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Old 10-01-2002, 03:24 PM   #1
CephasH
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Default Helmets?

What is your opinion about wearing a helmet when riding a Segway?
Would you be more inclined towards helmet usage if part of your Segwaying would be in neighborhoods without sidewalks? Or night riding in poorly lit areas?
Do you currently wear a helmet while skating or biking?
Would mandatory helmet laws discourage you from riding a Segway?

I've always been sort of an ambivilant helmet user, knowning that even the best bike/skating helmet is designed only to provide life saving protection at speeds of less than 15mph. They aren't likely to save you if hit by a car, but work great in falls at slow speeds. Segway speeds.

http://www.helmets.org/segway.htm
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:50 PM   #2
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I have never worn a helmet while riding a bike. I would not want to be forced to do so by law either. The same goes for Segway, even more so, since it is supposed to be safer to ride.

Why? It is a hastle to put on a helmet and take it off and carry it around. It is a hastle to have to comb your hair. If you are female you dont want your hair messed up.

I would like to see some statistic though as to how many injuries are prevented due to helmets.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Antagony
I have never worn a helmet while riding a bike. I would not want to be forced to do so by law either. The same goes for Segway, even more so, since it is supposed to be safer to ride.

Why? It is a hastle to put on a helmet and take it off and carry it around. It is a hastle to have to comb your hair. If you are female you dont want your hair messed up.

I would like to see some statistic though as to how many injuries are prevented due to helmets.
Meaningful statistics, there's the rub. There were studies done in the late 80's that predicted the helmets would reduce bicycle deaths by 85%. As helmet use has increased, in some places by new laws, the predictions have not panned out.

In Australia, where mandatory helmet laws were enacted, reductions in bike deaths have been noted. But the cause/effect has not been proven since the law was part of a major highway safety campaign that cut all highway deaths, even pedestrian, largely due to stiff enforcement of drunk driving laws. In addition, there were many bike riders who were so opposed to the law that they stopped riding. Fewer riders, fewer deaths.

Even so, those groups that promote mandatory bike helmet laws press on. Once they get the bikes, they will come after skaters, boarders, skiers and probably Segways.

Observation:
Initially we were told that Segway riding was intuitive and could be learned in minutes. But the early demonstrations featured riders with helmets. Now we are seeing formal classes for Segway riders that can last an entire day, but the helmets have disappeared. Intuitive but maybe not so safe vs not so intuitive but safer. The message I'm seeing is that proper safety training is more important than protective gear and I heartily agree. I wish someone would apply this principle to other activities.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:53 PM   #4
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From what I have seen, Segway's are very intuitive to learn, and with DS they should be very difficult to dump. At the speeds Segway's travel I find it rather ludicrous to wear a helmet riding one. If it is protection against being hit by an automobile I find that also questionable, as Segway is not expected to be traveling with cars, and should not be more subject to an automobile accident than a pedestrian is.

If children are to ride them, I think the same laws should apply to helmets for Segway as for bicycles or ATV's.

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Old 10-03-2002, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Casey

From what I have seen, Segway's are very intuitive to learn, and with DS they should be very difficult to dump. At the speeds Segway's travel I find it rather ludicrous to wear a helmet riding one. If it is protection against being hit by an automobile I find that also questionable, as Segway is not expected to be traveling with cars, and should not be more subject to an automobile accident than a pedestrian is.

If children are to ride them, I think the same laws should apply to helmets for Segway as for bicycles or ATV's.
Don't kid yourself: A fall at 12.5mph could be fatal and Segway riders will find ways to fall. A CPSC approved bike helmet provides effective protection in a drop from 2 meters, i.e. 15mph, anyway. Beyond that the effectiveness of most helmets drops. Their real value is in low speed falls, just the kind a Segway rider might experience at 12.5mph.

If a Segway is not expected to be traveling with cars, why have 25 states given EPAMD's the specific right to use the roads? Questionable? Check out the laws. And if people can, they will. Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes because it will be faster, sometimes because it may actually be safer than the sidewalk.
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Old 10-03-2002, 04:47 PM   #6
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In western Canada, where I live, bike helmets are mandatory to use with bikes. They sell them with bikes now. I think it's a good idea, although I have to admit my wife has had to work on me a bit to convince me that I should be wearing a helmet while roller blading, to provide a good example for our kids

I think bike helmets would be good for Segway use as well, and in the end they would protect both the rider and the company's interests, as they would minimize injury from accidents. Admittedly, they tend not be make ya look the coolest !

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Old 10-03-2002, 05:01 PM   #7
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When I was young and athletic, I ran the mile in less than 5 minutes on a regular basis (I didn't say a GOOD athlete)but not bad for a flatfoot like me. That is about 12 MPH, or about the speed of a Segway. I would assume you feel I should have been wearing a helmet when I was running. I have fallen many times in my life at those speeds, and yes you could get hurt, and I have. But it was generally my hands that got skinned, not my head. Maybe they should pass mandatory GLOVE laws to protect us from our owm clumsiness.

As I said before, children should be protected by law by wearing helmets. But to require adults to wear a helmet at 12.5 MPH seems ludicrous to me, as well as an intrusion on personal rights. A Segway is in no way comparable to riding a motorcycle, the potential for injury is miniscule in comparison. Yet most states do not require adults to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle.
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Old 10-03-2002, 05:11 PM   #8
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Hi Casey,

You may be right that making helmets mandatory for adults would be unnecessary. I guess Id still like to see helmet use encouraged for the general public. I get the feeling youre being modest about your athletic abilities. A 5 minute mile seems pretty good to me, and the average Joe might not be quite as good as you, at landing hand first, rather than head first []

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Old 10-04-2002, 10:37 AM   #9
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Don't get me wrong: I don't advocate mandatory helmet laws. I'm from New Hampshire; you know, 'Live Free or Die', and all that. We have no helmet or seatbelt laws for adults and that's just fine by me. I don't give a hoot what others do, but I'd like to know that they are aware of their risks and have made a thoughtful decision over their available options. There are times when I like to feel the wind in my hair and I don't want an oppresive government telling me I can't. But there are a lot of do-gooders out there who think otherwise. (This topic is regularly beaten to death at rec.bicycles.soc, home of the 'Helmet Wars'.)

Mandatory helmet usage for Segway would probably render the product DOA. Go back to the SegwayChat home page and take a look at the photo of a helmeted DK. Not the image they would want to promote.

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Old 10-04-2002, 10:57 AM   #10
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I'm not convinced that helmets should be mandatory for Segway-HT riders, however, I am convinced that all "scooter" riders (the inline - Razor type scooters) should definitely wear helmets, regardless of age. I've gotten hurt on one of these types of scooters and although I did not hit my head, I did injure my knee, hip and palms of my hands. If I had been unfortunate enough to "land on my head", the injury sustained could have been potentially serious.

Having said that, you could also potentially hurt your head simply by tripping on a curb, on slippery pavement (ice) or being pushed or knocked over - all starting from a standstill. While these are possibilities, we of course don't require pedestrians to wear helmets. And when they run/jog at speeds approaching 10mph - we still don't have any helmet requirements anywhere in this country (as far as I know.) So, with a Segway - which, as we know, can move you at jogging/running speeds while keeping you as balanced as a runner/jogger, there hasn't been a convincing argument that a rider would need a helmet. The argument thus far seems to be: Well, you're moving at speeds approaching 12mph and you could get seriously hurt at those speeds. Well, as I've said - so are runners and joggers.

Regarding that picture of Kamen on the front page... At that time, the Segway-HT was not "sidewalk legal" in New York yet. In fact, it hadn't even been revealed yet So I think they were playing it safe that morning... abiding the helmet laws for NY. They were on a public corner in that photo and in a public park just before that. In the studio, I don't recall helmets being worn.

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