ed257 wrote:Rick I,
I realize that this is difficult, but...
As you go through your data for kiting injuries and deaths are you able to project a guesstimate at how many of these people would likely have been fine if they had been wearing a helmet?
We'll never know. The variables are too numerous and in some cases complex. The problem is further compounded by information limitations in these sad accidents. I made a reasonable estimate within the constraints of the data in my opening post here.
There are a number fatalities particularly some in low wind speeds that suggest helmet use might have made a major difference.
A fatality in 11 to 12 kts.
involving a kiter with several years experience after he hit a rock on the shore.
A rider with about four years experience was walking back in about 12 kts. after doing a short downwinder. He was lofted and dragged into a rock covered swale at relatively low speed and suffered serious head injury. He remained in a coma for 11 days and died. Many local kiters started using helmets
as a result of this accident.
A fatal board leash impact in the absence of a helmet.
A new kiter caught by a summer squall, tea bagged across the beach, lofted into a tree and dropped to the pavement. He entered into at least a 5 week coma but eventually came out of it with what may be lasting cognitive impairment.
Survivorship and injury in higher wind speeds and impacts become more problematic but may still within reason. I am not sure how fast I was going when I bounced off a house. Breaking through 50 or so feet of seagrape trees thankfully slowed me down. Despite that I still covered 150 ft. horizontally, slammed into a wood rail, was wearing an old skateboarding helmet with poor padding and still lived. I even recovered fully in time. So, helmets
can do some remarkable things even in higher speed impacts at times. If you slam full on head first into something hard at 40 mph, I would guess it would be unlikely a helmet would do much good for you. It is like asking will a seatbelt save your life in a 100 mph collision with a massive concrete wall? You also have neck fractures to worry about which can be lethal all by themselves independent of traumatic brain injury. Still, it goes back to the question, "what sort of accident are you going to have?"
There are still more, just need to go over my information.