacuse it had craked all the way through; it was still straped. I know it savedmy life beacuse the fource of spearing into the ground was enough to compress and break 3 vertabre and the next bounce broke 4 ribs.
Haven't hit my helmet once in 30+ years.Cory
Oct 5, 2003 6:17 PM
Don't know how many crashes I've had, but there have been a few pretty bad ones, and I've never once hit my helmet, at least not hard enough to scratch it or to remember the impact. Doesn't stop me from wearing it, though.
I'm debating the this question another place!MShaw
Oct 5, 2003 6:54 PM
Seems that there are a few people out there that think that helmets are "ineffective" so they don't generally wear one.

Since nobody is going to convince them that wearing a helmet is a good thing, all I can say to them is that I hope no one is going to miss you if that ONE wreck is the one that you needed to be wearing a helmet for.

I've hit my head seriously once or twice, the most recent was 3 weeks ago. The short version was that I ended up moving left into someone moving right, and down I went. I didn't even have time to let go of my bars! I went down on my left side, my head smacked the pavement so hard it cracked my helmet and bruised my forehead. My neck still aches a little from the hyperextension.

at least saved me from a fractured skullOffTheBack
Oct 6, 2003 3:31 AM
crashed at full speed on a track bike - over the bars at 30+ mph - helemt smashed to bits, road rash on my face, amnesia for a couple of hours, but no concussion and no skull fracture. Need I say it? Nine ounces on the noggin or a potentially devastating injury is an easy choice.
sounds like a fall I had not too long agoNigeyy
Oct 6, 2003 3:47 AM
cracked helmet, road rash, etc.

Afterwards I realized what a good idea helmets are.... I agree, it would seem strange to choose to not wear one, particularly with helmets that are so good on ventilation and are light weight.

Having said that, you do pay a price (a very worthwhile price IMHO though):

-wasps/bees/stinging insects are hard to extract from a helmet while you're riding. And chances are that they will sting you. I've been really fortunate -had it happen quite a few times with no stings (as yet!).

-regardless of how good the air flow is, I would still think in very hot climates mostly you're going to have a cooler head not wearing a helmet that wearing one.
re: anyone else have a helmet save their life? I'm sureJoe A
Oct 6, 2003 6:22 AM
Two months ago I was out on a Colorado country road and was clipped by a pick up - threw me in the air, landed HARD on my left shoulder and the back of my head. Shoulder was a mess (still bothers me in fact) and helmet cracked. I'll take a concussion any day over what WOULD/could have happened.

While I was sitting on the edge of the road collecting my thoughts I saw a dude ride by w/o his helmet - if my legs were working at the time I wanted to ride up and cacth him and tell him what just possibly saved my life.

You never know...