Helmets - mean time betweef failures

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Andrew Price, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Dorre

    Dorre Guest

    Random Data wrote:
    > [2] And of course, there is fairly good evidence that helmet *legislation*
    > has caused more harm than it's saved through reduced cycling activity


    Dave wrote: Really good evidence for that.

    I see lots of people saying they are prepared to pay $100 or so for a
    helmet, to protect their heads, because the effect of an injury would
    be devastating to their loved ones.

    However, if you look into the subject, it becomes apparent that the
    vast majority of the injuries they are talking about (death or
    disability) are caused by bike/motor vehicle collisions.

    It's also true the injury rate (from bike/motor vehicle collisions) per
    km cycled is lower in countries/states/towns/cities where more people
    cycle.

    One reason for this is probably that, when more people cycle, motorists
    expect to see cyclists and look out for them at intersections, and
    respect cyclists' right of way on main roads.

    Australia shot itself in the foot with helmet legislation. Some people
    stopped cycling, others cycled less frequently, and the risk of injury
    (per km cycled) got worse than it would have been without the law.

    There's a lot of debate about how well helmets work. My guess, based
    on looking at the data, is that they do very little in bike/motor
    vehicle collisions that lead to serious head injury.

    So if, for the sake of your loved ones, you want to protect your head
    from the sort of injuries that would affect them, the best way would be
    to encourage more people to cycle and so reduce the risk of bike/motor
    vehicle collisions by 'Safety in Numbers'.

    Repealing helmet legislation would be a good start. There was a big
    drop in the amount of cycling when helmets were made mandatory, so it's
    one of the biggest deterrents.

    Sure you can wear your helmet and it may help. But the safety in
    numbers effect is bigger. Get the legislation repealed and you can
    still wear a helmet, while enjoying the added and greater bonus of more
    people starting to cycle and so less head injuries because of safety in
    numbers.

    Would anyone be interested in campaigning for this?

    For those who want to read up on the statistics, a paper was published
    in April in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.
    http://www.healthpromotion.org.au/docs/hpja_2005_1_robinson.pdf

    Here's an extract:
    Results: In Australia, the risks of fatality and injury per cyclist are
    lower when cycling is more prevalent. Cycling was safest and most
    popular in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Queensland and
    Western Australia (WA). New South Wales residents cycled only 47% as
    much as residents of Queensland and WA, but had 53% more fatalities per
    kilometre, consistent with the growth rule prediction of 52% more for
    half as much cycling. Cycling also became safer in WA as more people
    cycled. Hospitalisation rates per 10,000 regular cyclists fell from 29
    to 15, and reported deaths and serious injuries from 5.6 to 3.8 as
    numbers of regular cyclists increased. In Victoria,after the
    introduction of compulsory helmets, there was a 30% reduction in
    cycling and it was associated with ahigher risk of death or serious
    injury per cyclist, outweighing any benefits of increased helmet
    wearing.

    Conclusions: As with overseas data, the exponential growth rule fits
    Australian data well. If cycling doubles, the risk per kilometre falls
    by about 34%; conversely, if cycling halves, the risk per kilometre
    will be about 52%higher. Policies that adversely influence the amount
    of cycling (for example, compulsory helmet legislation) should be
    reviewed.
     


  2. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 23:11:54 -0800, Dorre wrote:

    > Repealing helmet legislation would be a good start.


    The problem is it's political suicide. Show all the studies you want, but
    the other guy just has to say "think of the children" and whoever proposes
    repealing the legislation is an ex-parrot^Wpollie.

    "The masses" are conditioned to see helmets as vital for safety. Anyone
    who proposes taking them away will be seen as recklessly endangering the
    public, and putting a huge load on the hospitals.

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    "My ambition, naturally, is to have a student quote my own words back to
    me without attribution in a final paper. That's an office hour I'd look
    forward to." -- Kieran Healy, on plagiarism
     
  3. smartie

    smartie New Member

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    Statistics, they can make any argument seem reasonable. No-one here has actually shown any real evidence that when the helmet law came into effect masses of people suddenly stopped riding. A 30% reduction in cycling seems a bit hard to believe. That stat would indicate that the whole bike market dropped by 30% overnight as people stopped buying bikes in droves.

    Is there one around that shows a difference in the before / after helmet legislation was introduced. In an even fight that woud give an indication of how effective it would be. But the proponents looking to do away with helmets would just say that it is because a heap of people stopped riding because they had to wear a helmet if the result didn't go their way. Which in a strange way also would justify helmet laws as those that stopped riding and would have been killed had they continued riding had their life saved by the very thing they refused to buy or wear.
     
  4. dave

    dave Guest

    smartie wrote:
    > Random Data Wrote:
    >
    >>On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 23:11:54 -0800, Dorre wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Repealing helmet legislation would be a good start.

    >>
    >>The problem is it's political suicide. Show all the studies you want,
    >>but
    >>the other guy just has to say "think of the children" and whoever
    >>proposes
    >>repealing the legislation is an ex-parrot^Wpollie.
    >>
    >>"The masses" are conditioned to see helmets as vital for safety. Anyone
    >>who proposes taking them away will be seen as recklessly endangering
    >>the
    >>public, and putting a huge load on the hospitals.
    >>
    >>--
    >>Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    >>"My ambition, naturally, is to have a student quote my own words back
    >>to
    >>me without attribution in a final paper. That's an office hour I'd look
    >>forward to." -- Kieran Healy, on plagiarism

    >
    > Statistics, they can make any argument seem reasonable. No-one here
    > has actually shown any real evidence that when the helmet law came into
    > effect masses of people suddenly stopped riding. A 30% reduction in
    > cycling seems a bit hard to believe. That stat would indicate that the
    > whole bike market dropped by 30% overnight as people stopped buying
    > bikes in droves.


    You mean about the time that most bike shops and some manufacturers went
    out of business. In fact the last of the non botique australian
    manufacturers Bates went under.
    >
    > Is there one around that shows a difference in the before / after
    > helmet legislation was introduced. In an even fight that woud give an
    > indication of how effective it would be. But the proponents looking to
    > do away with helmets would just say that it is because a heap of people
    > stopped riding because they had to wear a helmet if the result didn't go
    > their way. Which in a strange way also would justify helmet laws as
    > those that stopped riding and would have been killed had they continued
    > riding had their life saved by the very thing they refused to buy or
    > wear.
    >


    Some of them will be the people dying of diabetes and other obesity
    related illnesses now. Since its generally accepted that reasonable
    amounts of cyling add aprox 5 years on average to your life its dificult
    to then say a reduction of 30% in cyclists resulted in a reduction of
    30% in deathc.

    Incidently we have 100% death at the moment. Just over a fairly long term

    Dave
    >
     
  5. Random Data wrote:

    > "The masses" are conditioned to see helmets as vital for safety. Anyone
    > who proposes taking them away will be seen as recklessly endangering the
    > public, and putting a huge load on the hospitals.



    Yawn, I doubt if the real masses give a f..... f...
    Most of their kids only wear them under sufferance anyway
    And they wear them in such a way that they are useless


    Of course, if "the masses" really cared and really believed the helmets
    were effective, then they'd wear them in their cars. {:)
     
  6. smartie wrote:
    > Which in a strange way also would justify helmet laws as
    > those that stopped riding and would have been killed had they continued
    > riding had their life saved by the very thing they refused to buy or
    > wear.


    ROFL, there has never been any claims that I am aware of that bicycle
    helmets save lives. The claim has been that they reduce the future
    health claims by making you less dependant on society should you have an
    accident.
     
  7. Baka Dasai

    Baka Dasai Guest

    On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 08:30:41 +1100, Terry Collins said (and I quote):
    > Yawn, I doubt if the real masses give a f..... f...
    > Most of their kids only wear them under sufferance anyway
    > And they wear them in such a way that they are useless
    >
    > Of course, if "the masses" really cared and really believed the helmets
    > were effective, then they'd wear them in their cars. {:)


    If you're talking about the effectiveness of helmet legislation, you
    first have to identify what the desired effect was.

    I don't think it was about safety. It was a way to for motorists to
    put their anti-bike prejudice into effect. It was their way of saying
    to cyclists - "Look, we want you to recognise that your safety is your
    own responsibility and not mine. That it is cycling that is dangerous,
    not driving cars. That you are being dangerous, not me."

    Which is totally wrong. It is motorists that are using the dangerous
    form of transport, and so they should be responsible for the danger they
    present to others.

    And it's been very effective, and the more effective it is, the less
    reason there is for people to wear helmets in cars.
    --
    What was I thinking?
     
  8. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 00:01:05 +1100, smartie wrote:


    > Statistics, they can make any argument seem reasonable. No-one here has
    > actually shown any real evidence that when the helmet law came into
    > effect masses of people suddenly stopped riding.


    http://www.cycle-helmets.com/bicycle_numbers.html
    See the Narrows Bridge section, which indicates 23%

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    Thus leading us to the obvious conclusion that all software should look
    like a nipple. - Eric the Read
     
  9. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Dorre wrote:

    > Also, if your loved ones wear helmets, make sure they don't have a
    > false sense of security. Surveys show that about 80% of NSW (75% of
    > Vic) cyclists wear helmets. Helmet wearing rates in fatally injured
    > cyclists in the years of the surveys (about 80% in NSW, 75% in Vic)
    > were almost identical.


    Hi Dorre, welcome back to aus.b, long time no hear.
    I was part of a submission to the Minister for Police and Roads in WA before
    the introduction of the "Lights On" legislation for motorcycles. The
    minister was surprised to find that the 75% of motorcyclists that already
    rode with their headlights on, due to Gov't campaigns,ressure put to
    learners and harrasment by Police at "licence check" stops. These 75% were
    having 85% of the accidents, or conversely, the 25% who rode with their
    lights off only had 15% of the acidents. They passed the law anyway.

    Theo
     
  10. In aus.bicycle on Tue, 24 Jan 2006 07:09:00 +0800
    Theo Bekkers <[email protected]> wrote:
    > minister was surprised to find that the 75% of motorcyclists that already
    > rode with their headlights on, due to Gov't campaigns,ressure put to
    > learners and harrasment by Police at "licence check" stops. These 75% were
    > having 85% of the accidents, or conversely, the 25% who rode with their
    > lights off only had 15% of the acidents. They passed the law anyway.


    Same thing in South Oz, although the stats were likely skewed by
    reporting - that is people in hospital might say they had their lights
    on when they didn't.

    What seemed to happen was that the more experienced riders weren't
    using lights all the time, only when conditions warrented it. The
    ones who had their lights on tended to be the less experienced ones
    who had more crashes anyway.

    The lights weren't stopping them having crashes, but the numbers
    weren't enough to say if they were having significantly more.

    Problem is that it is counter intuitive - most people will say "but
    you see them a long way with lights on". But the lights make no
    difference at the distance when someone who pulls out is unavoidable.
    And they can cause users to feel more visible and also cause problems
    when badly adjusted lights glare.

    The interesting question for helmets is "what are the numbers like
    now?"

    THey say bikes outsold cars this year, are the rider numbers up? Are
    the injury numbers in the same proportion to rider numbers?

    Zebee
     
  11. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Tue, 24 Jan 2006 00:30:09 +0000, Zebee Johnstone wrote:

    > Problem is that it is counter intuitive - most people will say "but you
    > see them a long way with lights on". But the lights make no difference
    > at the distance when someone who pulls out is unavoidable.


    The lights do make a motorbike a bit more noticeable, and that's
    important. Then again, some people will pull out in front of a fire engine
    with lights flashing.

    I leave the headlights in my car on all the time. They switch off when I
    take the key out, so I'm not going to flatten the battery, and 120W is
    nothing when the engine is pumping out tens of kilowatts in normal
    driving. I realise it's not going to make a big difference, and idiots
    still pull out in front of me, but it's not going to cost me anything and
    may make someone notice me who wouldn't otherwise.

    Poorly adjusted lights are a different story, but in daytime conditions
    they shouldn't be bright enough to cause issues anyway.

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    Oh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix.
    - Comic Book Guy
     
  12. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Random Data wrote:
    <snip>
    > Poorly adjusted lights are a different story, but in daytime conditions
    > they shouldn't be bright enough to cause issues anyway.


    Ever noticed how most 4WD are designed to shine their headlights
    directly into ALL your mirrors at once? Amazing feat of modern
    engineering!

    Tam
     
  13. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Random Data wrote:
    > On Tue, 24 Jan 2006 00:30:09 +0000, Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    >
    >> Problem is that it is counter intuitive - most people will say "but
    >> you see them a long way with lights on". But the lights make no
    >> difference at the distance when someone who pulls out is unavoidable.

    >
    > The lights do make a motorbike a bit more noticeable, and that's
    > important. Then again, some people will pull out in front of a fire
    > engine with lights flashing.


    If all vehicles have their headlights on all the time motorcycles would be
    totally invisible, lost in the dazzle of all those lights.

    > I leave the headlights in my car on all the time. They switch off
    > when I take the key out, so I'm not going to flatten the battery, and
    > 120W is nothing when the engine is pumping out tens of kilowatts in
    > normal driving. I realise it's not going to make a big difference,
    > and idiots still pull out in front of me, but it's not going to cost
    > me anything and may make someone notice me who wouldn't otherwise.
    >
    > Poorly adjusted lights are a different story, but in daytime
    > conditions they shouldn't be bright enough to cause issues anyway.


    They do cause issues. The main issue is that whilst people can see your
    lights at maybe a greater distance than they would otherwise notice you,
    they will only see the lights and not the vehicle behind them, or even the
    five vehicles behind your vehicle. As Zebee says, at the distance we are
    talking about, your vehicle is not a threat to the observer, so who cares
    whether you can be noticed at a distance of five kms. A lot of people who
    do drive with their lights on have them on high beam and that is an issue. I
    don't believe these people are aware that they are on high beam because they
    can't see the effect of their lights and they never did figure out what the
    hell that little blue light was for anyway.

    The WA Police, Ministry of Transport, and the RAC in WA have been actively
    encouraging people to drive with headlights on for years. Fortnuately,
    unlike your vehicle, most car headlights stay on when the key is removed.
    This tends to discourage people from leaving their lights on. Thank Thor.

    Theo
     
  14. Theo Bekkers wrote:

    > If all vehicles have their headlights on all the time motorcycles would be
    > totally invisible, lost in the dazzle of all those lights.


    There is a fish market add for NSW. Everyone is wearing safety vests. No
    one stands out.
     
  15. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Tue, 24 Jan 2006 10:08:18 +0800, Theo Bekkers wrote:

    > They do cause issues. The main issue is that whilst people can see your
    > lights at maybe a greater distance than they would otherwise notice you,
    > they will only see the lights and not the vehicle behind them,


    That's fine by me, so long as they see me. Moving lights are a hell of a
    lot easier to see than dark moving object on a dark background. Most
    moto leathers are black, and dark helmets seem to be very common. The
    lights make them easier to see, even at close range, especially if there's
    a lot of background crap (silly volumes of signs, or lots of overhanging
    greenery).

    And if you're being dazzled by headlights during the day, get your eyes
    checked. I don't mean that as an insult, but that it could be indicative
    of something fairly major.

    > A lot of people who do drive with their lights on have them on high beam
    > and that is an issue.


    That is an issue, but even 2x100W isn't that bright in normal daytime
    conditions. It'll be glary, but you should be able to see through them to
    the vehicle behind. People driving around on high beam in the suburbs
    should be taken out and shot [1]. Country roads you need to remember to
    switch them down, which also seems to be beyond a lot of people.

    [1] Unfortunately the penalty is far less than this, but it is illegal, at
    least in NSW.

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    "Violins are the first refuge of the incontinent." The Cave
     
  16. In aus.bicycle on Tue, 24 Jan 2006 16:27:07 +1100
    Random Data <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Tue, 24 Jan 2006 10:08:18 +0800, Theo Bekkers wrote:
    >
    >> They do cause issues. The main issue is that whilst people can see your
    >> lights at maybe a greater distance than they would otherwise notice you,
    >> they will only see the lights and not the vehicle behind them,

    >
    > That's fine by me, so long as they see me. Moving lights are a hell of a
    > lot easier to see than dark moving object on a dark background. Most
    > moto leathers are black, and dark helmets seem to be very common. The
    > lights make them easier to see, even at close range, especially if there's
    > a lot of background crap (silly volumes of signs, or lots of overhanging
    > greenery).



    Oddly enough the solidly coloured rider is easier to see than one
    whose outline is broken up.

    it also appears that a rider in black is easier to see than one in
    anything but flouro.

    I dunno if cyclists can benefit from this, I think it's the "that one
    is in black leather he'll either beat me up or sing showgirl songs at
    me".

    > And if you're being dazzled by headlights during the day, get your eyes
    > checked. I don't mean that as an insult, but that it could be indicative
    > of something fairly major.


    funny - pretty well all the studies say that a headlight shining at
    you from a distance means you avoid it with your eyes. Shine a torch
    at yourself, see how you go.

    There's also problems with glare in mirrors.

    I have a large set of studies on this if you like. It's been rather
    well researched.

    > That is an issue, but even 2x100W isn't that bright in normal daytime
    > conditions. It'll be glary, but you should be able to see through them to


    And normal daytime is why it's not much chop.

    At dawn and dusk, or rainy or low light days, that's different. But
    in normal Autstralian daylight levels, the a properly adjusted
    ADR-compliant headlight is not very visible when it is close enough
    that if you turn across the rider's path, the rider can't avoid you.

    I know from actual experience that headlights are no where near as
    good as riding a Santee framed chopper with 6" overs, apehangers, and
    wearing a denim cutoff and a matt black shorty helmet. Never had any
    trouble being seen when I had that bike.

    A friend of mine says she didn't have any trouble when she wore her
    little red cocktail dress...

    Zebee
     
  17. Dorre

    Dorre Guest

    They say bikes outsold cars this year, are the rider numbers up? Are
    the injury numbers in the same proportion to rider numbers?
    Zebee

    Difficult to say, without a reliable, consistent data series.

    The last available census shows that cycling to work dropped when the
    laws came in, and hasn't returned to pre-law levels.

    An educated guess would be that cycling is still below pre-law levels,
    except in WA, NT, and ACT. WA has done a lot to promote and encourage
    cycling, but injury rates have also increased. I get the impression
    (without seeing any real data) that the ACT is also promoting cycling
    and probably succeeding. The NT doesn't enforce the helmet laws and
    I'm told by people who live there that cycling is booming.

    Bike sales are certainly booming. Compared to 10 years ago, Kmart
    prices are really cheap. Lots of people obviously want to get fit and
    ride bikes, but other people tell me that bike racks at schools get
    emptier and emptier.

    I suppose we need to keep on plugging the health and environmental
    benefits ... that cycling is convenient and fun and hope that a few
    (lots!) more people will see the light ... including governments!

    Enjoy your next ride,
    Dorre
     
  18. Bruce Graham

    Bruce Graham Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Random Data wrote:
    > <snip>
    > > Poorly adjusted lights are a different story, but in daytime conditions
    > > they shouldn't be bright enough to cause issues anyway.

    >
    > Ever noticed how most 4WD are designed to shine their headlights
    > directly into ALL your mirrors at once? Amazing feat of modern
    > engineering!
    >
    > Tam
    >

    Trucks do the same, because their lights are high. Apart from riding a
    bike, I also have a 4WD for outback. I always leave a bigger space in
    front when I pull up behind traffic at night to avoid blinding the driver
    in front. Simple, but few 4WD drivers do this.
     
  19. percrime

    percrime Guest

    Its not few Bruce. Its none of em :)

    Cept you :)

    Thanks :)

    Dave
     
  20. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Bruce Graham wrote:
    >
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > Random Data wrote:
    > > <snip>
    > > > Poorly adjusted lights are a different story, but in daytime conditions
    > > > they shouldn't be bright enough to cause issues anyway.

    > >
    > > Ever noticed how most 4WD are designed to shine their headlights
    > > directly into ALL your mirrors at once? Amazing feat of modern
    > > engineering!
    > >
    > > Tam
    > >

    > Trucks do the same, because their lights are high. Apart from riding a
    > bike, I also have a 4WD for outback. I always leave a bigger space in
    > front when I pull up behind traffic at night to avoid blinding the driver
    > in front. Simple, but few 4WD drivers do this.


    Pfft, you don't count as a 4WDer because you actually use yours offroad,
    what's with that anyway?! ;-)

    (Thanks for being one of the good ones.)
     
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