Study calls for more and better bike helmet testing, bike/ped safety ratings for trucks and SUVs, and how to live carfree

We’ve said it many times before.

Bike helmets can help in a crash, but not as much as they could.

Or should.

Now Bicycling reports a new study confirms the same thing, saying more rigorous testing is needed to improve them.

  • Bike helmets are designed to protect you against a traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet testing them in a way that mimics real-world falls and collisions has been lacking, a new study suggests.
  • Current manufacturer methods tend to test helmets with falls from right angles, which is how you’d land if the bike was stationary.
  • The research describes a new method of helmet testing where crash test dummies hit the ground at an angle as they were moving—basically, the way you’d actually fall off a bike.
  • However, previous research indicates helmets still significantly reduce the risk of skull fractures and other TBIs, so it’s important to wear one while riding.

That last point is important.

I probably wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing mine during the infamous beachfront bee incident — which is exactly the kind of relatively slow speed fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Not the high speed collisions most drivers seem to think.

But even with one, I still spent a night in intensive care, and the better part of a week in the hospital.

That’s also the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding.

But I’m damn glad I had it on.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

………

Interesting idea.

A bill in the New York legislature would impose a safety rating system on trucks and SUVs to rank the danger they pose to bike riders and pedestrians.

But then what?

Studies have previously shown that the flat grills, high hoods and high road clearance of today’s trucks and SUVS — let alone their ever-increasing size — are a key factor in the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US.

And while it might be helpful to know which vehicles pose the greatest risk, it’s pretty meaningless if that’s as far as it goes.

There needs to be additional action to force improvements for the lowest rated vehicles, such as fines that increase with each drop in safety ratings.

Or better yet, force the SUVs and trucks with the worst safety rating off the road. Then give the next lowest tier five years to improve their safety before removing that one from the road, too.

And keep going until every truck and SUV qualifies for the highest safety rating — which, chances are, none do now.

Yes, safety ratings are a good idea.

But ratings without action will just mean more needless deaths on our streets.

………

They get it.

NACTO, aka the National Association of City Transportation Officials, came out against the proposed transportation bill introduced in the US Senate, arguing it “largely maintains the status quo that made American transportation so inequitable, unsustainable, and unsafe to begin with.”

………

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar tonight to discuss how to live your life carfree.

 

Then again, all you really need is three simple steps.

Step 1: Sell your car.

Step 2: Buy a bike.

Step 3: Ride it. Everywhere.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, planting upright spikes on a Scottish mountain bike path where they were most likely to trap, and possibly seriously injure, unsuspecting riders. And once again, this should be treated as the serious crime it is, not just a mere prank.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Florida police arrested a 39-year old ebike-riding man for tossing a cooler full of human shit outside a Jewish school in a Miami suburb, two days after he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a bag of shit at the temple nextdoor.

………

Local

Micromobility providers are ready to roll out again as America reawakens from its coronavirus slumber, including Santa Monica-based Bird and West Hollywood’s Wheels.

Nick Jonas credits his wife Priyanka Chopra with helping him recover from a broken rib he suffered falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project with his brothers.

 

State

A 64-year old San Diego man suffered serious injuries when he was cut off by a driver pulling out an alley in the North Park neighborhood, and slammed his ebike into the side of the car; the victim suffered a broken ankle, in addition to other non-life threatening injuries.

The Santa Rosa bicyclist who died last week after he and another bike rider were hit by an alleged drunk driver was a skilled winemaker with the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg; the 12-year old boy who was also injured was not related to him, and just happened to be riding in the same area.

A Sonoma County writer asks how safe it is to ride a bike in the county, then fails to answer the question.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with Little Bellas to encourage more “Black, Indigenous, Girls of Color” to start riding with Little Bellas, which is dedicated to encouraging girls to ride bikes, then to continue riding with the Black Girls Do Bike community once they outgrow the Little Bellas program.

In case you need a refresher, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition explains how to correctly wear a bike helmet. First step, make sure it’s not on backward, which I’ve somehow seen too many times.

A Las Vegas man was killed when he crashed into a small dog while riding a motorized bicycle; sadly, the dog didn’t make it, either.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is reintroducing The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, which would allow local managers to decide whether and how to allow bicycles in wilderness areas; the original bill expired in the previous congressional session before any action was taken.

Arkansas is hosting a statewide bike summit to talk road safety this month.

A Chicago writer says the city’s new bikeshare ebikes are a game changer — so stop tossing them into Lake Michigan.

Peloton is responding to last year’s shortages created by increased demand during the pandemic by building their first US factory in Ohio.

Charges have finally been filed against a Pennsylvania man who killed a man riding a bike back in 2019, while allegedly stoned on methadone, Klonopin and Xanax. The only question is what the hell took so long?

 

International

Road.cc rates the 15 best chain lubes, while examining the eternal question of wet vs dry.

A street-racing Liverpool man was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned for driving for four years for slamming into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with lasting brain damage after languishing in a coma for a full month; the 28-year old future inmate recently suffered a stroke, which he describes as “karma.” The other driver was sentenced to 13 months.

A London police commissioner called for a ban on e-scooters before their wide rollout in the city next month, warning that more people will be hurt. So wouldn’t it make sense to ban cars instead, since they hurt far more people, more seriously?

London should provide more cargo bike parking and make market deliveries by cargo bike, according to a new report from a sustainability think tank.

No bias here. A former Scottish deputy police chief says the bike boom means traffic laws have to be enforced — especially against the people on two wheels.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 76-year old man got just two and a half years behind bars for running over a ten-year old boy on a bike, then backing up and running over him again — as the boy’s father and others watched in horror — while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Fortunately, the kid survived, but with major injuries.

An Irish man faces charges for a strong-arm robbery in which he pushed a woman off her bike as she was riding to work, then punched her in the face as she lay on the ground before making off with her bike, all while “extremely intoxicated” on booze and Xanax.

Cycling Tips highlights six unique brands from the Australian Handmade Bicycle Show, including one that makes wooden handlebars, and another that makes a tail light designed to illuminate the rider’s legs, rather than the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal tightened his grip on the pink leader’s jersey by winning Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro, which was shortened by nearly 40 miles and two mountain passes due to rain and snow.

 

Finally…

No, you probably can’t get this much air on a mountain bike. And sometimes, two wheels are faster than four.

Especially when it’s this four.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. I wonder how that 214 cc car would fare against the 212 cc car built by the Robot Cantina YouTube channel?

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