I own several helmets and I do wear them.
I think they are great pieces of gear that can be very useful. I don’t wear a helmet 24/7. I put a helmet on when I feel the activity warrants it.
I use a few guidelines to determine if I should wear a helmet:
- am I likely to fall/crash?
- if so how fast am I going and what can I hit?
- is the activity more dangerous than taking a shower or driving my truck?
- special conditions [ie. sickness, icy roads, fog, etc...]
I was going to keep going with a logical analysis of how I used helmets to back up my whole rationale safety post. The problem is when I looked into my helmet use more closely I discovered to my dismay I am not very logical about when and why I wear a helmet…=-(
I don’t wear a helmet at home in the shower even though it’s pretty damn dangerous:
“Nobody ever expects a home accident to happen, but a slip down the stairs or a kitchen grease fire can happen in the blink of an eye — even with careful homeowners. In England alone in 2007, nearly 2.7 million people were injured in a home accident. In the United States, injury is the leading cause of death among children and young adults and nearly half of these accidents occur in the home, according to the National Safety Council. That same group states that in 2002, there were more than 33,000 deaths and 8,000,000 disabling injuries that occurred in the home. That makes one death every 16 minutes and one disabling home injury every four seconds. When it comes to injury and death in home accidents, the leading culprits are falls, toxins and suffocation by ingested object or smoke inhalation.”
I don’t wear a helmet in my truck even though driving is pretty damn dangerous:
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S.1 More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.2 The economic impact is also notable: the lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries among drivers and passengers were $70 billion in 2005.”
Now I could just put on a helmet the moment I woke up in the AM and then keep it on until I was back in bed that night. However, I’m a wild man. I jump into the shower each AM and lather up without a care in the world. Sure the bathroom is competing with the kitchen for most deadly room in the house, but I am so bold that I not only don’t wear a helmet in the shower I add liquid soap to the mix just to make my footing less secure. No seriously I do! If that wasn’t enough I then pad over to the kitchen [again with no helmet on] and get something to eat. Like bacon, eggs and toast with no body armour or eye protection – let alone a skid lid.
I suppose because of this crazy reckless attitude I’ve become immune to fear and after breakfast I’ll climb into my truck and get this…not wearing even a baseball cap…I’ll drive through rush hour traffic to get to a meeting.
So when it comes to sports I weigh the risks up against the crazy death defying deeds I do every AM. If the activity is more dangerous I put on a helmet and possibly some other protective gear. If not I don’t.
Now before you leave me a comment I know what someone will say…“…are you nuts you can easily slip in the shower and crack your skull open!…I wear a helmet in the shower and in the kitchen…It doesn’t bother me and if I do fall I’ll sure be glad I had it on…” This is all very true. The bathroom is indeed the most dangerous room in the house for falls and car accidents are the #1 cause of brain injuries. So I cannot deny that it’s possible I could fall and hurt myself or dent my brain in a car wreck.
And yes you are also right that it’s a bit silly for me to wear a helmet road biking when I’ve never even fallen off a road bike once in my life – yet I’ve slipped in the bathroom several times and I’ve had 4 or 5 car crashes. So why no helmet where it really matters? I’m a kook. I’ll admit it. I don’t want to look like a geek driving around town in my truck. Sure after the shower it’s the most dangerous thing I’ll do that day, but at some point you just gotta stop worrying and crank up the tunes…you know?
I’m a bit torn – my cavalier attitude aside. I mean I know a guy whose cousin’s wife’s uncle slipped in the shower at a hockey rink after a game and would have died if he didn’t still have his hockey helmet on. I guess it was cracked right in two where his head hit the water temperature knob. OTOH I’ve slipped in the bathroom, but never actually hit my head on anything. I had a full on tumble on the stairs between my kitchen and bathroom last year. I went from walking to BAM! on the ground laid out…not sure what happened and I didn’t hit my head, but I could have and it was over so fast I didn’t have time to protect my melon at all.
I guess I have to decide if I want to take risks at home and in the truck for the sake of style and convenience or be safer and wear a helmet as soon as I get out of bed. Tough choice frankly!