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Old 04-25-2014, 07:33 PM   #23
Glides a lot, talks more...
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wilmington, MA, USA.
Posts: 10,353
5 yr Member HT/PT Owner SegwayFest Attendee

Originally Posted by Gihgehls View Post
I see both sides of this healthy debate. I don't personally wear a helmet when I glide. I can see Bob Y.'s point, I think, which can be summed up as "control the things you have control over, to be prepared for the things you don't."

This is undoubtedly a good philosophy. I think where you two essentially differ is in your risk assessment. Karl has identified many controllable elements of this accident that if changed, would have prevented it. The problem is that not everything is under our own control.

Consider the gliding abilities of some of the best gliders: polo players. Many I know do not wear helmets when gliding, but they do on the field. Why? The ball isn't hard enough to do damage. The rules of the game state that the mallet should never rise above your waist. Of course, everyone is always following the rules, right?

Many confident motorcycle riders choose to wear no helmet (or an unapproved/untested skullcap.) They might believe that since they are so careful, skilled, and experienced the bike will never crash while they are riding it. A real skilled motorcyclist knows that his/her greatest safetfy equipment isn't the helmet, but his/her AWARENESS of all the things he/she cannot control. But it is impossible to account for everything, which is what I think Bob Y. is saying.

Not every segway accident is going to be a low speed, low force event. Consider getting hit by a drunk driver on a crosswalk. You might break every bone in your body and get thrown 30 feet. Wearing a helmet in this situation might mean the difference between life and death. But I don't wear a helmet, so I need to depend on my awareness. I accept that this will only inch me toward 100% safe while never ever reaching it.
I agree with most everything in this post. Unfortunately, it is "Gihgehls" argument, not Bob's. I believe that Gihgehls and I pretty much agree on this topic. I usually do not wear a helmet, but given some circumstances where there are more variables that I cannot control (like on a polo field) I would wear one...

But if I were to have a conversation with Gihgehls on this topic, my arguments, if any, would be different than what I say to Bob. He is the one who said it is irresponsible for anyone to mount a segway, or allow anyone else to mount a segway without a helmet.

That is a very different argument than Gihgehls makes, and leaves no room for individual risk assessment.

I liken his argument to that of an ex-smoker toward cigarette smoke. I know lots of people who don't like cigarette smoke, but my experience is that the most aggressive are those who are ex-smokers themselves.

Bob is quick to insist it is common sense to wear a helmet, but he himself admits to not wearing them for years. I guess he had no common sense, and now feels he has found common sense.

And common sense to wear a helmet, and irresponsible to not wear one, is a very different argument than variable risk assessment.
Karl Ian Sagal

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