Helmet use statistics

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Alan Walker, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Marc

    Marc Guest

    In article <%[email protected]>, usenet- [email protected] says...
    > Marc wrote:
    > > I have never ever met anyone that has suggested that helmets should be worn
    >
    >
    > You are joking aren't you; in some areas of cycling helmets are compulsory (e.g. coaching
    > sessions, racing, etc.). Wouldn't that cound as a large suggestion that helmets should be worn?
    >
    I apologize that should be ... I have never ever met anyone that has suggested that helmets should
    not be worn
     


  2. > cycling to the shops is a heck of a lot safer than walking to the shops.

    Can you justify that statement?

    Yeah sure - I've got that half arsed chart you pulled me up on. Way I look at is on this ng someone
    will eventully point out a) where my half arsed postings are complete balls and b) what the real
    answer is. Until then all this pro-compulsion stuff from BHIT et al has given me plenty bad habits
    to promote my own view.

    I'd be interested to know whether the gap between cycling and walking is still large, small (or
    maybe even reversed) when you have similar populations doing each activity. My money's still on
    cycling tho - it's got a big lead.

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  3. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 14:16:27 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be "PK"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >> cycling to the shops is a heck of a lot safer than walking to the shops.
    >
    >Can you justify that statement?

    I suggest you use Google to look for "Death on the streets" and the absolute and relative rates of
    injury and death for pedestrians, cyclists and car occupants. You can look up the references if you
    like, but it is a fact that in absolute and relative terms cycling involves less head injuries than
    walking or travelling in a car.

    The references have been given in this group often enough.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  4. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    PK wrote:

    > I always enjoy such "innocent" misuse of statistics.

    But while you're exposing such horrors you're missing a crucial point: the same argument of "why not
    wear a helmet?" *should* apply to walking just as much as cycling if it has real merit. And using
    stairs, and taking a bath, etc. etc. Do you wear a helmet around your home? And if not, why not? I
    don't, because I don't think it's a dangerous enough environment for it to be worth my while. And
    that despite I know how significant accidents in the home are in terms of cases presented to A&E.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  5. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    McBain_v1 <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I don't see many cyclists who do not wear helmets around my neck of the woods. Guess it boils down
    > to individual choice and a person's vanity. If you'd rather increase your chances of smashing your
    > skull to shards and swallowing your tongue then don't wear a helmet.

    Unfortnuately the helmet issue is only that simple in the cyclingforums.com universe.

    --
    Dave...
     
  6. > I apologize that should be ... I have never ever met anyone that has suggested that helmets should
    > not be worn

    I've seen one, maybe two on the group, though they may have changed their minds by now.

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  7. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    @ Mark.

    Thanks for that very clear and well put.

    @ Dave Kahn.

    Coming to this news group from cyclingforums.com is like stepping from the rabit enclosure to the lions cage at a Zoo. I think that the welcome would be a lot warmer the other way round. Some people in this news group treat you like the son of the devil if you ever contemplated turning up at a race or have a bike that doesn't run of chain saw oil! Its very funny really. ;)

    Believe it or not, there are lots of cyclists that don't care if helmets are compulsary or not and just ride their bikes. For a new person visiting this news group it seems strange that a 'pro cycling newsgroup' would have such a problem over helmets - hence all the posts about it.

    But thanks to Mark I stand corrected.

    @ David Hansen.

    I guess well have to agree to disagree as everyones perception and definition of *cycling* and *cyclists* is different.

    For me (I've been riding 15 years) cycling has changes loads; kids have bought and stopped buying MTB's in favour of micro scooters, BMX's have been cool at least two different time periods, raceing has changed in every way (less police support and masters racing), few youngsters seem to ride on the road any more, few kids ride to school, Britain is good internationaly, the largest growth area in cycling is the 'unfit 40's', even the bikes look different, cycling is slowly taking off in schools/PE lessons, etc.

    I've only started commuting recently (4 years) about 18 miles (<1 hour) each way and I'm convinced the traffic is worse in the lanes (I won't go on main routes as I fear for my life!). Also the M6 toll road has ruined lots of my old training/riding/club run ground.

    But then again; the legs still go round in circles, your HR goes up and you lean to go round corners. At least the cakes in the usual cafe are still as good as ever!
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    McBain_v1 wrote:

    > I don't see many cyclists who do not wear helmets around my neck of the woods. Guess it boils down
    > to individual choice and a person's vanity.

    Try a different neck of the woods... I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago. I saw more cyclists
    than I have ever done anywhere else, hundreds and hundreds over a long weekend. And I saw 10 with
    helmets. 7 of those were roadies on performance race machinery and all the associated lycra, looked
    like they were heading out for a Sunday blast and just getting through town before turning up the
    power. 1 was an MTBer on a similarly serious looking piece of kit, also in head to toe lycra. The
    other 2 looked like serious tourers passing through judging from pannier covered touring bikes they
    were on. Everyone else just wore normal day to day clothes and no obvious protective clothing beyond
    gloves. I think they're probably better informed about the relative risks of cycling than their
    typical UK counterparts because they live in an active cycling culture.

    > If you'd rather increase your chances of smashing your skull to shards and swallowing your tongue
    > then don't wear a helmet.

    Increase from how likely to how to much more likely? You'll have an "increased chance" of the above
    if you don't wear a helmet to get in and out of the bath. I don't do that as I don't think it's
    worth it as I like to feel I'm reasonably safe in the bath to start with. How about you? If your
    reasoning above is really valid as a reason to wear a helmet cycling and you don't do so getting in
    to the bath you should be asking yourself why not!

    I've been in the "it's stupid not to" camp so I know how it feels. But a combination of looking at
    actual numbers for effectiveness and realising my reasoning was *not* logically consistent with my
    other activities led me to question my reasoning. A good reason to wear a cycle helmet is simply
    because you prefer to do so, but you should *not* kid yourself about the real efficacy you can
    expect in the event of a prang, and thinking there's significantly less chance of "smashing your
    skull to shards and swallowing your tongue" is, I believe, doing just that :-(

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 17:12:57 GMT, in
    <[email protected]>, 2LAP
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >At least the cakes in the usual cafe are still as good as ever!

    Yes, someone with their cycling priorities right! WELCOME to URC!

    Rich x

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    and binding contract.
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, 2LAP
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Peter Clinch wrote:
    > > First, I wonder how many thousand times it has to be repeated that being against compulsory
    > > helmet use is *not* the same thing as saying they shouldn't be worn. On the evidence often
    > > posted in this group, at least several thousand, it would seem :-( Second, people have been
    > > riding around woods and velodromes on bikes for *decades* without helmets, and neither was
    > > known as a bad area of skull- smashing carnage.
    >
    > 1. While you might not be suggesting that helmets are worn, by stating that helmets offer little
    > protection, etc. you are discouraging their use. Surely helmet use should be encouraged (even
    > if its not made compulsary)?

    Why? They certainly do not have any impact on accident statistics. It may even be that they kill
    more people than they save - we simply do not know at this stage. So encouraging people to use them
    is exactly as irresponsible as discouraging people from using them. This isn't a case of people
    arguing against proven safety equipment; we're talking about something that has not proven to have
    any real use in large populations - indeed, may actually increase risk.

    > 2. While woods, BMX tracks, velodromes, etc. are not the scene of skull- smashing carnage (I
    > didn't suggest that someone else did) they are scenes where occasional serious injury occurs
    > (including deaths) in *real* cyclists and non cyclists. As such why wouldn't we encourage
    > helmet use if it makes these environments safer? Why shouldn't it be compulsary?

    We should perhaps encourage helmet use *if* it makes these environments safer. And on balance, it
    possibly does. But we don't know. There isn't enough evidence. Personally I do sometimes wear a
    helmet off road, because it will save me from minor scratches and bruises, but it doesn't seem
    likely that it's realistically going to protect from serious injury unless you're unbelievably
    lucky. Helmets (even my MET Parachute) just aren't even nearly strong enough to protect against life-
    threatening injury. Even their manufacturers don't pretend they are.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/ ;; Generally Not Used ;;
    Except by Middle Aged Computer Scientists
     
  11. > Coming to this news group from cyclingforums.com is like stepping from the rabit enclosure to the
    > lions cage at a Zoo. I think that the welcome would be a lot warmer the other way round. Some
    > people in this news group treat you like the son of the devil if you ever contemplated turning up
    > at a race or have a bike that doesn't run of chain saw oil! Its very funny really. ;)

    Sorry if my reply seemed a bit unfriendly! Believe it or not this is one of the more pleasant
    newsgroups I read - there's very little flaming etc and most of the 'aggro' you find is nitpicking
    and of course the infamous urc pedantry. Little mercy is given in the helmet debates however, haing
    been through several incredibly long threads in the recent past where the whole topic has been done
    several times over. Hence long boring diatribes like mine - even if you're not convinced by the
    argument the thought of having to wade through another overly long and badly written post should put
    you off arguing the point :)

    > Believe it or not, there are lots of cyclists that don't care if helmets are compulsary or not and
    > just ride their bikes. For a new person visiting this news group it seems strange that a 'pro
    > cycling newsgroup' would have such a problem over helmets - hence all the posts about it.

    There's a private members bill going through parliament now seeking to make it madatory for kids
    under 16 to wear helmets, before that there was an Early Day Motion about compulsory helmets for
    people on bikes. BHIT, a rabidly pro-compulsion pro-helmet organisation is actively campaigning for
    it to be made illegal to ride without a helmet. They have received a quarter of a million pounds of
    public money to support their activities promoting helmets. They have also lied and mislead
    parliament and actively and knowingly misrepresent figures, or failing that, just lie. To stop this
    silliness we have, er, um well a few websites and letters to our MPs.

    Helmets being compulsory would lead to a big drop in people cycling, less people taking up cycling,
    and (strangely) no change in the safety of cylists. As a pro-cycling newsgroup this is a very good
    reason to care if helmets are made compulsory!

    > But thanks to Mark I stand corrected.

    Yeah sorry 'bout that. Stick smilies at the end of any bits that seem aggressive.

    If you haven't been there already www.cyclehelmets.org tells you almost everything about the
    whole issue
     
  12. Just zis Guy

    Just zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 08:22:41 +0000 (UTC), "PK"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >I suspect it prevails amongst the paranoid part anti compulsion lobby as well.

    Hmm. Why would an anti-compulsion activist be paranoid I wonder? Could it be because the experience
    everywhere compulsion has been tried is a massive drop in cycling? And could it be that improvements
    in cyclist safety coprrelate worldwide with increasing cycle numbers but never with increasing
    helmet use? Ah, yes, that would be it.

    Did you know that motorcyclist fatalities rose steeply by comparison with other ropad users when
    compulsion was introduced?

    Did you know that US states which have repealed motorcycle helmet legislation have experienced
    relative drops in motorcyslist fatality rates?

    I suggest you read Risk by John Adams.

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

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  13. Just zis Guy

    Just zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:11:02 GMT, 2LAP
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <Gih1c.35831$%[email protected]>:

    >I guess that people who suggest that helmets shouldn't be worn haven't visited a BMX track,
    >velodrome or woods recently.

    I dunno. I think there is one such person in this NG but I can't remember who it is; I've come
    across about three others who are opposed to helemt wearing per se, mainly because the more people
    wear helmets the more likely it is that a law will be introduced, to the overall detriment of public
    health. But most of those of us who are anti compulsion (and anti BeHIT propaganda) use lids some or
    all of the time.

    >Quite often I have seen people hit their heads while wearing helmets without injury. I have seen a
    >number of riders (3) receive quite bad injuries from head impacts and far more cuts & bruses that
    >would have been prevented by wearing helmets.

    I've seen a lot of poeple not wearing helmets and not hitting thier heads.

    >Perhaps there should be rules for cyclists that take part in dangerous forms of cycling and
    >children (who are more likely to take part in dangerous cycling activities and are least skilled).

    Especially when walking. Children are substantially more likely to suffer a head injury when walking
    than when cycling.

    >One problem with being amoung the anti-helmet wearing lobbies is that helmet wearing might be
    >discouraged in instances where helmets would be beneficial and so increase risk.

    Who are these anti-helmet wearing lobbies? BeHIT talks about them as well. I'd like to contact
    one of them.

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

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  14. Just zis Guy

    Just zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:33:00 GMT, McBain_v1
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >I don't see many cyclists who do not wear helmets around my neck of the woods. Guess it boils down
    >to individual choice and a person's vanity. If you'd rather increase your chances of smashing your
    >skull to shards and swallowing your tongue then don't wear a helmet.

    And if you'd rather increase your subconscious risk-taking to the point that you end up killing
    yourself, wear one :)

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

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  15. Just zis Guy

    Just zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 14:16:27 +0000 (UTC), "PK"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >> cycling to the shops is a heck of a lot safer than walking to the shops.

    >Can you justify that statement?

    DfT do it for him. See Road Casualties Great Britain and Transport Trends.

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

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  16. Just zis Guy

    Just zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 11:31:49 +0000 (UTC), "PK"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >Which of course applies to any riding at all, as if you are not riding you cannot fall off, if you
    >ride you increase your chances of falling off so why not wear a helmet?

    Because it increases your subconscious risk-taking behaviour, thus potentially increasing the
    overall level of risk.

    You really need to read Adams.

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

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

    Pk Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 08:22:41 +0000 (UTC), "PK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    >> I suspect it prevails amongst the paranoid part anti compulsion lobby as well.
    >
    > Hmm. Why would an anti-compulsion activist be paranoid I wonder?

    Beacuse that is what you called yourself a little while ago, Guy!

    As your failing teo read and then got into rant mode so amply demonstrates.

    > Could it be because the experience everywhere compulsion has been tried is a massive drop in
    > cycling? And could it be that improvements in cyclist safety coprrelate worldwide with increasing
    > cycle numbers but never with increasing helmet use? Ah, yes, that would be it.
    >
    > Did you know that motorcyclist fatalities rose steeply by comparison with other ropad users when
    > compulsion was introduced?
    >
    > Did you know that US states which have repealed motorcycle helmet legislation have experienced
    > relative drops in motorcyslist fatality rates?
    >
    > I suggest you read Risk by John Adams.

    pk
     
  18. Pk

    Pk Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 14:16:27 +0000 (UTC), "PK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    >>> cycling to the shops is a heck of a lot safer than walking to the shops.
    >
    >> Can you justify that statement?
    >
    > DfT do it for him. See Road Casualties Great Britain and Transport Trends.

    no, those stats do not support that conclusion.

    pk
     
  19. > >> I suspect it prevails amongst the paranoid part anti compulsion lobby as well.
    > >
    > > Hmm. Why would an anti-compulsion activist be paranoid I wonder?
    >
    >
    > Beacuse that is what you called yourself a little while ago, Guy!
    >
    > As your failing teo read and then got into rant mode so amply demonstrates.

    Or perhaps he read it correctly and so explained why he was justified in being paranoid? I think in
    your excitement at getting one over on Guy you may have 'failed teo read' his post :p

    But seriously, lets stop the cheap point scoring.
     
  20. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Thanks Mark, I'll have a good look at the site.

    First impressions were they need some new pictures!!!
     
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