A petition for action on helmets

Link: Tell Jean Todt – Help Make Helmets Safer for Everyone

Since it’s pretty clear that the message of Michael’s tragedy hasn’t been picked up by those with the wherewithal to actually DO something, I’ve created a petition asking Jean Todt to commit the FIA to taking the lead on improving helmet safety.

Let’s get this done, so that when people strap helmets on, they can actually be confident they’re being protected!

Thanks so much!

21 thoughts on “A petition for action on helmets

  1. I do think Jean Todt could help with motor cycle sport – not sure if this is covered by FIA.


    And on a somber note this story was all over the UK media yesterday
    The Schumacher family didn’t know anything about the arrest.
    Quote from Sabine Kehm in article below to French press agency
    “We are at a loss for words and deeply shocked,” Sabine Kehm, a spokeswoman for Schumacher’s family, told AFP in an email.


  2. Gary, in the end I think both Schumacher’s and Senna’s injuries are due to extreme bad luck and Massa’s lucky escape to extreme good luck. I have a diagram here you sent to someone on a previous thread showing the arterial supply to the head and the route of the middle meningeal artery. If we assume Schumacher had an epidural haematoma, he must have been unlucky enough to hit the thinnest part of the skull where this artery goes through the temporal bone.

    I was looking at cyclists yesterday when out walking and noticed that helmets don’t seem to cover the ears and this most vulnerable part of the skull. I think that since ancient times people somehow know this is the most vulnerable part of the skull. An axe warrior would instinctively hack down at this side of the skull (sadly, I know this because as a child I used to swipe my little brother on the same part of the head and we were always warned not to hit each other with iron spades for this reason!)

  3. This is a ridiculous story for a bit of light relief but it does demonstrate why some cyclists would benefit from helmets much more than others. If you look at the woman in the photo she is in the sedate sit up position, just as I used to slowly cycle to school, whereas the man has his head down and would be far more likely to hit his head if he fell off. Perhaps we should make helmets compulsory based on personality and sex – just shows why compulsory cycle helmet wearing is never going to be a vote winner for non-risk taking women.


  4. Thank you, this is a great initiative. I compete at an amateur level in motorsport and use an FIA 8860 helmet because Sid Watkins said when the first helmets were released that the enhancement in safety was such a step that you should borrow the money to buy one if you had to. I am also a keen cyclist but cycling helmets seem to have largely evolved only cosmetically for many years. The data on the protection that they offer against brain injuries seems equivocal. If a quantum step can be taken in motorsport safety, why can’t it be taken in cycling and other sports (particularly where participation numbers are much higher especially in countries, like Australia, where helmets are mandatory)? I want the same choice I have in motorsport; to be able to access the best possible safety technology based on the best available data.

  5. It’s not as clear cut as it might seem and the most dangerous accidents are now nothing to do with motor sports. The human body is more vulnerable in the type of low speed accident which Schumacher suffered. The worst brain injuries are caused by falls such as falling off ladders from a height or pedestrians being hit by cars. We can’t all wear helmets all the time.. Perhaps we should all bear in mind that we are more vulnerable than we think and obey safety rules.

    This is a quote from an excellent article posted on a previous thread.

    “There’s no 100 percent prevention of brain injury,” said Alan Weintraub, the medical director of the brain injury program at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo. “Because the more the head and brain are protected, the more risks people take, the more velocities happen with those risks and the more velocities are transmitted to the skull and brain.”


  6. I think you need a full solution. On the one hand you’ve got the nanny state, 17 years old in Australia considered incapable of crossing the road outside school without traffic slowing to 40kms and parents like me who worry about the flow on affects in other areas of life, undeveloped personal responsibility for self and others, then you get the kids whose parents don’t raise their kids to think, so have the types of preventable accidents others support these campaigns for, for which I also take my hat off for so to speak, but where do you draw the line. We have a dependent population in Australia that fails to understand right from wrong and the good paying the price personally as well as by taxation… urgh

  7. Dr. Hartstein,
    Happy to do this. I raced cars once upon a time and a large part of my meager budget went towards the best Simpson helmet I could afford. I was not of the ilk that felt auto racing was not worthwhile if it was not life-treatening!

    Here’s hoping Todt does something…


  8. Absolutely a good point. The inadequate gear not only won’t up to the job,but also encourage people to take extra risks since they assume they are protected. We really should try to learn something from such a tragety. My only question is what the chance for FIA to share its resources when its goal is making profits and even it does, will it also push the necessary improvement to be made on other helmets even it will inevitably increase the cost therefore will have difficulty to face market?

    It seems a government job to me than FIAs. Though their assistance is very helpful.

  9. Good work! I am very disappointed that figures within F1 have not already moved speedily to use their knowledge of helmets and head injuries to try to save the countless people who are affected by head injuries in other sports and activities.
    F1 has the money, skills and facilities to do this. Get on with it! Many thousands of lives could be saved and countless others saved from serious injury. Not to act on this is shameful.

  10. It’s all well and good toske suggestions like this. However, I also think that in doing so, specific goals and solutions are also required. Bell and Arai’s input is also imperative. Regarding Michael, was he wearing a helmet in his accident? If so, no doubt that a ski helmet doesn’t approach the level of an F1 helmet in the slightest. But what specifically can done is what needs to be addressed and asking Bell and Arai how it can be achieved is how to go about this.

  11. I don’t know if this is directly applicable here, but was wondering if MIPS technology had a place here. A few helmet types are now including it (my new bike helmet, for example), but I don’t see it widely discussed or widely available, for some reason.

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