rainbowgirl28 wrote:...So part of the reason a helmet might have helped him is that he wasn't going very high. But the vast majority of college males are going MUCH higher, to the point that a helmet would be less likely to help them in a catastrophic injury. ...
This makes no sense, and yet people keep saying it, including PV "safety experts", as if the logic is self apparent. Whatever the impact energy and force, in ALL cases the head will experience less if the vaulter is wearing a helmet, which means the extent of any injury will be less. Helmets do two things to reduce injury: they absorb impact energy, and they distribute the remaining energy over a large skull surface, proportionately reducing the force.
Yes, A helmet may not make a difference if a vaulter was freefalling headfirst into the corner of the box from 17 feet up, but that is not the only way a vaulter can strike their head against a hard surface. And if there is one thing reading the list of serious/fatal injuries post in the safety forum can teach us, is that it doesn't take a lot of height to produce a fatality or a very serious injury.
Motorcyclists, NASCAR drivers, skiers, and hockey players all travel faster than a vaulter, but we don't hear people claiming it is pointless because a helmet would not prevent a fatality in the case of a head on collision with a tree, pole, or penalty box door.