Cycle helmets - major study

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Paul Smith, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

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  2. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.
    >
    >
    http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/roadresearch/bicyclehelmets/index.htm

    Which has the wonderful paragraph (Section 7):

    "In terms of tone, the bicycle helmet debate can best be described as sour and tetchy. Neither side
    seems willing to concede that there can be alternative points of view. Both sides can descend into
    language that reflects little credit for either, for instance, expressions such as 'irresponsible
    zealots who oppose legislation' find their counterpart in helmet advocates dismissed as 'do gooders'
    and 'mandarins of health promotion'. This can be disappointing for those seeking enlightenment from
    the debate."

    Pretty much sums up urc helmet threads

    Tony ;-)

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  3. Frank

    Frank Guest

  4. Steve Watkin

    Steve Watkin Guest

    Orpington? thats where I live. I missed that bit of sad information. Just shows how little
    importance is put on cycling matters by the media. Sad but true.

    SW

    "Frank" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Paul Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi All,
    > >
    > > The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.
    > >
    > >
    >
    http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/roadresearch/bicyclehelmets/index.htm
    > > --
    > Strangely a cyclist called Paul Smith died from head injuries in orpington last month.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Guest

    "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Orpington? thats where I live. I missed that bit of sad information.
    Just
    > shows how little importance is put on cycling matters by the media. Sad
    but
    > true.
    >
    Yes it Happened at the junction of Crofton Road/ Poplar Avenue.

    http://makeashorterlink.com/?Q29B624F3

    Just a road traffic accident. When you go out for a ride how often do you see flowers tied to
    railings by the road, but have no idea what happened?
     
  6. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Frank" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    <snip>
    >
    > Just a road traffic accident. When you go out for a ride how often do you see flowers tied to
    > railings by the road, but have no idea what happened?
    >
    >

    I always think that they are for car crashes. I know, probably another ped. But, please, never
    a cycle ...
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote
    > "Frank" <[email protected]> wrote
    >> Strangely a cyclist called Paul Smith died from head injuries in orpington last month.

    > Orpington? thats where I live. I missed that bit of sad information. Just shows how little
    > importance is put on cycling matters by the media. Sad but true. SW

    I think most road deaths are given at most a couple of lines in mainly local papers (if they are
    reported at all). If we were to treat cyclists deaths any more prominently it would go even further
    to perpetuating the myth that cycling is dangerous.

    I'm not advocating a "head in the sand" or "ignorance is bliss" approach, just balanced reporting. I
    completely understand the recent reporting around the "lard arse in a Range Rover" case, but that
    was highly unusual. Despite that I had a few people show me the article and say "See, that's why I
    don't ride a bike!"

    It's unfortunate that what is regarded as news-worthy are the exceptional events, but that many
    people form/strengthen their opinions based on that reporting.

    Graeme
     
  8. Paul Smith says:

    >
    > The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.

    There's another important paper out as well:

    Anderson, ponte and Streeter, "Development of head protection for car occupants", Road and Transport
    Research, March 2003 (published by the Australian Road Research Board)

    Once again the Australians are in the lead, just like they were with bike helmets.

    They know it makes sense.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  9. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 14:49:53 +0000, Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.

    >There's another important paper out as well:

    Important? Are you sure?

    >Anderson, ponte and Streeter, "Development of head protection for car occupants", Road and
    >Transport Research, March 2003 (published by the Australian Road Research Board)

    >Once again the Australians are in the lead, just like they were with bike helmets.

    >They know it makes sense.

    They are probably barking.

    I've seen some other crazy research funded by the Australian Government, but this probably takes the
    biscuit. The report does not appear to be on line, so I'll have to reserve final judgement, but it
    sounds to me as if someone is having a laugh.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email speed
    cameras cost lives
     
  10. "Paul Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 14:49:53 +0000, Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >> The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.
    >
    > >There's another important paper out as well:
    >
    > Important? Are you sure?
    >
    > >Anderson, ponte and Streeter, "Development of head protection for car occupants", Road and
    > >Transport Research, March 2003 (published by the Australian Road Research Board)
    >
    > >Once again the Australians are in the lead, just like they were with bike helmets.
    >
    > >They know it makes sense.
    >
    > They are probably barking.
    >
    > I've seen some other crazy research funded by the Australian Government, but this probably takes
    > the biscuit. The report does not appear to be on line, so I'll have to reserve final judgement,
    > but it sounds to me as if someone is having a laugh.
    > --
    > Paul Smith

    Paul, thanks for giving the info about the DfT research. It is seriously flawed, as it doesn't
    include the Australian/NZ/USA experience that helmet legislation doesn't actually make cycling any
    safer, it just deters cycling.

    BTW if the Oz research about helmets for car occupants is crazy, the DfT research about cycle
    helmets is somewhere north of Pluto. There is no evidence that cycle helmets work, and some that
    shows they are actually dangerous.

    > Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email speed cameras
    > cost lives
     
  11. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Richard Burton <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > It is seriously flawed, as it doesn't include the Australian/NZ/USA experience that helmet
    > legislation doesn't actually make cycling any safer, it just deters cycling.
    >

    Yes it does..

    > BTW if the Oz research about helmets for car occupants is crazy, the DfT research about cycle
    > helmets is somewhere north of Pluto. There is no evidence that cycle helmets work, and some that
    > shows they are actually dangerous.
    >

    I thought it was well balanced but as they said "In terms of tone, the bicycle helmet debate can
    best be described as sour and tetchy. Neither side seems willing to concede that there can be
    alternative points of view"

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  12. Will Watson

    Will Watson Guest

    Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I've seen some other crazy research funded by the Australian Government, ...

    Judging by your website you certainly seem to know all about crazy research.
     
  13. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On 18 Apr 2003 16:04:23 -0700, [email protected] (Will Watson) wrote:

    >Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:<[email protected]>...

    >> I've seen some other crazy research funded by the Australian Government, ...

    >Judging by your website you certainly seem to know all about crazy research.

    Like TRL421 and TRL511?
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email speed
    cameras cost lives
     
  14. In message <[email protected]>, Paul Smith
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Hi All,
    >
    >The DfT have just published a major study of cycle helmets.
    >
    >http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/roadresearch/bicyclehelmets/index.htm

    I think the main omission in this report are statistics relating head injury rates to cycle
    kilometre. There is an interesting finding that head injury rates (as a proportion of all injuries)
    fell during a test programme but this information would be more useful if there was an indication of
    injury severity.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  15. ">
    > I thought it was well balanced but as they said "In terms of tone, the bicycle helmet debate can
    > best be described as sour and tetchy. Neither
    side
    > seems willing to concede that there can be alternative points of view"
    >
    > Tony

    I'm afraid I don't concur that it is balanced, and it appears to be yet another "scientific"
    analysis which ignores the fact that no whole population experience which shows that helmets are in
    any way effective. The summary point 7 demonstrates:

    Section 7: Opinion pieces
    a.. The pro-bicycle helmet group base their argument overwhelmingly on one major point: that there
    is scientific evidence that, in the event of a fall, helmets substantially reduce head injury.

    b.. The anti-helmet group base their argument on a wider range of issues including: compulsory
    helmet wearing leads to a decline in cycling, 'risk compensation' theory negates health gains,
    scientific studies are defective, the overall road environment needs to be improved.

    c.. The way in which the debate has been conducted is unhelpful to those wishing to make a
    balanced judgement on the issue.

    In the first bullet point, the investigators don't acknowledge that all the "scientific" evidence
    ain't worth a damn, and much of it has been peer-reviewed and, to be polite, found wanting. They
    similarly don't acknowledge that the most telling argument of what they choose to call "anti-helmet"
    (far more likely to be pro-choice, like me) is that all the whole population research shows no
    benefit, and some shows negative effects. They are perfectly correct with the third bullet point
    though, with the pro-choice using recent whole population, peer-reviewed sound research, and the
    pro-compulsion proponents using out-of-date, peer-condemned, unsound research which proved nothing
    except that the researchers were biassed.

    Cheers

    Rich
     
  16. On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 23:22:47 +0100, "Richard Burton" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    SNIP

    >In the first bullet point, the investigators don't acknowledge that all the "scientific" evidence
    >ain't worth a damn, and much of it has been peer-reviewed and, to be polite, found wanting. They
    >similarly don't acknowledge that the most telling argument of what they choose to call
    >"anti-helmet" (far more likely to be pro-choice, like me) is that all the whole population research
    >shows no benefit, and some shows negative effects. They are perfectly correct with the third bullet
    >point though, with the pro-choice using recent whole population, peer-reviewed sound research, and
    >the pro-compulsion proponents using out-of-date, peer-condemned, unsound research which proved
    >nothing except that the researchers were biassed.
    >

    That's the key flaw; I don't think there exists any sizable anti-helmet lobby[1]. The debate is
    between pro-compulsion and anti-compulsion.

    [1] Except that, due to govt. docs such as this, I am becoming increasingly anti-helmet. All the
    evidence seems to be that the agenda is to increase voluntary helmet use to a point where
    compulsion can be brought in with relative ease.

    In this environment every time you wear a helmet you are making a vote, however unwillingly, for
    compulsory helmet laws.

    Of course, such a law would make little difference to sport cycling; racing, MTB-ing etc but would
    effectively kill 'utility' cycling and cycling as transport.

    I don't wear a helmet. In part, to set an example and to correct the myth that cycling is dangerous.
     
  17. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Richard Burton <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > I'm afraid I don't concur that it is balanced, and it appears to be yet another "scientific"
    > analysis which ignores the fact that no whole population experience which shows that helmets are
    > in any way effective. The summary point 7 demonstrates:
    >

    As they point out, both sides dismiss the "evidence" and "research" of the other side. I found it a
    balanced presentation of both sides. YMMV

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  18. Frank

    Frank Guest

    "[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    [Snip stuff I agree with totally]

    > I don't wear a helmet. In part, to set an example and to correct the myth that cycling is
    > dangerous.

    You have to be careful what you say, In my own case I am covinced the dangers of cycling are
    outweighed by the health benefits, but that does not mean cycling is not dangerous.

    Overstating the saftey of cycling probably means Car drivers will make even less effort to be
    careful around cyclists than they do already.
     
  19. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Richard Burton <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > I'm afraid I don't concur that it is balanced, and it appears to be yet another "scientific"
    > > analysis which ignores the fact that no whole population experience which shows that helmets are
    > > in any way effective. The summary point 7 demonstrates:
    > >
    >
    > As they point out, both sides dismiss the "evidence" and "research" of
    the
    > other side. I found it a balanced presentation of both sides. YMMV
    >
    > Tony

    How can it be balanced when it ignores the largest piece of evidence, which coincidentally, doesn't
    support its preconceived ideas?

    And how come a research project about the effectiveness of cycle helmets also investigates helmet
    promotion and helmet legislation, neither of which would be worth doing unless they already knew
    what the results of the investigation into their effectiveness was going to be?

    No, this is just another pro-compulsion justification exercise, dressed up as independent. Mind you,
    I don't think the DfT have much confidence in it either: every web page has the disclaimer "Although
    this report was commissioned by the Department, the findings and recommendations are those of the
    authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department for Transport" twice!

    Rich
    >
    > --
    > http://www.raven-family.com
    >
    > "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    > adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    > Bernard Shaw
     
  20. On Sun, 20 Apr 2003 11:59:15 +0000 (UTC), "Frank" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >[Snip stuff I agree with totally]
    >
    >> I don't wear a helmet. In part, to set an example and to correct the myth that cycling is
    >> dangerous.
    >
    >You have to be careful what you say, In my own case I am covinced the dangers of cycling are
    >outweighed by the health benefits, but that does not mean cycling is not dangerous.
    >
    >Overstating the saftey of cycling probably means Car drivers will make even less effort to be
    >careful around cyclists than they do already.
    >

    Hmm. I don't rely on car drivers' concern for my safety when cycling.

    A problem has arisen because of the past 20 years or so cycling campaigners have waved the banner of
    'safety' in order to push for facilities on the road.

    The problem is now that cycling is perceived by many as intolerably dangerous; something to
    eliminated from our roads. This is why pavement riding (aka shared unsegregated paths) are often
    promoted by misguided local councillors ("I know it's not ideal but it must be done to get cyclists
    safely out of the way of motor cars").

    The public perception is that cycling is dangerous; when people hear that I commute by bike I am
    often told how incredibly 'brave' I am and how they wouldn't dare do it - or allow their
    children to.

    Try to get a scheme of works' bikes put in place and see the H&S blokes look at you as if you'd just
    suggested offering plutonium sandwiches in the canteen.

    etc.

    People have been scared off their bikes by, bizarrely, 20 years of cycle campaigners.

    And yet, cycling (excluding racing, bmx-ing and off-road lunacy, I suppose) is pretty safe. NB. If
    you do want to compare with other modes of transport then remember to compare apples with apples;
    find figures that exclude children running off their drives on their first tricycle and kamikaze
    unlit riders.

    Try http://www.cyclenetwork.org.uk/papers/stepping.pdf for a start.

    Oh, back to helmets. Another downside of helmets is that they contimue to promote cycling as unsafe;
    so dangerous you need a helmet.
     
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