Ottawa Driver Gets 2 Years for Injuring 5 Cyclists- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ottawa Driver Gets 2 Years for Injuring 5 Cyclists

    Justice served?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBC
    The Ottawa driver convicted of striking and injuring five cyclists and leaving the scene of the 2009 crash has been sentenced to two years less a day.

    Sommit Luangpakham, 47, was found guilty on all 10 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident in the Kanata, Ont., crash.

    Justice Monique Mativier sentenced the man to nine months for dangerous driving and 15 months for leaving the scene of the crash, which will be served consecutively.

    She said there was no evidence of recklessness in his driving, but a lack of human decency when Luangpakham did not remain at the scene.Sommit Luangpakham, 47, was sentenced to two years less a day after being found guilty on all 10 counts in the July 2009 crash.

    The Crown attorney had sought a four-year sentence while Luangpakham's defence lawyer Richard Addelman had asked for between 12 and 18 months.
    Driver apologizes to victims before sentencing

    Luangpakham also made a formal apology to the victims at court Monday, the CBC's Laurie Fagan reports.

    The man turned to the victims and bowed his head, saying he was "very sorry" for the pain he caused them. Luangpakham said he would have turned around if he knew he hit them and will live with this for the "rest of my life."

    He was originally found guilty Oct. 20 in Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa. Robert Wein and Cathy Anderson are both still recovering from the crash that injured the cyclists and their three friends.

    The five Kanata cyclists were riding single file in a bicycle lane on March Road in July 2009 when they were struck by Luangpakham's van. Four of the five cyclists were seriously hurt.

    Victim impact statements were read in court Friday.

    After the sentence was read Monday, victim Cathy Anderson said the decision was "fair."

    Speaking to reporters outside the Ottawa court, Anderson said she did not want another person's life destroyed because of this crash, as she and her partner Robert Wein continue to live with their injuries as a result of that day.
    Last edited by garage monster; 01-09-2012 at 10:25 AM. Reason: bad copy paste!
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  2. #2
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    I'd prefer a lifetime driving ban, even if it requires less jailtime, personally, since there seems to be no evidence he hit them on purpose, and also no evidence he won't hit more people if he drives again.

    This is the first time I've heard reckless driving and dangerous driving defined differently.
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  3. #3
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    This goon stated in court, directly addressing the victims, that he did not know he had hit them? That doesn't work for me. The magnanimity of cyclists who are victimized by this sort of behaviour never ceases to amaze me.

  4. #4
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    I don't feel justice was served. Not notice you 5 cyclists? Look at the windshield in the link (says he thought he hit a small post).
    Turn yourself in 3 1/2 hrs later? Interesting two of the cops smelled "stale alcohol" on him but didn't ask for a breathalyser
    Crown wants 4-year sentence for driver

  5. #5
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    This case makes me sad. His defense is clearly BS. He even lies in his apology.

    Justice not served in my opinion. A big loss for cyclists and a big fat win for drunk drivers that leave the scene of the accident.

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    If this is a surprise to you then you are living in a dream world. The last few years has shown no one cares about cyclist's in the province unless it gives them votes or someone to blame.

    Justice.. gimme a break. Been hit twice once in 2006 and August 2011 when police involved. Net result nothing to the drivers while I got either tickets or an ER visit.

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    Luangpakham had displayed a blank expression throughout the six-day trial, but sobbed Friday during testimony from his wife of 29 years, Vanpraseuth Phoneharath, who told the court her husband was a "really good father" to their two children and a kind, caring man who became a Buddhist monk during the summer of 2010. He has prayed for the wellbeing of the victims and for their forgiveness, she said.
    Oh my goodness, it's the 'family man' defense. That Beck driver also used it a couple years back in Nov 2008. As a defense, it was widely used, abused and ultimately discredited by the stalinists after 1953; solzhenitsyn described this process in detail but it seems we have forgotten some of those lessons. Indeed, this clown came up with a new twist: family-man-turned-Buddhist-monk!

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  9. #9
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    I hope at least the convictions will make the lawsuit that

    should be started, a slam dunk. I wonder how much insurance the driver had. Maybe if he is well sued he might never get insurance again, and quit driving.

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    The Problem with his insurance skyrocketing like that...He just won't get any insurance. Its far to easy these days to get behind the wheel without insurance and not give a **** until it matters...For someone like this guy, it will never matter.

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    I agree but isn't that the same as drunk driving--it is

    Quote Originally Posted by boarder4life View Post
    The Problem with his insurance skyrocketing like that...He just won't get any insurance. Its far to easy these days to get behind the wheel without insurance and not give a **** until it matters...For someone like this guy, it will never matter.
    too common for someone to lose their license for driving drunk, and a week later they kill someone when they are drunk and driving with no license. I hope the victims get millions of dollars to help them through the rest of their lives.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol-crank View Post
    should be started, a slam dunk. I wonder how much insurance the driver had. Maybe if he is well sued he might never get insurance again, and quit driving.
    The good news is that a conviction will mean that in any civil suit, the driver will almost certainly be found liable.

    Most drivers have $1,000,000 in insurance. This will have to be shared amongst all 5 victims. On the basis of the injuries sustained, and the likely effect they will have on the cyclists' lives, this might not be enough to go around. The driver's insurance company is under an obligation to settle this claim within the driver's policy limits.

    In a way, it's a good thing the driver was not charged with impaired, as this would permit his insurer to deny him coverage, which would be to the detriment of the accident victims.

    However, if this matter does proceed to trial and the driver is found liable for more than his insurance policy limits, and the judgment against him is not satisfied in full, the Highway Traffic Act has a provision which will result in his driver's licence being suspended.

    Also, if this guy does not have enough insurance, presuming each of the cyclists has their own car insurance policy, they have the option to sue their own insurer for any shortfall between what they recover from the driver's insurer and the damages to which they are ultimately found to be entitled.

    So bottom line-the cyclists will likely be fully compensated at law, and the driver will ultimately not be permitted to get behind the wheel of a car again.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    The good news is that a conviction will mean that in any civil suit, the driver will almost certainly be found liable.

    Most drivers have $1,000,000 in insurance. This will have to be shared amongst all 5 victims. On the basis of the injuries sustained, and the likely effect they will have on the cyclists' lives, this might not be enough to go around. The driver's insurance company is under an obligation to settle this claim within the driver's policy limits.

    In a way, it's a good thing the driver was not charged with impaired, as this would permit his insurer to deny him coverage, which would be to the detriment of the accident victims.

    However, if this matter does proceed to trial and the driver is found liable for more than his insurance policy limits, and the judgment against him is not satisfied in full, the Highway Traffic Act has a provision which will result in his driver's licence being suspended.

    Also, if this guy does not have enough insurance, presuming each of the cyclists has their own car insurance policy, they have the option to sue their own insurer for any shortfall between what they recover from the driver's insurer and the damages to which they are ultimately found to be entitled.

    So bottom line-the cyclists will likely be fully compensated at law, and the driver will ultimately not be permitted to get behind the wheel of a car again.
    Too bad a high-school educated insurance adjuster can now, as of a month ago in Ontario, veto any long term doctor ordered treatment.

    One of those victims now has a severe disability. I'm glad Mr. L thinks praying is going to solve something, but I think he should be court ordered to change that man's diapers, bath him and feed him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    So bottom line-the cyclists will likely be fully compensated at law, and the driver will ultimately not be permitted to get behind the wheel of a car again.
    Unfortunately, I know of a case where a reckless (but non-impaired) high-income driver fatally injured a pedestrian on a walkway and still has a license and a $100,000+ car. If this guy can never drive again, it has more to do with his economic position then his legal situation.
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  15. #15
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    I'm not sure I get the point of the sorry, or at least why it would have anything at all to do with the sentencing.

    Sorry doesn't fix lives that are broken by bad decisions. It may make the perpetrator feel a little better, and it might bring some closure to some victims, but allowing the offender to apologize at a sentencing hearing makes no sense to me. Who wouldn't say sorry as contritely as possible immediately before their fate is decided by the courts? Hard to assess the sincerity, if any.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSCoach2 View Post
    I'm not sure I get the point of the sorry, or at least why it would have anything at all to do with the sentencing.

    Sorry doesn't fix lives that are broken by bad decisions. It may make the perpetrator feel a little better, and it might bring some closure to some victims, but allowing the offender to apologize at a sentencing hearing makes no sense to me. Who wouldn't say sorry as contritely as possible immediately before their fate is decided by the courts? Hard to assess the sincerity, if any.
    I don't think that's necessarily true. A person can discern a legitimate apology fairly quickly. While the apology may not fix broken lives, it may start the healing process to know the person is truly sorry for what they've done.

    But sincere apologies in court are rare and far and few between I imagine, but they do exist.

    Then again maybe I'm easy to fool.

    In this case though, no I don't believe it was that sincere.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    I don't think that's necessarily true. A person can discern a legitimate apology fairly quickly. While the apology may not fix broken lives, it may start the healing process to know the person is truly sorry for what they've done.

    But sincere apologies in court are rare and far and few between I imagine, but they do exist.

    Then again maybe I'm easy to fool.

    In this case though, no I don't believe it was that sincere.
    My personal 5c. As many of you know, or might have guessed, I am a lawyer and my main area of practice is personal injury defence work. This means I often represent defendants who have been sued for injuring someone.

    95% of my cases settle before trial, which is pretty typical for this area of practice. At a settlement meeting or mediation, if there is not an issue as to liability for the accident, I invariably start by offering my apologies for the fact the plaintiff is in this situation. Apparently, not many lawyers do this although it has always seemed a very natural thing to do. 90% of the time, the plaintiff seems genuinely pleased to have received an apology from someone.

    So IMHO, I believe that an apology, if offered in a sincere manner, at an appropriate time, can help.

    But yeah, I think the accused in this case is full of *****.
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  18. #18
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    tv news reports that the lawsuit is for 9 million and only

    4 of the 5 victims are suing. It will interesting in the end to see how much and from where the money is awarded.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    My personal 5c. As many of you know, or might have guessed, I am a lawyer and my main area of practice is personal injury defence work. This means I often represent defendants who have been sued for injuring someone.

    95% of my cases settle before trial, which is pretty typical for this area of practice. At a settlement meeting or mediation, if there is not an issue as to liability for the accident, I invariably start by offering my apologies for the fact the plaintiff is in this situation. Apparently, not many lawyers do this although it has always seemed a very natural thing to do. 90% of the time, the plaintiff seems genuinely pleased to have received an apology from someone.

    So IMHO, I believe that an apology, if offered in a sincere manner, at an appropriate time, can help.

    But yeah, I think the accused in this case is full of *****.
    A REAL apology can go very far. I was reading a survey of malpractice lawsuits against doctors and the doctors who recognized what they did was wrong/mistaken, admitted it and offered a real apology to the victim got off a LOT lighter than those doctors who refused to admit they did anything wrong and went to trial.

    IMO Mr. L's apology was absolutely not sincere, people who make the choice to cover-up something - like him - will lie to the sky to save their own skins. He has been insincere throughout this whole case and it's too bad the real truth about why he ran down those cyclists was not exposed during the trial.

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    A civil suit you say? I just realized I don't quite understand who actually pays when multi-million dollar awards are made in Canadian civil suits. Most Buddhist monks I know have taken a de facto vow of poverty and don't actually use money at all. Assuming that an award in this case will somehow come from taxpayers in the end, then as a taxpayer let me float this crazy notion. While I'm happy to contribute to an award for these victims, I'd also like to see some good ol'fashioned penance assigned. Penance lasts longer than an apology or three. It is a process. To be forward-looking, the penance should be thoroughly updated for our modern times with the traditional punishments replaced by volunteer work of some quantifiable form. The notion of penance I'm talking about here is obviously the Christian kind; I'm afraid I don't know much about Buddhism and whether or not Buddhists have any similar concept. Any monks lurking on this forum please feel free to disabuse me of my possibly benighted attitude. But that reminds me, does the attorney general still ride the new bike he got at Duke's, or did he hock it on Craiglist?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    A civil suit you say? I just realized I don't quite understand who actually pays when multi-million dollar awards are made in Canadian civil suits. Most Buddhist monks I know have taken a de facto vow of poverty and don't actually use money at all. Assuming that an award in this case will somehow come from taxpayers in the end, then as a taxpayer let me float this crazy notion. While I'm happy to contribute to an award for these victims, I'd also like to see some good ol'fashioned penance assigned. Penance lasts longer than an apology or three. It is a process. To be forward-looking, the penance should be thoroughly updated for our modern times with the traditional punishments replaced by volunteer work of some quantifiable form. The notion of penance I'm talking about here is obviously the Christian kind; I'm afraid I don't know much about Buddhism and whether or not Buddhists have any similar concept. Any monks lurking on this forum please feel free to disabuse me of my possibly benighted attitude. But that reminds me, does the attorney general still ride the new bike he got at Duke's, or did he hock it on Craiglist?
    In this case, the driver's insurer will pay, up to his policy limits, which are likely only $1,000,000 (although they could be more). He will have a judgment against him for anything awarded in excess of these policy limits and will likely lose his house and his driver's licence in the manner described above. The cyclists will also have access to benefits from their own auto insurance companies for medical and rehab benefits, amongst other things. The amount of these benefits vary on the basis of how seriously the insured is injured.
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  22. #22
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    Two years is not enough, but it could have been worse. He could have received no jail time, like this ******bag back in 2006:

    Ottawa driver who hit cyclists gets house arrest - Ottawa - CBC News

    He struck a group of cyclists on purpose, sped off, laughed about the incident, never expressed remorse, apologized to his family but never the cyclists, and plead not guilty. His jail time? 6 months house arrest.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want to hurt or kill someone and get off lightly, do it with an automobile.

    If there is any justice in this world, the real punishment in this most recent case will not be the 2 years prison time, but the immense financial burden I hope he is saddled with for the rest of his life.

  23. #23
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    Speaking of Justice.

    Go into the Starbucks and guess who I spot first inline while I'm waiting. The kid who took me out an d got no charges in any form. I notice his car parked out front as I'm in aspot where I can see him and he can't see me. he sits down with the same girl he had in the car and she looks startled when she notices me leaving. And she gets her boyfriend's attention and looks up with fear.

    All he from me was calm and this.." Hi. doubt you remember me? I'm the guy last August you attempted to kill with your car. Please don't say a word or attempt to apologize. I just want you to understand that I will be taking photo's of your license plate and your car. These will be sent to my lawyer and if I am ever hit and seriously injured by a car here in Kingston he will immediately forward it to the police. Have a good 2012."

    Got the pic's of the car and even went back got a pic of him with his girl. He was definitely scared.

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    Interesting development!

    I've often thought we need some new language for this topic. I've got a couple of suggestions:

    "Attempted to kill with your car" => ?

    "Hit with your car without the intent to kill" => knockdown

    "Challenged my legal right-of-way with your car forcing me to back down" => chickened-me?

    (that would be an incorrect reference to the game of 'chicken' according to the classic game theory though. A variant is needed).

    "Challenged my legal right-of-way with your car to the point of contact before backing down" => ?

    ( I really want a zinger for this last one after an incident with AXPV723)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    "Attempted to kill with your car" => ?
    Commuter pacification

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    "Challenged my legal right-of-way with your car to the point of contact before backing down" => ?
    Brushback

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    Interesting development!
    I figured doing the Zanoli would be a bad idea with so many witnesses.

    On a side note.. 3 women I know who work at the Stabucks who knew what happened. Where trying really hard to laugh out loud.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Speaking of Justice.

    Go into the Starbucks and guess who I spot first inline while I'm waiting. The kid who took me out an d got no charges in any form. I notice his car parked out front as I'm in aspot where I can see him and he can't see me. he sits down with the same girl he had in the car and she looks startled when she notices me leaving. And she gets her boyfriend's attention and looks up with fear.

    All he from me was calm and this.." Hi. doubt you remember me? I'm the guy last August you attempted to kill with your car. Please don't say a word or attempt to apologize. I just want you to understand that I will be taking photo's of your license plate and your car. These will be sent to my lawyer and if I am ever hit and seriously injured by a car here in Kingston he will immediately forward it to the police. Have a good 2012."

    Got the pic's of the car and even went back got a pic of him with his girl. He was definitely scared.


    Ha ha see ya around friend. You're such a nice guy Enduramil!

    A Cyclist is in critical condition after some dog(s) got under their wheel. Keep Fido on a leash.

    Update Ilija Petrovski is the injured cyclist and they're in a bad way. Hope he can pull through.
    Last edited by electrik; 01-11-2012 at 03:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post


    Ha ha see ya around friend. You're such a nice guy Enduramil!
    If properly used fear of something you think can be more effective then if I did the Zanoli.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Update Ilija Petrovski is the injured cyclist and they're in a bad way. Hope he can pull through.
    Word. MTBR's occasional roadie disrespect notwithstanding, Ilija has probably put more hours on the bike than most people reading this combined. If he went down, we all would have gone down in the same circumstance.

    Hoping for the best.

    On a related story, I had two large, snarling, off-leash dogs take a run at me on the ride home tonight, the 3rd such incident in as many days. With the aforementioned fresh in my mind, I was not in a mood to speak politely to the owner about this, and an acrimonious exchange with this stakeholder ensued.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Word. MTBR's occasional roadie disrespect notwithstanding, Ilija has probably put more hours on the bike than most people reading this combined. If he went down, we all would have gone down in the same circumstance.

    Hoping for the best.
    Yeah, but why couldn't he have been wearing a helmet? This tragedy might have been preventable. Goes to show, no matter how experienced a cyclist you might be, you are not invincible.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Yeah, but why couldn't he have been wearing a helmet? This tragedy might have been preventable. Goes to show, no matter how experienced a cyclist you might be, you are not invincible.
    Only he knows... People let their guard down, get comfortable with the risk, relax and unfortunately that is when accidents happen.

    Not to focus on the helmet too much either because the dog owner/dogs are where the blame for this accident lays.

  32. #32
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    A bicycle helmet remains optional safety equipment in Ontario.

    It's like a driver getting T-boned by a red-light-runner, and the police pointing out that the injured party did not have a side-curtain airbag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    A bicycle helmet remains optional safety equipment in Ontario.

    It's like a driver getting T-boned by a red-light-runner, and the police pointing out that the injured party did not have a side-curtain airbag.
    Not quite the same. Side curtain airbags are generally available on newer, more high-end cars. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that luxury.

    A helmet is a very inexpensive piece of safety equipment which pretty much every cyclist owns. The better analogy would be if the driver getting t-boned had a side curtain airbag but chose to shut it off because he didn't think he needed it. Or a driver choosing not to wear his seat belt.

    I agree that this does not excuse the conduct of the at-fault motorist. In fact the Ontario Court of Appeal has said that in civil cases, a driver not wearing a seat belt or a cyclist not wearing a helmet is not a defence for the at fault motorist. However, if it can be proven that wearing the helmet/seatbelt would have reduced the injury, the injured party will be found up to 25% at fault (ie the damages they would otherwise be entitled to are reduced by 25%).

    In the course of my job I see badly injured people every day whose injuries could have been minimized or avoided had they taken a minute to buckle that seatbelt or grab that helmet, and it makes me sad. I was hit by a car about a year ago and my head hit the ground so hard it split my helmet in two. Better that than my skull.

    I am by no means blaming the victim but agree with Electrik that we must never forget how vulnerable we are as cyclists and how quickly things can happen.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    The better analogy would be if the driver getting t-boned had a side curtain airbag but chose to shut it off because he didn't think he needed it. Or a driver choosing not to wear his seat belt.
    Driving without a seatbelt is illegal, and thus fair game for a police sound-bite. Not so with riding without a helmet. I'm not sure disabling an airbag is legal, either, but I'll defer to your expertise on that. (not being argumentative, I seriously do)
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Driving without a seatbelt is illegal, and thus fair game for a police sound-bite. Not so with riding without a helmet. I'm not sure disabling an airbag is legal, either, but I'll defer to your expertise on that. (not being argumentative, I seriously do)
    Disabling an airbag is not illegal. Just kind of dumb...
    Strava made me do it....

  36. #36
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    More broadly though I will admit that I haven't drank the helmet kool-aid, or more properly that I used to drink it, and a number of events and discussions have made me change my mind.

    I might change it back, but right now I'm just not buying that smashing your head on the ground with an inch of styrofoam on it is in any way comparable to a seatbelt or airbag that's (supposed to) keeps your head from hitting anything at all. I see a helmet as one notch up from the foam padding on my dashboard, at best.

    And this is coming from a guy who wore an ASTM-F1952 helmet to ride into work this morning.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    More broadly though I will admit that I haven't drank the helmet kool-aid, or more properly that I used to drink it, and a number of events and discussions have made me change my mind.

    I might change it back, but right now I'm just not buying that smashing your head on the ground with an inch of styrofoam on it is in any way comparable to a seatbelt or airbag that's (supposed to) keeps your head from hitting anything at all. I see a helmet as one notch up from the foam padding on my dashboard, at best.

    And this is coming from a guy who wore an ASTM-F1952 helmet to ride into work this morning.
    I don't think it's got the same effect as a seatbelt, maybe closer to an airbag. Sometimes it is surprising how counter-intuitive the actual principles behind an event can be. For instance you'd think laying on a bed of nails with a cinder block on your chest and letting a buddy swing a sledge hammer at it would result in your instant impalement, but in the real world it doesn't(provided he swings the hammer fast enough). While I don't expect my helmet to save me from a speeding train, i do have some faith that it will dampen forces at a certain level common to cycling via the same physics mentioned above that various Yogis have relied on. For an inch of advanced Styrofoam it actually does a surprising amount.

    Even better is the helmet you've got on as it offers protection to facial bones, teeth, temples and even durability at crashes over 30km/h.

    Anyways I try not to leave my helmet behind because I feel I must also be responsible to the people who'd have to take care of me if something unfortunate happens. I also use this excuse when it comes to riding gigantic lines.

    If people are interested apparently Ilija's condition(the cyclist from yesterday) is looking positive.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    More broadly though I will admit that I haven't drank the helmet kool-aid, or more properly that I used to drink it, and a number of events and discussions have made me change my mind.

    I might change it back, but right now I'm just not buying that smashing your head on the ground with an inch of styrofoam on it is in any way comparable to a seatbelt or airbag that's (supposed to) keeps your head from hitting anything at all. I see a helmet as one notch up from the foam padding on my dashboard, at best.

    And this is coming from a guy who wore an ASTM-F1952 helmet to ride into work this morning.
    Risk is a funny thing... I always wear a helmet on my mountain bike. Sometimes I don't on my road bike. Neither of my cars has a driver airbag. I always wear my seatbelt. My worst head injury in recent years was from running into the end of my bedroom door while going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I'm content with the foam padding on the dashboard.

  39. #39
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    I just look at my helmet from the crash (which has a gigantic divot out of it), look at my 4 year old so, then look back at my helmet again and I am very grateful for that 1/2" of styrofoam. More Kool-Aid, please...
    Strava made me do it....

  40. #40
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    Wearing a helmet is like wearing a seatbelt... it decreases the chances of serious injury. Nothing more. It is not a gaurantee that you will not get hurt.

  41. #41
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    People are remarkably bad at assessing degree of risk and acting appropriately towards it.

    We tend to go on intuition and gut instinct when making decisions about risk, and while that may have served our hunter-gather ancestors well in propagating their genes on the savannah plains, that doesn't always work so well in a modern world.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    People are remarkably bad at assessing degree of risk and acting appropriately towards it.

    We tend to go on intuition and gut instinct when making decisions about risk, and while that may have served our hunter-gather ancestors well in propagating their genes on the savannah plains, that doesn't always work so well in a modern world.
    No.. the bigger problem is we have become a "It's everybodies else repsonsibility" society. Now day's you go ride at buttflick CA and smoke a tree while cornering so we sue because it's the CA's and trees fault for us hitting the thing. I recall a few stories coming from Blue like that. Heck the CofT back in 2006 heard the rumour that a guy who broke his shoulder on a stunt below Loblaws. Very rapidly chainsaws went into action.

    We are simply have become a risk aversion society.... "oh we can't allow that that 6 inch root is to challenging and someone might get hurt.

  43. #43
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    I never used to wear a helmet in town on the pavement, always wore it on the trails. As the pavement (in Toronto anyway) gradually became rougher than the trails (ie the Don valley), I found I had to begin wearing my helmet on the pavement, for logical reasons if not the koolaid.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    More broadly though I will admit that I haven't drank the helmet kool-aid, or more properly that I used to drink it, and a number of events and discussions have made me change my mind.

    I might change it back, but right now I'm just not buying that smashing your head on the ground with an inch of styrofoam on it is in any way comparable to a seatbelt or airbag that's (supposed to) keeps your head from hitting anything at all. I see a helmet as one notch up from the foam padding on my dashboard, at best.

    And this is coming from a guy who wore an ASTM-F1952 helmet to ride into work this morning.
    People who think bike helmets aren't worthwhile (weak styrofoam, full of holes type of arguments) don't understand the bike helmet's purpose. They are not designed to protect your head; they are intended to reduce the impact of your brain against the inside of your skull. The fact that they may save you some stitches is just a bonus, it's the brain injury that will kill or permanently disable you.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by spsoon View Post
    People who think bike helmets aren't worthwhile (weak styrofoam, full of holes type of arguments) don't understand the bike helmet's purpose. They are not designed to protect your head; they are intended to reduce the impact of your brain against the inside of your skull. The fact that they may save you some stitches is just a bonus, it's the brain injury that will kill or permanently disable you.
    You quoted me so, I guess your talking to, or about me, although given I have five active bike helmets (and had to be restrained from buying another last week) I probably don't qualify as someone who thinks they "aren't worthwhile".

    But I don't follow your argument... I do think a helmet would offer great protection against abrasions, and since they distribute an impact over your entire upper head, I can certainly see them reducing the chances of something like a skull fracture. That's a good thing, I mean, really, who wants a skull fracture?

    The problem, as you allude to, is the deceleration of the brain. A helmet that is an inch thick will not compress to zero, so you have maybe 1/2 a inch of deceleration to work with. While that's 1/2 inch more than your head hitting the ground directly, it does not compare to an airbag (12" thick at full inflation) or a seatbelt (not supposed to be any impact.)
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  46. #46
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    Wasn't intended as an attack on you. In fact, I think I got your post mixed up with the guy who said he no longer wears a helmet for road rides, which is ridiculous in my opinion because speeds are higher, you've got traffic to deal with, and there are probably a lot more hard surfaces around.

    However, I will accept your 1/2 inch compression estimate and pull some more numbers out of the air. Say your bare head gets 1/16 inch compression from the flesh over your skull. With your helmet, you now have a total of 9/16" padding and have reduced your brain deceleration by a factor of 9. Not as good as an airbag of course, but a small amount of cushioning makes a big difference given the hardness of your bare head.

    Anyway, sorry for the derailment, hope everyone stays safe.

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