Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Helm of Safety

One of my traits is that I'm willing to go against convention, if there's a good reason.

So, this is a blog entry that I've been meaning to write for about a year and a quarter -- and I'm just now getting around to it. But partly that's because it's reached the next level of progression.

About a year and a half ago, I got into two car accidents -- neither of which was my fault -- within a six-week period. The first one was low-speed, and not that scary.

The second one, however, could've turned out pretty bad: I was driving at highway speeds when a lady failed to yield as she came out from a side street, rammed the side of my car, and almost flipped me.

The next day I went back to the scene of the accident, took some measurements, and used my approximate speed to calculate some alternative scenarios: if she'd been 0.13 seconds faster off the mark, she would have rammed the driver's side car door, rather than just clipping my tail. If she'd been 2x 0.13 seconds faster, she'd have been in **front** of my car -- which also would've been serious. Since she **wasn't** 0.13 seconds (or 0.26 seconds) faster -- maybe thirteen isn't so unlucky...

The second accident got me thinking about the mechanics of if I ever **did** get T-boned while driving. Neither of the cars that we drive have side-impact airbags. What's more, my leg length and torso height puts the side of my head directly in line with the seatbelt bracket on the door post: if I ever got rammed, I'd probably damage my temporal lobe (the speech center of the brain). That's a bad thing.

So: Cost-benefit time. If I wear some sort of padding, it would minimize the risk of sustaining a head injury while driving. The disadvantage is that I'd look like a dork.

Luckily, I'm at the age where I dress for comfort, not fashion. I'm already married -- so I'm not worried about impressing the ladies. So I figure ''looking like a dork'' is an acceptable trade-off for reducing my odds of a head injury in an accident by 10%-20%. So I bought the green rugby helmet that you see below (also useful for Halloween costumes!).

An additional disadvantage is that if I ever get pulled over, the cop might think I'm either ''special needs'' and not suitable to be driving -- or else I'm some sort of reckless driver (because I'm wearing a crash helmet). However, by the nature of their job, cops are pretty good about appraising people -- and (I presume!) I'm distinguishable as an eccentric, not as a crazy. And I think that most reckless drivers that cops encounter do **not** wear safety gear; quite the opposite: they **lack** caution.

And that was about a year ago.

But then I figured, eh -- why not go all the way? My original Helm of Safety only has cushioning: I need a hard shell.

So, while I was in Oregon on my trip (yay! no sales tax!!!), I picked up a ski helmet at a used sporting goods place (see top photo).

As an added bonus, they were having a ''20% off all winter sports gear'' sale. So, bargain!!!

So: do I look like a dork while I drive (or while I am driven -- since I wear it as a passenger, too)? Probably.

Am I **way** less likely to have an ABI in the event of an accident? As they might say on Firefly: I reckon so.


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At January 29, 2012 5:12 AM, Blogger IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

I keep thinking I should steal that picture from Play it Again Sports to post on Facebook asking for captions.

But I don't do things like that any more

At January 29, 2012 4:04 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...


Heh! You are totally welcome to do so, if that amuses you. :)


At January 31, 2012 6:08 AM, Blogger IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

What really amuses me are the thoughts that run through my head


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