Advanced search

To think that in this awful accident, a helmet was not the only precaution this cyclist should have taken?

(132 Posts)
LikeDylanInTheMovies Wed 05-Oct-16 10:31:56

Husband of woman killed in Isle worth Husband calls for helmet law after wife dies following bike crash

What an awful thing to have happened, I feel terrible for husband and children and I'm sure if she could wind back the clock she'd have made different choices.

However in incidents like this, making helmets compulsory on its own is not a panacea, given that she was taking so many other risks (taking selfies, riding one handed, riding in drink, all at night).

In less tragic circumstances I get absolutely livid when I see cyclists like this, they give those of us who ride responsibly and legally a bad name. More worryingly they put us fellow cyclists at direct risk with their antics when traveling in cycle lanes. As it is sadness is my prevailing emotion.

I always wear a helmet on the road, but I don't think it is a magic forcefield that will save me. I have a duty to protect myself and others, just like any other road user.

Giving full allowance for the fact that her husband is deep in grief, but am I being unreasonable to feel that his campaigning efforts are misdirected? if he wanted to campaign on cycling safety, he should have perhaps included advocated better education/training for cyclists alongside his call for compulsory helmets.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 05-Oct-16 10:34:37

Well she and her family have certainly paid for her foolishness, hindsight is a wonderful thing

wasonthelist Wed 05-Oct-16 10:36:04

Agree OP - probably a useful channel for the grief, and I don't really mind one way or the other (always wear mine - infrequent cyclist), but -

People ignore laws every day and there doesn't seem to be a lot of enforcement of most of them.

People do daft things and take silly risks.

LikeDylanInTheMovies Wed 05-Oct-16 11:22:31

People do daft things and take silly risks.

Yep, the selfies one (which apparently she did regularly) seems particularly stupid given it requires you to ride one handed and focus on a screen rather than the road and fiddle around with a touchscreen. It just seems such a big and needless risk to take and for what? A blurry picture a few cm from your head?

Wordsaremything Wed 05-Oct-16 11:27:51

How appallingly irresponsible! I don't think compulsory helmets are the way to go though. I'd rather be dead than severely brain damaged.

acasualobserver Wed 05-Oct-16 11:30:40

I agree with you completely OP. However, there is a tendency on Mumsnet, and elsewhere, to regard cycle helmets as magic hats.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Wed 05-Oct-16 11:35:15

It's very tragic, but I disagree with her husband's description of her as a competent cyclist if she regularly took selfies whilst cycling.
That's daft, not competent

wasonthelist Wed 05-Oct-16 11:44:58

there is a tendency on Mumsnet, and elsewhere, to regard cycle helmets as magic hats.

Also a tendency to demand things are banned or made compulsory without giving any thought to the efficacy or practicality.

t4nut Wed 05-Oct-16 11:48:27

I don't wear a helmet. I can't see how 3 cm of polystyrene is going to have much effect against 2 tons of BMW (see also audii and Mercedes, all commonly driven by complete cockwombles).

specialsubject Wed 05-Oct-16 11:49:13

very sad - but dicking about on a bike is asking for an accident. Sounds like she was lucky not to crash before if she was cycling while waving her phone about and looking at it, not the road.

A helmet is indeed not a magic hat.

sydenhamhiller Wed 05-Oct-16 11:56:17

This was a terrible terrible tragedy.

As regards the helmet thing: I am on the fence. I grew up in Holland, cycled 8 km to school and back, Dad cycled to work, we all cycled everywhere. No one wore lycra/ helmets. This was the 80s though. We went back last year for a holiday: everyone still wears 'normal' clothes (not lycra) and no helmets. I know they have cycle paths/ lanes we don't usually have here, but accidents still happen.

I wonder if we just have more of a 'blame' culture/ fixing things culture here: if something happens there must be someone or something to blame/ change? (Not directed at this terrible case, it must be heart-breaking for the family to feel that if she had worn a helmet, she'd be here today - just wondering.)

All this wondering has been set off because I met 2 of my Dutch high school friends for the first time in 12 years this weekend. Not only were they appalled at me being a SAHM, they were surprised I book a babysitter for my 12, 10 and 4 year old...

AtMyHouse Wed 05-Oct-16 12:02:30

I grew up in the 80s and never wore a seatbelt as a child... Those who died are not here today to say that they were never harmed...

A helmet won't protect you from a car, but if y are knocked off, it will protect your head from banging the road..

Any protection is better than none. There is no such thing as 100% protection.

LikeDylanInTheMovies Wed 05-Oct-16 12:02:46

I don't wear a helmet. I can't see how 3 cm of polystyrene is going to have much effect against 2 tons of BMW

It will make absolutely hee haw difference in that situation. Tbeyre not designed to do that. It can make a difference in slow speed tumbles and spills, which are altogether more common when cycling. It could make the difference between a cut knee and bruised ego from overbalancing or hitting a pothole to a serious head injury.

I'd say wear a helmet, but be aware of what it can't and can do l, understand that sharing the road with bigger vehicles has the potential to be dangerous and ride accordingly.

t4nut Wed 05-Oct-16 12:12:38

Plus there's the research that shows wearing a helmet increases the risk of spinal rotational injuries from those tumbles and spills.

acasualobserver Wed 05-Oct-16 12:17:16

it will protect your head from banging the road.

A bit. Perhaps. A helmet - properly fitted - could offer some protection in a low speed impact.

NinjaLeprechaun Wed 05-Oct-16 12:17:27

"I don't think compulsory helmets are the way to go though. I'd rather be dead than severely brain damaged."
Having dealt with the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for decades after falling off my bike in my teens while not wearing a helmet, this strikes me as a remarkably stupid thing to say. You're far, FAR more likely to suffer permanent brain damage if you don't wear a helmet. Even a "mild" concussion can have lifelong effects.

c3pu Wed 05-Oct-16 12:21:13

I wear a seatbelt when I get into a car, and i wear a helmet when I get onto my bike.

I pray to god I never need them in anger, but having been knocked off my bike before I shall never be without my hat.

HeyNannyNanny Wed 05-Oct-16 12:30:06


As for helmets, I think its stupid not to wear one. Obviously its not going to protect you if you get smashed by a car but that's like saying seatbelts are pointless because they won't save you if you get hit by an article lorry.
I was always under the impression that helmets were there to protect you in a minor accident should you, for example, hit your head on the kerb. They help prevent minor accidents becoming major ones.

As does, to be fair, common sense and obeying road law

HeyNannyNanny Wed 05-Oct-16 12:31:12

*arctic lorry. Bloody hell

themoomah Wed 05-Oct-16 12:36:30

My lovely husband was in an accident while riding his bike13 years ago. He bounced headfirst off a Mercedes and onto the kerb. He wasn't wearing a helmet. The effects have been far-reaching and his life-expectancy has been shortened by around 10 years. He's very lucky he didn't die. If he'd wearing a helmet he may have still broken his collar bones but he wouldn't have had the life-changing brain damage he's got now. His entire medical team, from the neurosurgeons to the ITU nurses were all adamant that if every cyclist wore a cycle helmet every time they got on a bike there would be far fewer neuroscientists needed because of the dramatic reduction in head injuries and far less money spent by the NHS and associated charities providing care for cyclists with acquired brain damage. The increase in potential spinal damage as a result of the helmet is miniscule in comparison. Granted, this poor lady shouldn't have been riding one-handed, while drunk, and taking a selfie - but if she'd also been wearing a cycle helmet she might still be with us to realize the error of her ways.

hmcAsWas Wed 05-Oct-16 12:38:48

That link doesn't work when I click on it confused

I will NEVER understand why people do not wear helmets.

rumbelina Wed 05-Oct-16 12:40:20

Having seen dents in helmets from low level accidents that could have been a lot worse I think people are crazy not to wear them.

Where I work you also see lots of (adult) cyclists without lights, high vis or helmets - in the fucking dark. Crazy and also completely selfish. I am totally pro cycling, DH cycles everywhere, but some people are idiots.

hmcAsWas Wed 05-Oct-16 12:42:20

Yep Rumbelina - friends son has impressive dent in his helmet after falling off at relatively low speed.

Also yes to the unlit cyclists - drove past one the other night on a 60mph stretch of road!

SoupDragon Wed 05-Oct-16 12:47:44

All the gear in the world won't protect against stupidity sad

I followed a pack of cyclists from a club earlier this week, along a busy main road. Cycling along en masse, all kitted out with Lycra, head gear and (on some of them) cameras. One female member was riding along typing onto her mobile phone. I wondered if this was illegal in the same way it is for a driver.

rumbelina Wed 05-Oct-16 12:48:25

Sorry about your husband moomah. I'm glad you still have him. I met a man at the bus stop about 10 years ago who had a bike accident a few years previously while not wearing a helmet. He was in a coma for a year and couldn't use one side of his body (although was now able to walk by kind of dragging his leg). He told me all about it while we waited for the bus and how the doctors had said a helmet would have prevented it - his whole life turned upside down... I've never forgotten it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now