Helmet saves life of bike store owner hit by car......



J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 03:36:57 GMT, eq2 sux <[email protected]> wrote:

>If you're stupid enough not to wear one, then you won't have to worry if I
>respond. Use the protection, it can't hurt and may save your life. BTW, do
>you use a seatbelt?


Are you aware that there is no country in the world which can show a
reduction in road accident fatalities due to compulsory seat belt use?

Are you aware that the compulsory seat belt laws in the UK led to the
largest ever recorded rise in pedestrian, rear passenger and cyclist
fatalities?

It sounds to me as if you have never read Wilde or Adams on risk
compensation, in which case no wonder you only see half the picture.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
B

Beaker

Guest
On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 15:10:47 +0000, Just zis Guy, you know? quoth:
>
> Why are the handwringers not campaigning for the first, best thing
> that can be done to improve cyclist safety, controlling dangerous
> driving?


Because they know it can't be done - too politically unpopular.
However, wearing a helmet is something that always can be done. HTH

> Cycling is neither unusually dangerous nor unusually productive of
> head injuries. If you crahs your bike you are no more liekly to
> suffer a head injury than if youa re involved in an accident as a
> pedestrian.


Apples & oranges.

bkr
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 00:47:00 GMT, mrbubl <[email protected]> wrote:

>How does a race care
>driver survive a 100g force crash to walk away?? DId their helmet help?


Interesting example, since it has been calculated that the force on a
cyclist's head in a crash involving a motor vehicle routinely exceeds
the levels to which those motor racing helmets are certified.

Unfortunately many people have bought the hype: they ride as if their
PFDB renders them invulnerable. They assume that just by wearing a
foam hat they have done everything they need to ensure their safety.
They beieve that wearing a PFDB is the first, best thing they vcan do
to ensure their safety.

No wonder the real world figures show no benefit!

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 09:32:30 -0600, Beaker <[email protected]> wrote:

>> Why are the handwringers not campaigning for the first, best thing
>> that can be done to improve cyclist safety, controlling dangerous
>> driving?


> Because they know it can't be done - too politically unpopular.
>However, wearing a helmet is something that always can be done. HTH


And it puts all the costs on the victim, and gives the impression of
"doing something" about a "problem" which is entirely in the
imagination of the helmet zealots anyway without actually having to do
anythign at all, other than store up some future obesity (and what
politician is worried about the future beyond the next election?)

>> Cycling is neither unusually dangerous nor unusually productive of
>> head injuries. If you crahs your bike you are no more liekly to
>> suffer a head injury than if youa re involved in an accident as a
>> pedestrian.


Cox's Orang Pippins and Worcester Pearmains, actually. The major
source of serious head injury in both cases is crashes involving motor
vehicles. Neither the numbers nor the proportions appear to change
with helmet use (which is not a surprise since helmets are not
designed for this). Quite why the hendwriongers haven't latched onto
pedestrian helmets is a mystery - maybe it's because they walk, so it
might affect them.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
A

AustinMN

Guest
Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

> Unfortunately many people have bought the hype: they ride as if their
> PFDB renders them invulnerable. They assume that just by wearing a
> foam hat they have done everything they need to ensure their safety.
> They beieve that wearing a PFDB is the first, best thing they vcan do
> to ensure their safety.


In a number of areas, safety has moved away from "not crashing" to "crashing
safely". I suppose it's only natural that the uneducated should also think
that about bicycles.

Taking measures to avoid the crash in the first place will always be safer
than anything we do to prevent injury after the crash. I've never heard
anyone claim "My helmet saved me from head injury in the crash I didn't get
into."

Austin
--
I'm pedaling as fast as I durn well please!
There are no X characters in my address
 
D

Dan

Guest
Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> psycholist wrote:
>>
>>
>> It's obvious that several of you monitor any subject that deals with

helmets. Your arguments are well thought out and rehearsed to perfection
but it doesn't change the facts or the common perception. Helmets can and
do SAVE LIFES. While cycling is on the rise, there will be an increase in
bicycle accidents which will cause an increase in mandated bicycle safety.
All your statistics will not make a difference, no matter where you get
them. I understand your lobbying, it's an avenue to protect your freedom of
choice but regulation of helmet laws are easier than driver education
towards bicycle awareness. If you'd use your energy towards stricter
regulations of cell phone use while driving and keeping drunk drivers off
the roads it would certainly promote cyclist safety and may keep the Helmet
laws at bay.

Dan
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 19:15:46 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
message <[email protected]>:

>It's obvious that several of you monitor any subject that deals with
>helmets.


This is true. The reason is simple: clueless people keep trying to
introduce laws which will deter cycling, thus impacting one of the few
tried and tested mechanisms for improving cyclist safety - getting
more people on bikes.

There are two sorts of clueless people: those who have never been
exposed to clue, and those who have been exposed to clue but found it
to conflict with their pre-existing prejudices, so reject it.

A fair number of newbies in cycling groups fall into the first group,
and often they are the ones who start helmet threads. Exposure to
clue then either causes them to migrate into the second state (rare)
or to become clueful. In the clueful state they may or may not wear,
or even advocate, helmets. Whether they do matters only in the
context of clueless governments who believe that every cyclist who
wears a helmet is in favour of compulsion (an extreme form of type-II
cluelessness).

>Your arguments are well thought out and rehearsed to perfection
>but it doesn't change the facts or the common perception.


We get a lot of practice :)

The fundamental problem helmet advocates all have is that they are
assuming that the helmet is the only thing that changes, that putting
a PFDB on someone's head will not change their behaviour or that of
others around them.

There are four indicators which predict whether a person's behaviour
will change in response to an intervention: visibility, effect,
motivation and control. Helmets score high on all these indicators.
They are "visible" (i.e. we are conscious of wearing them), they
affect us (in the sense that we perceive that we are safer), we are
strongly motivated towards safety, and we have a great deal of control
over our actions.

http://ip.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/6/2/82

So the disparity between small-scale studies of self-selecting groups,
and whole-population time-series data, can be explained at least in
part by the (now well-established) mechanism of risk compensation.

Stating the facts, of course, rarely changes them. OK, sometimes it
does: the UK's leading helmet promoters stated the fact that 50
children a year die of cycling head injuries, and this did indeed
change the "facts" - the real figure is ten :)

Stating the facts is good. All of them, not just the ones we agree
with. It's just that the sceptics rarely have to state the pro-helmet
side because there is always someone else out there doing that.
Funny, though, how it's usually Thompson, Rivara and Thompson's 1989
study tat gets quoted.

>Helmets can and do SAVE LIFES.


Really? That's most surprising. They aren't designed to. Or didn't
they tell you that in your indoctrination? They are designed to
absorb small-scale impacts, the equivalent of falling off a stationary
or slow-moving bike.

On balance they neither save nor cost lives. When you take whole
populations of cyclists over long periods of time, the effect of
helmet use on head injury rates is statistically insignificant - the
trends are no different to those of pedestrians.

This does not square with figures like "helmets prevent 85% of head
injuries" of course. But then, even the original authors admit that
figure is wrong. I wonder why helmet promoters keep quoting it?
There are plenty of other studies to choose from, including others
from the same authors which are still at the upper end of the range of
estimates of efficacy. Why choose the largest figure ever recorded,
never duplicated since, from a study whose flaws are a matter of
record and acknowledged at least in part by the authors? It's almost
as if the problem isn't big enough to justify the proposed solution
unless it is sexed up a bit!

>While cycling is on the rise, there will be an increase in
>bicycle accidents which will cause an increase in mandated bicycle safety.


Wrong. In London recently they introduced a congestion charge; this
cut motor traffic by 20% and increased bike use correspondingly. The
injury figures are steady year-on-year, so the risk per cyclist has
dropped substantially. The C-charge was the /only/ change. You'd
expect the influx of inexperienced cyclists onto city roads to end in
carnage, wouldn't you? But it didn't. And most of those cyclists are
starting outside the charge zone, where traffic levels are as high as
ever.

Worldwide there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that more
people cycling will lead to /reductions/ in injury rates. Certainly
the countries where cycling is safest, are those where most people
cycle. And the converse also applies.

>All your statistics will not make a difference, no matter where you get
>them. I understand your lobbying, it's an avenue to protect your freedom of
>choice but regulation of helmet laws are easier than driver education
>towards bicycle awareness.


You have completely misunderstood. It has absolutely nothing to do
with my freedom of choice, and everything to do with the fact that
helmet laws cause massive drops in the numbers cycling, and make no
measurable difference to head injury rates. The reason I am opposed
to them (and I know I speak for several others here) is that *they do
not work*. Not only do they not work, they work against one of the
things which *does* work, which is getting more people cycling.

>If you'd use your energy towards stricter
>regulations of cell phone use while driving and keeping drunk drivers off
>the roads it would certainly promote cyclist safety and may keep the Helmet
>laws at bay.


LOL! We are not the ones lobbying for change. Go and talk to the
people who are trying to push through a law which has failed wherever
it has been tried, to solve a "problem" which exists primarily in the
minds of those trying to sell a solution to it!

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
D

Dan

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 19:15:46 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
> message <[email protected]>:
>
>>

> LOL! We are not the ones lobbying for change. Go and talk to the
> people who are trying to push through a law which has failed wherever
> it has been tried, to solve a "problem" which exists primarily in the
> minds of those trying to sell a solution to it!
>
> Guy


Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see a helmet law, anywhere or
anyhow. I want to promote, locally, helmet use to ward off any
regulation. It's kind of backwards and may not be the best way. Your
response atleast has merit and makes sense but others seem to attack
with vigar anyone's character that mentions the use of helmets for
safety. That only pisses people off and turns them against your point of
view. BTW, most clubs require you to wear helmets on their rides as do
most major races.

Dan
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 22:18:00 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
message <[email protected]>:

>> LOL! We are not the ones lobbying for change. Go and talk to the
>> people who are trying to push through a law which has failed wherever
>> it has been tried, to solve a "problem" which exists primarily in the
>> minds of those trying to sell a solution to it!


>Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see a helmet law, anywhere or
>anyhow. I want to promote, locally, helmet use to ward off any
>regulation.


It won't work. The leading deterrent to helmet laws is low wearing
rates, with consequent unenforceability.

We are caught on Morton's Fork: if we have high wearing rates then "a
law will be easy to enforce, so let's make few remaining wear them".
If wearing rates are low "we need compulsion to get wearing rates up".

Success of helmet laws is measured solely in terms of percentage
wearing rates. I only know of one cycle helmet law which has been
(partly) repealed, NT, Australia. Result? They now have the highest
level of cycling in the country and the lowest head injury rates. And
the lowest wearing rates at under 25%.

>BTW, most clubs require you to wear helmets on their rides as do
>most major races.


Clubs? Not over here. Our biggest club, CTC (80,000 plus members) is
a leader in the anti-compulsion camp.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 

RogerDodger

New Member
Jan 10, 2004
388
0
0
Dan said:
... Your arguments are well thought out and rehearsed to perfection but it doesn't change the facts or the common perception. Helmets can an do SAVE LIFES. While cycling is on the rise, there will be an increase ibicycle accidents which will cause an increase in mandated bicycle safety.
All your statistics will not make a difference, no matter where you get
them. I understand your lobbying, it's an avenue to protect your freedom of
choice but regulation of helmet laws are easier than driver education
towards bicycle awareness. If you'd use your energy towards stricter
regulations of cell phone use while driving and keeping drunk drivers off
the roads it would certainly promote cyclist safety and may keep the Helmet
laws at bay.

Dan

Geez - we've got a doozy here. So "Helmets can an do SAVE LIFES" huh - who let you out of school Danny boy?
Don't take your head out of the sand now Dan - just keep repeating your affirmation...maybe it will come true, huh?

You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for that line "what you should be doing isn't what you are doing but [what a brainless bumpkin like Dan here says you should be doing]".



Bicycle helmets = invasion of the dimwits.
 
S

Steven M. Scharf

Guest
Dan wrote:

> Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see a helmet law, anywhere or
> anyhow. I want to promote, locally, helmet use to ward off any
> regulation. It's kind of backwards and may not be the best way. Your
> response atleast has merit and makes sense but others seem to attack
> with vigar anyone's character that mentions the use of helmets for
> safety. That only pisses people off and turns them against your point of
> view. BTW, most clubs require you to wear helmets on their rides as do
> most major races.


Of course the reason for the clubs and the races requiring helmets is
that they are forced to do so by their insurance companies. Without a
helmet rule they cannot get liability insurance (or it would be
outrageously expensive).

Like it or not, the insurance companies look at the actuarial data
comparing injuries of persons involved in crashes with and without
helmets, and make their decisions based on this data; they don’t look at
every injury incurred by every possible activity in the world, and
conclude that the relative number of injuries incurred as a result of
bicycle accidents is small.

With automobile safety equipment, I’ve seen insurance companies back
down when further studies showed that a supposed safety benefit didn’t
really exist. I.e. some companies give discounts for anti-lock brakes
and daytime running lights, but after further studies showed no
reduction in accident rates, many of the companies eliminated these
discounts, ending the incentive to spend the extra money for cars
equipped with these features.

The ABS argument closely parallels the helmet argument. People who have
ABS often swear up and down that they KNOW that it's prevented them from
being involved in numerous accidents. But overall, ABS equipped cars
were no less likely to be involved in accidents, than non-ABS equipped
cars. OTOH, there were measurable decreases in accident rates for
certain types of accidents, where ABS provided the ability to maintain
control of the car. Also, insurance companies stated that many motorists
didn't use ABS properly, still pumping the brakes manually in a skid.
 
F

Frank Krygowski

Guest
Steven M. Scharf wrote:

> Of course the reason for the clubs and the races requiring helmets is
> that they are forced to do so by their insurance companies. Without a
> helmet rule they cannot get liability insurance (or it would be
> outrageously expensive).


This may be true with certain insurance companies. But as a past
president and long-time officer in our club, I know that club insurance
is available without a mandatory helmet provision, and it costs no more.
Our club has no mandatory helmet provision, and we do have insurance.
(Not that we've ever needed insurance for anything!)

>
> Like it or not, the insurance companies look at the actuarial data
> comparing injuries of persons involved in crashes with and without
> helmets, and make their decisions based on this data;


And the company that insures our club probably did this.

In fact, Failure Analysis Associates, the research company that produced
the following table, is the largest risk consultation company in
America. Evaluating risk for the insurance industry is what they do!
Here's their table, published in _Design News_, 10/4/93



fatalities
Activity per million hrs
-------- ---------------
Skydiving 128.71
General Aviation 15.58
On-road Motorcycling 8.80
Scuba Diving 1.98
Living (all causes of death) 1.53
Swimming 1.07
Snowmobiling .88
Passenger cars .47
Water skiing .28
Bicycling .26
Flying (scheduled domestic airlines) .15
Hunting .08
Cosmic Radiation from transcontinental flights .035
Home Living (active) .027
Traveling in a School Bus .022
Passenger Car Post-collision fire .017
Home Living, active & passive (sleeping) .014
Residential Fire .003


Compare bicycling with riding in passenger cars, and with swimming.

--
--------------------+
Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 15:42:59 GMT, "Steven M. Scharf"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Like it or not, the insurance companies look at the actuarial data
>comparing injuries of persons involved in crashes with and without
>helmets, and make their decisions based on this data


Actually in this case that is simply not true. There is nothing like
enough data to support an actuarial judgment on this, it was actually
started by a single high-profile case (which is the exact opposite of
how actuarial judgments are made).

>With automobile safety equipment, I’ve seen insurance companies back
>down when further studies showed that a supposed safety benefit didn’t
>really exist. I.e. some companies give discounts for anti-lock brakes
>and daytime running lights, but after further studies showed no
>reduction in accident rates, many of the companies eliminated these
>discounts, ending the incentive to spend the extra money for cars
>equipped with these features.


Well well. Insurance company acknowledges risk compensation shock.
Here's the science:

Grant and Smiley, "Driver response to antilock brakes: a demonstration
on behavioural adaptation" from Proceedings, Canadian
Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference VIII, June 14-16,
Saskatchewan 1993

Sagberg, Fosser, and Saetermo, "An investigation of behavioural
adaptation to airbags and antilock brakes among taxi drivers" Accident
Analysis and Prevention #29 pp 293-302 1997

Aschenbrenner and Biehl, "Improved safety through improved technical
measures? empirical studies regarding risk compensation processes in
relation to anti-lock braking systems." In Trimpop and Wilde,
Challenges to Accident Prevention: The issue of risk compensation
behaviour (Groningen, NL, Styx Publications, 1994)

And only a moment ago I was replying to a post from you in which you
apparently denied that risk compensation exists!

>The ABS argument closely parallels the helmet argument. People who have
>ABS often swear up and down that they KNOW that it's prevented them from
>being involved in numerous accidents. But overall, ABS equipped cars
>were no less likely to be involved in accidents, than non-ABS equipped
>cars. OTOH, there were measurable decreases in accident rates for
>certain types of accidents, where ABS provided the ability to maintain
>control of the car. Also, insurance companies stated that many motorists
>didn't use ABS properly, still pumping the brakes manually in a skid.


And still the penny doesn't drop! I am astonished that you haven't
realised what you have just written.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 11:19:30 -0500, Frank Krygowski
<[email protected]> wrote:

>This may be true with certain insurance companies. But as a past
>president and long-time officer in our club, I know that club insurance
>is available without a mandatory helmet provision, and it costs no more.


True enough: as a part of the membership fee of my cycle club, I get
insurance. Helmets are not even mentioned. The club has 80,000
members, and on a Sunday ride I guess somewhere under half the road
riders are wearing PFDBs.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
D

Dan

Guest
RogerDodger <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

>
> Dan Wrote:
>>

>
> Geez - we've got a doozy here. So "Helmets can an do SAVE LIFES" huh -
> who let you out of school Danny boy?
> Don't take your head out of the sand now Dan - just keep repeating
> your affirmation...maybe it will come true, huh?
>
> You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for that line "what you should
> be doing isn't what you are doing but [what a brainless bumpkin like
> Dan here says you should be doing]".
>
>
>
> Bicycle helmets = invasion of the dimwits.
>
>


Here's a perfect example of why your arguments fall on deaf ears. You
have an advocate that's a moron. Atleast my heads not up my ass,
Rogerboy! Obviously, you've been doing alot of riding without a helmet,
it shows.
Guy, your points are good and valid. I have no doubt you've
had to repeat this over and over to everyone that comes into this forum
with their own opinions. I just feel getting people to wear helmets is a
better solution to stave off regulations. Your responses, as well as
some of the others, has been educational and I'm sure statistically
sound. One last question, how do you get a statistic on how many people
may have been saved by using a helmet? You can't possibly know, because
they weren't a fatality. If I'm riding and T-bone a car, hit my helmeted
noggin' and there is no injury except my poor busted helmet (pocketbook
injury) and mangled wheel, where's the report that says, 'here is an
accident that could have been fatal but he was wearing a helmet'. Won't
be one!

Dan the DOOZY
 
F

Frank Krygowski

Guest
Dan wrote:

> One last question, how do you get a statistic on how many people
> may have been saved by using a helmet? You can't possibly know, because
> they weren't a fatality. If I'm riding and T-bone a car, hit my helmeted
> noggin' and there is no injury except my poor busted helmet (pocketbook
> injury) and mangled wheel, where's the report that says, 'here is an
> accident that could have been fatal but he was wearing a helmet'. Won't
> be one!


You keep track of the bike fatalities in a country for roughly 30 years.
Then (if you're New Zealand or Australia) you institute laws that
suddenly force everyone to wear bike helmets. You really enforce those
laws. And you look at the effects - that is, you look for the fatality
count to drop afterwards.

One caveat: You've got to keep track of the number of people who ride,
because the law _will_ cause big drops in cycling. (It did in those
countries.)

If you get a 30% drop in cycling, and you get a 30% drop in bike
fatalities, then you've done nothing for the remaining cyclists. The
fatality per cyclist ratio has not changed. So what you'd need to see
is a fatality drop _greater_ than the drop in cycling.

Another caveat: Bike fatalities are so incredibly rare (despite the
helmet promoter's horror stories) that it's still hard to get good data,
even counting nationwide data. That's why the Scuffham study I quoted
in another post looked at injuries that put cyclists in the hospital,
instead.

But again: they detected no improvement due to massively increased
helmet use. None at all.

--
--------------------+
Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
 
D

Dan

Guest
Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote in news:4193c520
@news.ysu.edu:

> Dan wrote:
>
>> One last question, how do you get a statistic on how many people
>> may have been saved by using a helmet? You can't possibly know,

because
>> they weren't a fatality. If I'm riding and T-bone a car, hit my

helmeted
>> noggin' and there is no injury except my poor busted helmet

(pocketbook
>> injury) and mangled wheel, where's the report that says, 'here is an
>> accident that could have been fatal but he was wearing a helmet'.

Won't
>> be one!

>
> You keep track of the bike fatalities in a country for roughly 30

years.
> Then (if you're New Zealand or Australia) you institute laws that
> suddenly force everyone to wear bike helmets. You really enforce

those
> laws. And you look at the effects - that is, you look for the

fatality
> count to drop afterwards.
>
> One caveat: You've got to keep track of the number of people who ride,
> because the law _will_ cause big drops in cycling. (It did in those
> countries.)
>
> If you get a 30% drop in cycling, and you get a 30% drop in bike
> fatalities, then you've done nothing for the remaining cyclists. The
> fatality per cyclist ratio has not changed. So what you'd need to see
> is a fatality drop _greater_ than the drop in cycling.
>
> Another caveat: Bike fatalities are so incredibly rare (despite the
> helmet promoter's horror stories) that it's still hard to get good

data,
> even counting nationwide data. That's why the Scuffham study I quoted
> in another post looked at injuries that put cyclists in the hospital,
> instead.
>
> But again: they detected no improvement due to massively increased
> helmet use. None at all.
>


I can see where that would be more of a represented figure. That
answered my question to some degree. While winding down this *** for tat
conversation, of which I seem to be losing badly, Did you know that the
city that Lance calls home (Austin), has a helmet law and is enforced
vigorously. Other than Austin and Dallas, there is no Texas state law
other than 18 and under regulating helmet use. Is it possible this is a
test bed as well?

Dan and out!
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:20:37 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
message <[email protected]>:

>Guy, your points are good and valid. I have no doubt you've
>had to repeat this over and over to everyone that comes into this forum
>with their own opinions.


There may be a degree of truth in this :) The issue is vastly more
complex than the single-issue campaigners would have you believe.
That, of course is why they get so much coverage, because they use
soundbytes and pop science, whereas those of us who are sceptical have
a much more detailed tale to tell.

>I just feel getting people to wear helmets is a
>better solution to stave off regulations.


Be very careful about this. Like I said, in the UK we have a Morton's
fork: the gubmint says no compulsion because wearing rates are low,
but the Liddites say wearing rates are low so we need compulsion to
boost them. So low wearing and high wearing are both used as arguments
for compulsion.

>Your responses, as well as
>some of the others, has been educational and I'm sure statistically
>sound.


I hope so. At least with robust debate you find out if an argument is
sound or not. Once you've weeded out the idiots who dispute data on
religious grounds it is perfectly fair to challenge sources and
interpretations of data.

>One last question, how do you get a statistic on how many people
>may have been saved by using a helmet? You can't possibly know, because
>they weren't a fatality.


A good way to work this out is to track the way the proportion of
injuries which are head injuries (%HI) and the wearing rate over time,
and see if they vary together. New Zealand is often cited because
over a three year period wearing rates went from under 45% to about
95%, but %HI followed exactly the same trend as for (unhelmeted)
pedestrians. You can then draw a number of possible conclusions:

- helmets prevented no injuries at all
- helmets were effective in some cases but risk compensation and other
effects eroded the benefit so there was no net benefit overall
- helmets were very effective but something else changed so radically
as to outweigh the benefit

There may be others, but I think broadly speaking these are the main
possibilities.

The third is simply implausible, but it is the only one which squares
with the idea of 85% head injury savings. So we go back to the source
of the 85% figure and find that it was derived by comparing two
completely different populations. Which suggests the 85% figure is
likely wrong. Much the same criticism can be leveled at other
observational studies.

How can that be? We have a clue in recent debate regarding the
relationship between hormone replacement therapy and coronary heart
disease. I have only recently found out about this particular
controversy and found it so interesting I put up a page on it:

http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Observational_Studies

So then we have to trawl through all the studies and look for robust
methodologies. One study for which the reference escapes me
momentarily has an estimated efficacy of about 10%. It is entirely
plausible that efficacy of that order could be blown away by risk
compensation and by the well-documented link between numbers cycling
and risk (more people cycling = lower risk, fewer people cycling =
more risk).

So we arrive at the position that helmets may or may not be a good
thing for individuals, but that as a matter of public policy, forcing
people to wear them has no measurable effect other than to deter
cycling. The same has been found wherever helmet laws have been
enforced, so it seems to be a robust conclusion.

>If I'm riding and T-bone a car, hit my helmeted
>noggin' and there is no injury except my poor busted helmet (pocketbook
>injury) and mangled wheel, where's the report that says, 'here is an
>accident that could have been fatal but he was wearing a helmet'. Won't
>be one!


If the crash has enough energy to kill you, a helmet won't make any
significant difference. And how do you know you would not have been
riding slower and more vigilantly if you had not been wearing a PDFB?
The question is whether, all other things being equal, you would be
better off helmeted in this case, but my answer is that the evidence
shows that all other things would not be equal.

Any attempt to simplify the helmet debate into soundbyte examples
will, by its very nature, ignore at least one crucial fact or effect,
to the point that the simplified example will necessarily be more
misleading than informative.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 21:34:14 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
message <[email protected]>:

>I can see where that would be more of a represented figure. That
>answered my question to some degree. While winding down this *** for tat
>conversation, of which I seem to be losing badly,


You are not losing, you are learning. There is a difference :)

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
D

Dan

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:20:37 GMT, Dan <[email protected]> wrote in
> message <[email protected]>:
>
>>

>
> Any attempt to simplify the helmet debate into soundbyte examples
> will, by its very nature, ignore at least one crucial fact or effect,
> to the point that the simplified example will necessarily be more
> misleading than informative.
>
> Guy


My hats off to you, Guy. Appreciate the viewpoints and pretty sound
knowledge. As one that leans towards safety because of the employment I've
grown so fond of (vs starving), I have been enlightened, somewhat.

Dan in Texas (not a hostage)