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Discussion Starter #1
This is 3rd. party information as a friend of my friend was involved in a serious collision on Saturday Feb.11. He was riding his HD sportster down Boundry and 48th. ave. at a brisk speed, not that far off from posted limit.

A person riding a 3-wheel bicycle shot out from a side street infront of him, he had no time to react and hit the cyclist at full speed, it was a pretty bad scene. The rider was wearing full leathers and a full face helmet, the cyclist was drunk. Rider has 3 broken ribs, and multiple broken bones on his face, his body looks fine, but his face is black, blue, and deformed. He sustained head damage, the long term extent of which is not known yet, but when my friend asked him a series of simple questions all his answers were laboured and wrong. He was in a coma for 4 days, the doctors were not sure of his survival, but it looks like he will pull through, but will never be the same. I was told the cyclist did not fare as well but all I know is that he is still alive, I don't know anymore details than that.

The reason I am posting this is it is a lesson in wearing proper gear, I am positive it saved his life, and enabled him to still be able to lead an enjoyable life after he recovers.

Now, he usually would wear his beenie, but on cold or rainy days he wears his full face. If he was wearing his beenie there is no doubt in my mind that he would be dead. When the police came to his house to break the news and take information down they were so affected by this that they took his beenie, and with the family's permission immediatly destroyed it. Please, don't dismiss the gear nazi posts, good gear, not loud pipes saves lives.

-Nick
 
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Good story. These All The Gear, All The Time (ATGATT) stories are no-brainers.

On reflection, I guess his pipes were not loud enough to warn everybody that he was comming. If he had some more time he could have laid it down to avoid the crash...:laughing
 

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SuperStyling
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How did he sustain so much damge on the street (going 50-70km/hr?) and hit the cyclist?

You can kind of control how you fall?
 

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:imwithstu

The amount of damage, compared to the mentioned speed doesn't seem to add up. There must be some more details that are missing.

All The Gear All The Time (ATGATT) stories are no-brainers.
Exactly - you don't have to preach to the choir...
 

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coolio said:
You can kind of control how you fall?

You can? Well that I would pay to see that! Care to demonstrate, we can toss you off the back of a pickup and see how to control a roll @ xx km/hr :p
 

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SuperStyling
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CrashTested said:
You can? Well that I would pay to see that! Care to demonstrate, we can toss you off the back of a pickup and see how to control a roll @ xx km/hr :p
Like when you tumble down the stairs, you don't just let yourself keep tumbling. You try and stp it and avoid more injuries.
 

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SuperStyling
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Black Sunshine said:
:imwithstu

The amount of damage, compared to the mentioned speed doesn't seem to add up. There must be some more details that are missing.


Exactly - you don't have to preach to the choir...
Well he did say street not highway. Unless the biker was speeding, doing 100+? Or maybe something else, Let's find out.
 

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lots of people get bad injuries, sometimes fatal, from slow-speed crashes.

there's no mystery, it's just bad luck.
 

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wtf are you guys inspector clouseau? i get a kick how everytime there is an accident people try and find some sort of information or angle that demonstrates that the guy was excessively speeding or riding like an idiot so that they can say "i don't ride like that therefore i will not have a similar accident and injure myself". you don't need to going more than 30kmh to die from a head injury, people have tripped over their own shoelace and hit their head on the sidewalk and died. shit can and does happen.
 

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Assuming the rider was thrown from the bike due to the impact rather than having time to bail out then it's hard to say that he could influence how he falls. Once you are in the air it's up to the laws of physics how you will land. And assuming he came down face or head first and perhaps had a secondary impact with a curb or other obstacle such facial injuries are quite possible.

Control the impact? If the body is pivoting around in mid air it's next to impossible to maintain any sense of position and control unless perhaps you're a circus tumbler. Add in the shock of the sudden appearance of the trike and shock of actually impacting and all bets are off. Add in the shock of the sudden appearance of the trike and all bets are off.

There's another thread here about how the chin bar is near enough to the face that it touches the rider's lips. Even a good fitting helmet will impact the face quite hard in an accident. But hopefully the foam in the chin bar will act to reduce the jaw injuries. And if the helmet was bought more for price or looks it's hard to say how well it fitted. And even the best quality and fit isn't going to help if the rider's head slams face first into a fixed object. It's the degree of concussion that they deal with.

Helmets are actually only intended to protect you from the drop to the roadway and not a 40 mph slide into a curb. A "melon" dropped from 7 feet only accelerates to about 20 mph before it hits the ground in a fall. That is what our helmets are intended to protect against. And by using the term "protect" they only say that it needs to avoid permanent damage. Even a good helmet can still result in a concussion during a normal fall.
 

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Well said TeeTee.
I was involved in an accident many years ago wearing a full face helmet and I still managed to break my jaw, a concussion and some scratched on the face when the visor popped off. I hit the ground hard then slid into a tire of a semi truck that had jack knifed across the road. Hence the reason for the crash.
But I do not expect the helmet to make it so I am superman and come away with no damage at all.
 

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Foam in the chin bar??? I guess cheek pads are what's meant. I suppose there's a lesson here that they should be pretty tight/firm. I have to say that I, too, am skeptical about the speed-injury equation of this accident.
 

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coolio said:
How did he sustain so much damge on the street (going 50-70km/hr?) and hit the cyclist?

You can kind of control how you fall?

ya i controll my sub 50km/ crashes right into the a car...then the curb....then the light standard.... shit that was some GREAT control!!
 

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Great post.
Kudos to the HD rider for wearing a full face and the police for taking it a step further and actually destroying the beanie.
 

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radmtnbkr said:
wtf are you guys inspector clouseau? i get a kick how everytime there is an accident people try and find some sort of information or angle that demonstrates that the guy was excessively speeding or riding like an idiot so that they can say "i don't ride like that therefore i will not have a similar accident and injure myself". you don't need to going more than 30kmh to die from a head injury, people have tripped over their own shoelace and hit their head on the sidewalk and died. shit can and does happen.
You've got a point fo sho...everyone always looks for a reason and it always seems to end up with speeding or being an idiot on the bike. And you're right it is because motorbike riders wanna think that as long as they do everything right they will not crash. Here is the thing, as a rider you can do everything right and still die.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know all the nitty gritty details, just what I posted so far. In the coming weeks I will get a chance to sit down and talk with him. I will post any more info. that may be useful or answer your questions.

TeeTee brought out an important detail, helmets are designed to protect you drom a vertical drop to the ground, not an object at 70kph which is what I suspect his speed was. I am suprised his injuries are not worse, there are nothing but lamp standards, curbs, and other traffic on that road.

Coolio, have you ever seen a skier wipe out down a mountain, or an animal hit by a car, or anything similar? You are turned into a rag doll with no control! If you were a physics nerd and actually worked out the forces involved in a collision like this you would see why, it's hard enough catching a light baseball at 70kph, let alone a 200lb body. :rtfm

The police found no fault with the rider, speed was not a factor, he will be taken care of by ICBC and he has a pretty good union backed job, all he has to do is heal. I'll keep you posted.

-Nick
 

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Today saw a harley rider riding without a helmet of any kind... i hope he got pulled over fast enough.
 

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R6Richard said:
Foam in the chin bar??? I guess cheek pads are what's meant. I suppose there's a lesson here that they should be pretty tight/firm. I have to say that I, too, am skeptical about the speed-injury equation of this accident.
This is a very common misconception about helmets. Far too many people think like you do Richard so while I picked on your post this is meant to be more general.

There's two forms of foam in a helmet. There's the soft squishy cheek and ear pads and sometimes there's a light squishy head liner as well. However these are intended for noise control and comfort and NOT to absorb any form of impact at all. They may feel firm and supportive but in reality if you recieve a serious blow to the head this sponge will sqush to paper thin in a flash and let the true force of the damaging blow come right through. As such the cheekpads do not need to be tight and firm but if they are a nice fit the helmet will tend to be quieter. Besides I HATE it when they squeeze my cheeks in and pucker my lips... D:

The energy absorbtion that limits injury comes from the hard foam mid shell that is made out of styrofoam. If you move your liner out of the way you'll see a black painted shell and if you look closer you'll see that it's the same expanded beads of foam that is used to protect stuff in boxes from shipping damage. This same firm but crushable foam is under the covering on the inside of the chin bar. That's why the chin bars of modern helmets are a good centimeter or more thick. It's not the outer shell but the energy liner that makes it that thick.

This is why it is so important when we buy helmets to try to feel past the often firm sponginess of new comfort padding and feel how our heads fit into the harder EPS foam liner that is actually intended to do the protecting. It's important to ensure that this hard liner fits down as far as possible but still lets the top of our noggin touch the top of the helmet and that the bowl has as much contact around the peripery of our skull as possible. You need to be able to feel a line of contact or very near to contact in a ring that runs around your skull just above the ear line.

The actual outer shell of plastic or fiberglass is quite thin at only about 2 to 6 mm depending on the material and where on the shell you measure the thickness. This hard outer shell is there to try to stop actual penetrating objects and to absorb some of the impact energy by fracturing and splitting. So when you see a helmet that has a long crack in it don't think "cheap helmet". Rather think "Glad the helmet split to help save the head splitting" because that's the case.
 
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