Re: Ontario Helmet Law being pushed through

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Frank Krygowski, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. [email protected] wrote in part:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Frank Krygowski wrote in part:
    > > I'm giving data. The fact that you choose not to
    > >
    > > > believe it is a separate problem!

    > >
    > > OK. I'm going to give you some data now. 42. 15 trillion.

    8-point-1.
    > > This clearly shows that cycling is 428.3 times more deadly per hour
    > > than driving.
    > > What?? You don't believe my data??? Well, that's your problem I

    > guess!!
    >
    > :) So, I guess we're dealing with someone who _seriously_ believes
    > that the numbers he invents, or gives with no explanation or

    citation,
    > are just as good as numbers from places like the National Safety
    > Council, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, etc.!


    No, you're dealing with someone who knows that the
    numbers I give without explanation or citation are
    just as good (bad) as the numbers you give without
    explanation or citation. You know durn well I am
    talking about your car fire chart. As for the NEISS data,
    I love the NEISS data and quote it quite often--
    crazy how the same numbers can support opposite
    conclusions eh? As for your NSC data, which you
    use to obtain injury-per-participant numbers, let's
    assume they are right on the money: Who
    Cares? Perhaps you can explain how this stat
    is in any way meaningful for comparing risk across
    different activities. This oughta be good.

    > > >
    > > > I think you'd better give a real citation for that, and make

    clear
    > > > whether that's John's rough guess, or something that's actually

    > > derived
    > > > from reliable data!

    > >
    > > Forester, Bicycle Transportation. pp. 41-46 has this discussion if

    I
    > > remember correctly. It is "John's rough guess" based on the best

    data
    > > available, which is not very good...

    >
    > If it's John's rough guess, then while admittedly better than your
    > rough guess, it may not be correct. ...


    The effect of experience (Or, the effect of no experience)
    on accident rate is one of the few phenomena that is
    obvious in statistics--across a multitude of studies--
    as well as real life. Do you doubt it?

    And five times an infinitesmal is
    > _still_ an infinitesmal, after all!


    Hell 50 times is still an infinitesmal. 1000 times! But that is very
    different from saying one activity carries the same or a greater risk
    than another, which is what you have been claiming. Are you no longer
    going to claim that? Might be smart since you have no data to support
    it.

    Why don't you answer some of the specific criticism I have offered
    of your "data?" You are always scrambling like a cockroach to the
    nearest patch of darkness.

    Robert
     


  2. >It's not surprising that they don't broadcast their methods.

    I can't believe you said that.

    You have been touting the FAA data for years.

    Despite my better data from the DC MPD.

    Which you choose to ignore.

    You are a population statistician, Frank, and that's a fact.
     
  3. Erik Freitag wrote in part:

    > Persuasion through use of data? Sinister indeed.


    Uh oh, Erik, if you are persuaded by the data
    that Frank has been posting then Scharf is right
    when he says you lack critical thinking skills.

    Look closer. Frank continues to spout injury-
    per-participant numbers, or just absolute numbers on
    ER visits, like "couches and beds
    cause almost as many injuries as bikes" blah blah
    blah. That makes for a nice soundbyte, but it tells
    us nothing about the relative danger of cycling,
    even if it is true. The only way to compare cycling
    to other activities is on a per-hour of activity
    basis. Frank knows this is true, one would assume,
    but continues to pretend that it is not true. That's
    why some of us call him dishonest. He's either
    dishonest or stupid, take your pick.

    Still, he does fool some of the people some of the time
    with this lame trick. You seem to be one of them.

    Fear not, the anti-pro-helmet crusade will continue
    onward even as Frank's little side-bet on the relative
    danger of cycling crashes and burns in its wake. The
    issue of the effectiveness or usefulness of helmets is
    not tied to cycling's relative danger or lack thereof.

    Robert
     
  4. Riley Geary

    Riley Geary Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    ....
    > What does the 1200-to-1 ratio of injuries-to-
    > fatalities mean? This number shows us that cycling is highly
    > unlikely to cause your death, but that it causes a shitload of
    > injuries. This is the dualism that some appear unable to grasp.
    >


    True, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bicycling injuries
    are relatively minor or even trivial in nature, and that most of these
    actually occur to juvenile cyclists as part of the sometimes painful process
    of growing up and experiencing the real world.

    Using CDC data from http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html to
    put matters in some perspective, less than 1 out of every 26 trips to the ER
    by a bicyclist results in hospitalization, compared to nearly 1 out of every
    16 trips by a motor vehicle occupant, about 1 out of every 8 trips by a
    motorcyclist, nearly 1 out of every 7 trips by a pedestrian, and almost
    half (46%) of all such trips by gunshot victims. Furthermore, fully 60% of
    all bicycle-related ER trips are made by juvenile cyclists under the age of
    16 (compared to 44% of hospitalizations, and just 21% of fatalities), so the
    idea that cycling causes a disproportionate number of potentially serious
    injuries probably isn't all that well-justified--even for adult cyclists,
    where barely 1 in 19 ER trips results in hospitalization, to say nothing of
    juvenile cyclists where the hospitalization rate is less than 1 in 36 ER
    trips.

    Riley Geary
     
  5. Riley Geary wrote:
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > ...
    > > What does the 1200-to-1 ratio of injuries-to-
    > > fatalities mean? This number shows us that cycling is highly
    > > unlikely to cause your death, but that it causes a shitload of
    > > injuries. This is the dualism that some appear unable to grasp.
    > >

    >
    > True, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bicycling

    injuries
    > are relatively minor or even trivial in nature, and that most of

    these
    > actually occur to juvenile cyclists as part of the sometimes painful

    process
    > of growing up and experiencing the real world.


    Exactly. Most bicycle "injuries" are skinned knees. This is the
    truth, even though there are those who portray every fall off a bike as
    a near-death experience.

    Even most bike ER visits are, loosely speaking, for skinned knees. As
    I've posted before, the most common bike-related injury treated in ERs
    is a minor injury of the leg - like a skinned knee, or other scrape or
    bruise. Second most common is a minor injury of the arm. The most
    common injury that's worse than "minor" is a moderate injury to the
    arm, and that's only 9% of ER visitors. Moderate head injuries are
    fewer yet.

    So, people do fall off bikes - that's sad but true...

    No, let me rephrase: That's true, but it's not particularly sad.
    People fall. People get up. And people continue riding. It's no big
    deal for anyone willing to live outside a bubble.

    And the "1200 to 1" stat merely indicates that almost all bike
    "injuries" are trivial.
     
  6. Erik Freitag

    Erik Freitag Guest

    On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 09:57:37 -0800, r15757 wrote:

    >
    > Erik Freitag wrote in part:
    >
    >> Persuasion through use of data? Sinister indeed.

    >
    > Uh oh, Erik, if you are persuaded by the data
    > that Frank has been posting then Scharf is right
    > when he says you lack critical thinking skills.


    Just as I feared. Still, at least he's willing to give some data.

    >
    > Look closer. Frank continues to spout injury-
    > per-participant numbers, or just absolute numbers on
    > ER visits, like "couches and beds
    > cause almost as many injuries as bikes" blah blah
    > blah. That makes for a nice soundbyte, but it tells
    > us nothing about the relative danger of cycling,
    > even if it is true. The only way to compare cycling
    > to other activities is on a per-hour of activity
    > basis.


    So you claim. Yet all I get is your word.

    > Frank knows this is true, one would assume,


    Or maybe things are not so simple.

    > but continues to pretend that it is not true. That's
    > why some of us call him dishonest. He's either
    > dishonest or stupid, take your pick.


    So we're back to Frank has a sinister agenda? To what end?

    >
    > Still, he does fool some of the people some of the time
    > with this lame trick. You seem to be one of them.


    Pity me. I'll just have to keep trying with the poor tools at my disposal.

    >
    > Fear not, the anti-pro-helmet crusade


    Is this somehow different from the pro-anti-helmet crusade?

    > will continue
    > onward even as Frank's little side-bet on the relative
    > danger of cycling crashes and burns in its wake. The
    > issue of the effectiveness or usefulness of helmets is
    > not tied to cycling's relative danger or lack thereof.


    Are you trying to tell me I should re-think that helmet-in-the-shower
    question again?
     
  7. Riley Geary wrote in part:

    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > ...
    > > What does the 1200-to-1 ratio of injuries-to-
    > > fatalities mean? This number shows us that cycling is highly
    > > unlikely to cause your death, but that it causes a shitload of
    > > injuries. This is the dualism that some appear unable to grasp.
    > >

    >
    > True, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bicycling

    injuries
    > are relatively minor or even trivial in nature, and that most of

    these
    > actually occur to juvenile cyclists as part of the sometimes painful

    process
    > of growing up and experiencing the real world.


    Yes, but remember also that 1200-to-1 is the ratio of those seeking
    medical attention for their injuries to fatalities, not the ratio of
    ALL injuries to fatalities. In my personal experience and observation,
    cyclists tend to hurt themselves far more often than they visit the
    ER or seek outpatient treatment. The number of ALL injuries is unknown
    and unknowable, but a 5,000-to-1 ratio of total injuries-to-fatalities
    seems reasonable. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities would
    be what? About 60-to-1?

    > Using CDC data from

    http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html to
    > put matters in some perspective, less than 1 out of every 26 trips to

    the ER
    > by a bicyclist results in hospitalization, compared to nearly 1 out

    of every
    > 16 trips by a motor vehicle occupant, about 1 out of every 8 trips by

    a
    > motorcyclist, ...


    Speed kills. But just being on two wheels is problematic for many
    folks.
    The numerical bulk of cycling injuries comes from solo wipeouts--
    resulting in generally mild to moderate injuries. Very few serious
    injuries or deaths, but a ton of minor to moderate injuries.
    While the towering pile of collarbones is impressive, what SHOULD
    grab our attention in this discussion--trust me on this--is
    the range of potential injury faced by the cyclist in traffic.
    Which, not surprisingly, is similar to the range of injury faced
    by drivers and pedestrians in traffic, and NOT similar to the
    range of injury faced by basketball players or couch sitters.

    It's important to remember also that cyclists in the ER may be less
    likely to be hospitalized than drivers in the ER, cyclists are more
    likely to end up there in the first place, on a per-mile or per-hour
    basis.

    It's also important to remember that a "minor injury" in the grand
    scheme of injuries may not seem so minor to someone who is
    dealing with it. If you rip your calf open on your chainring,
    for instance, and have to go in for 30 stitches, that's a
    minor injury. When I ripped my finger to the bone, in the NEISS
    data it would read something like LACR PINKY, which would surely
    get Frank a-snickerin' ("skinned knees"), but if he had been
    on the scene he might have lost his lunch. It's good policy
    to withhold judgment on somebody else's "minor injuries"
    until you've had a few yourself.

    But minor injuries are not really what I'm talking about here.

    > ... nearly 1 out of every 7 trips by a pedestrian,


    Of traffic-related pedestrian accidents. But "pedestrian
    accidents" (unintentional falls while walking) are by far the
    number one cause of ER visits across all age groups. Pedestrians
    in the ER are hospitalized far less often than cyclists.

    R
     
  8. Erik Freitag wrote in part:
    > On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 09:57:37 -0800, r15757 wrote:
    > > The only way to compare cycling
    > > to other activities is on a per-hour of activity
    > > basis.

    >
    > So you claim. Yet all I get is your word.


    Eh? The fact that different activities need to
    be compared on a per-hour basis is self-evident.

    Think of it this way: The Super Texas Cage
    Ultimate Fighting Tournament (I made that up)
    results in 248 ER visits per year. OTOH,
    strolling through the park results in tens of
    thousands. So, according to Frank Logic, strolling
    through the park is much more dangerous than entering
    the Ultimate Fighting Championship, even though
    ultimate fighting causes injury to, oh, 100% of those
    who do it.

    Do you see what I'm getting at here? Absolute
    numbers on ER visits are meaningless.

    You can thank me later. Friends don't let friends
    get shucked by misleading data.

    Robert
     
  9. [email protected] wrote in part:

    > Quit evading, Robert. You insinuate that 0.26 bike fatalities per
    > million hours is wrong. Perhaps it is - but you haven't given any

    data
    > that's any better. If you can't do that, you can't claim special
    > knowledge. We have no reason to believe you.


    I have stated that I think the .26 number is wildly off, because
    it assumes 3.2 billion hours of cycling each year by Americans.
    I have stated exactly why I think this number is waaaay off.
    You, OTOH, have provided virtually no defense of this number
    except "dem guys at FAA is reaal smurt!"


    > > If you can defend your posting of this data, do it now or
    > > cease and desist.

    >
    > OK, since you asked so nicely!
    >
    > Here, for comparison, are some figures for "fatalities per million
    > hours" for cyclists in ----<snip>


    Classic. I ask for a defense of your absolute ER and
    per-participant numbers, and you give me a defense
    of your FAA car fire chart. Classic!!!

    Arguing with Frank is like a Whack-a-Mole game. Where will
    Frank pop up next?

    Roberrt
     
  10. [email protected] wrote:

    > Arguing with Frank is like a Whack-a-Mole game. Where will
    > Frank pop up next?


    "Never argue with an idiot - they'll just drag you down to their level
    and beat you with experience."

    I found some interesting data from Florida at:
    "http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/hsmvdocs/crashfacts97.pdf" on page 14.

    No Injury Possible Minor Major Fatal
    Helmet 25 158 265 85 3
    No Helmet 481 1667 2590 928 111

    This data seems shocking, until you equalize the numbers based on
    percentage of helmet users in creashes (on page 5). Then the only
    significant difference is in fatalities, where an unhelmeted rider was
    3.4 times as likely to be killed as a helmeted rider.

    For major and minor injuries, the equalized numbers are about equal,
    between helmeted and non-helmeted riders, but it is almost a certainty
    that many of the fatalities to non-helmeted riders would have ended up
    as major injuries had they been wearing a helmet, and many of the major
    injuries would have ended up as minor injuries, had the non-helmeted
    person been wearing a helmet.
     
  11. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Steven Scharf wrote in part:

    >For major and minor injuries, the equalized numbers are about equal,
    >between helmeted and non-helmeted riders, but it is almost a certainty
    >that many of the fatalities to non-helmeted riders would have ended up
    >as major injuries had they been wearing a helmet, and many of the major
    >injuries would have ended up as minor injuries, had the non-helmeted
    >person been wearing a helmet.


    You're saying the stats show that
    helmets prevent deaths and serious
    injuries.

    But they could simply be showing that
    the type of cyclists who are most
    likely to make a fatal mistake (riding
    home from the bar at 2AM on the Huffy)
    are also the least likely to wear a
    helmet.

    Robert
     
  12. R15757 wrote:

    > You're saying the stats show that
    > helmets prevent deaths and serious
    > injuries.


    The statistics are pretty clear on the prevention of deaths. As far as
    serious injuries, when you normalize, the helmeted versus non-helmeted
    numbers are about equal.

    It is logical to conclude that the overwhelmingly higher number of
    deaths for non-helmeted cyclists is why the serious injury numbers for
    the non-helmeted cyclists are not higher than they are.

    > But they could simply be showing that
    > the type of cyclists who are most
    > likely to make a fatal mistake (riding
    > home from the bar at 2AM on the Huffy)
    > are also the least likely to wear a
    > helmet.


    Perhaps. But some anti-helmet advocates insist that riders that eschew
    helmets are the more experienced and more cautious riders that are less
    likely to get in an accident.
     
  13. Fixing columns, adding normalized data:

    I found some interesting bicycle crash data from Florida at:
    "http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/hsmvdocs/crashfacts97.pdf" on page 14.

    Raw Data
    None Possible Minor Major Fatal
    Helmet 25 158 265 85 3
    No Helmet 481 1667 2590 928 111

    Raw Percentages
    None Possible Minor Major Fatal
    Helmet 0.40% 2.50% 4.20% 1.32% 0.05%
    No Helmet 7.62% 26.41% 41.04% 14.70% 1.76%

    Normalized (for helmet use (8.5%) versus non-helmet use(91.5%))

    Helmet 4.67% 29.49% 49.46% 15.49% 0.56%
    No Helmet 8.33% 28.86% 44.85% 16.07% 1.92%

    This raw data seems shocking, until you normalize the numbers based on
    percentage of helmet users in creashes (on page 5). Then the only
    significant difference is in fatalities, where an unhelmeted rider was
    3.4 times as likely to be killed as a helmeted rider (versus 21 times as
    likely to be killed according to the raw data).

    Since our only real concern is Major and Fatal, here's simpler data:

    Raw Data Major Fatal
    Helmet 83 3
    No Helmet 928 111

    Raw Percentages Major Fatal
    Helmet 7.38% 0.27%
    No Helmet 82.49% 9.87%

    Normalized Percentages Major Fatal
    Helmet 86.90% 3.14%
    No Helmet 90.14% 10.78%

    For major and minor injuries, the normalized numbers are about equal,
    between helmeted and non-helmeted riders, but it is almost a certainty
    that many of the fatalities to non-helmeted riders would have ended up
    as major injuries had they been wearing a helmet, and many of the major
    injuries would have ended up as minor injuries, had the non-helmeted
    person been wearing a helmet.

    The "None" column is also interesting, because when normalized, a hemet
    user was less likely to report any injury at all after a crash, than a
    helmet wearer, but the columns to concentrate on are really major injury
    and fatality.

    Now as Robert pointed out, the stastitics say nothing of the skill
    level, sobriety, age, etc., of the non-helmeted riders. It is possible,
    as he suggested, that the non-helmeted riders were drunks coming home
    from a bar at 2 a.m. with no lights.

    I hope the the Ontario politicians don't see this data because they
    would try to use the raw data, or they would concentrate on the 3.4x
    fatality rate in the normalized data.
     
  14. On Sat, 29 Jan 2005 18:03:42 GMT, "Steven M. Scharf"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >It is logical to conclude that the overwhelmingly higher number of
    >deaths for non-helmeted cyclists is why the serious injury numbers for
    >the non-helmeted cyclists are not higher than they are.


    You say. On the other hand we know from a large volume of data
    especially from Australia and New Zealand that the head injury and
    fatality rate does not change with helmet use - and in fact the
    percentage of helmeted head injured cyclists in Australia is currently
    exactly the same as the percentage of helmeted cyclists overall.

    So either you are wrong, or you are relying only on tiny observational
    studies with their well-documented sampling bias. I would remind you
    that the British Government could not find an example where cyclist
    safety had improved with increasing helmet use.

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

    85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
     
  15. Riley Geary

    Riley Geary Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Riley Geary wrote in part:
    >
    > > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > ...
    > > > What does the 1200-to-1 ratio of injuries-to-
    > > > fatalities mean? This number shows us that cycling is highly
    > > > unlikely to cause your death, but that it causes a shitload of
    > > > injuries. This is the dualism that some appear unable to grasp.
    > > >

    > >
    > > True, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bicycling

    > injuries
    > > are relatively minor or even trivial in nature, and that most of

    > these
    > > actually occur to juvenile cyclists as part of the sometimes painful

    > process
    > > of growing up and experiencing the real world.

    >
    > Yes, but remember also that 1200-to-1 is the ratio of those seeking
    > medical attention for their injuries to fatalities, not the ratio of
    > ALL injuries to fatalities.


    If you define "seeking medical attention" as showing up at an ER, the CDC
    data would suggest the ratio with respect to fatalities is more like 600 or
    700-to-1.

    > In my personal experience and observation,
    > cyclists tend to hurt themselves far more often than they visit the
    > ER or seek outpatient treatment. The number of ALL injuries is unknown
    > and unknowable, but a 5,000-to-1 ratio of total injuries-to-fatalities
    > seems reasonable. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities would
    > be what? About 60-to-1?
    >


    No, more like 25-to-1. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities for
    motor vehicle occupants is only about 6-to-1, and just 4-to-1 for
    pedestrians. OTOH, the ratio for non-traffic-related bicycle
    hospitalizations to fatalities is probably close to 50-to-1. Keep in mind
    this simply demonstrates that even among the more serious injuries requiring
    hospitalization, cyclists are much less likely to die from their injuries
    than either motor vehicle occupants or pedestrians (this is generally
    considered a good thing, though I suppose it may depend on your
    perspective).

    > > Using CDC data from

    > http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html to
    > > put matters in some perspective, less than 1 out of every 26 trips to

    > the ER
    > > by a bicyclist results in hospitalization, compared to nearly 1 out

    > of every
    > > 16 trips by a motor vehicle occupant, about 1 out of every 8 trips by

    > a
    > > motorcyclist, ...

    >
    > Speed kills. But just being on two wheels is problematic for many
    > folks.
    > The numerical bulk of cycling injuries comes from solo wipeouts--
    > resulting in generally mild to moderate injuries. Very few serious
    > injuries or deaths, but a ton of minor to moderate injuries.
    > While the towering pile of collarbones is impressive, what SHOULD
    > grab our attention in this discussion--trust me on this--is
    > the range of potential injury faced by the cyclist in traffic.
    > Which, not surprisingly, is similar to the range of injury faced
    > by drivers and pedestrians in traffic, and NOT similar to the
    > range of injury faced by basketball players or couch sitters.
    >


    Very true, but then couch sitters tend to suffer from a whole range of
    serious health risks later in life due to their sedentary lifestyle; and
    even for traffic-related injuries, cyclists suffer far fewer fatalities
    relative to either serious injuries (~1 per 22 hospitalizations) or all
    injuries for which medical attention is sought (~1 per 400 trips to the ER)
    compared to either motor vehicle occupants (~1 per 85 ER visits) or
    pedestrians (~1 per 28 ER visits).

    > It's important to remember also that cyclists in the ER may be less
    > likely to be hospitalized than drivers in the ER, cyclists are more
    > likely to end up there in the first place, on a per-mile or per-hour
    > basis.
    >


    Granted, even though a disproportionate number of those ER visits are due to
    juvenile cyclists, and thus have little real relevance to adult cycling
    conditions.

    > It's also important to remember that a "minor injury" in the grand
    > scheme of injuries may not seem so minor to someone who is
    > dealing with it. If you rip your calf open on your chainring,
    > for instance, and have to go in for 30 stitches, that's a
    > minor injury. When I ripped my finger to the bone, in the NEISS
    > data it would read something like LACR PINKY, which would surely
    > get Frank a-snickerin' ("skinned knees"), but if he had been
    > on the scene he might have lost his lunch. It's good policy
    > to withhold judgment on somebody else's "minor injuries"
    > until you've had a few yourself.
    >
    > But minor injuries are not really what I'm talking about here.
    >
    > > ... nearly 1 out of every 7 trips by a pedestrian,

    >
    > Of traffic-related pedestrian accidents. But "pedestrian
    > accidents" (unintentional falls while walking) are by far the
    > number one cause of ER visits across all age groups. Pedestrians
    > in the ER are hospitalized far less often than cyclists.
    >


    Not according to the CDC data--unless you're including
    non-transportation-related falls around the home, etc. Total ER trips by
    pedestrians (as defined by the CDC, both traffic-related and
    non-traffic-related) are only about 1/3 the number of bicycle-related ER
    trips (~175k vs ~500k/year), even though pedestrians account for slightly
    more total hospitalizations than bicyclists (~24k vs ~19k/year), and roughly
    8 times as many fatalities (~6000 vs ~750/year). But then, that is the sort
    of ratio relationship we would expect where one type of activity tends to
    produce a much larger fraction of serious to fatal injuries compared to some
    other activity.

    Riley Geary
     
  16. Riley Geary

    Riley Geary Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Riley Geary wrote in part:
    >
    > > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > ...
    > > > What does the 1200-to-1 ratio of injuries-to-
    > > > fatalities mean? This number shows us that cycling is highly
    > > > unlikely to cause your death, but that it causes a shitload of
    > > > injuries. This is the dualism that some appear unable to grasp.
    > > >

    > >
    > > True, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bicycling

    > injuries
    > > are relatively minor or even trivial in nature, and that most of

    > these
    > > actually occur to juvenile cyclists as part of the sometimes painful

    > process
    > > of growing up and experiencing the real world.

    >
    > Yes, but remember also that 1200-to-1 is the ratio of those seeking
    > medical attention for their injuries to fatalities, not the ratio of
    > ALL injuries to fatalities.


    If you define "seeking medical attention" as showing up at an ER, the CDC
    data would suggest the ratio with respect to fatalities is more like 600 or
    700-to-1.

    > In my personal experience and observation,
    > cyclists tend to hurt themselves far more often than they visit the
    > ER or seek outpatient treatment. The number of ALL injuries is unknown
    > and unknowable, but a 5,000-to-1 ratio of total injuries-to-fatalities
    > seems reasonable. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities would
    > be what? About 60-to-1?
    >


    No, more like 25-to-1. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities for
    motor vehicle occupants is only about 6-to-1, and just 4-to-1 for
    pedestrians. OTOH, the ratio for non-traffic-related bicycle
    hospitalizations to fatalities is probably close to 50-to-1. Keep in mind
    this simply demonstrates that even among the more serious injuries requiring
    hospitalization, cyclists are much less likely to die from their injuries
    than either motor vehicle occupants or pedestrians (this is generally
    considered a good thing, though I suppose it may depend on your
    perspective).

    > > Using CDC data from

    > http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html to
    > > put matters in some perspective, less than 1 out of every 26 trips to

    > the ER
    > > by a bicyclist results in hospitalization, compared to nearly 1 out

    > of every
    > > 16 trips by a motor vehicle occupant, about 1 out of every 8 trips by

    > a
    > > motorcyclist, ...

    >
    > Speed kills. But just being on two wheels is problematic for many
    > folks.
    > The numerical bulk of cycling injuries comes from solo wipeouts--
    > resulting in generally mild to moderate injuries. Very few serious
    > injuries or deaths, but a ton of minor to moderate injuries.
    > While the towering pile of collarbones is impressive, what SHOULD
    > grab our attention in this discussion--trust me on this--is
    > the range of potential injury faced by the cyclist in traffic.
    > Which, not surprisingly, is similar to the range of injury faced
    > by drivers and pedestrians in traffic, and NOT similar to the
    > range of injury faced by basketball players or couch sitters.
    >


    Very true, but then couch sitters tend to suffer from a whole range of
    serious health risks later in life due to their sedentary lifestyle; and
    even for traffic-related injuries, cyclists suffer far fewer fatalities
    relative to either serious injuries (~1 per 22 hospitalizations) or all
    injuries for which medical attention is sought (~1 per 400 trips to the ER)
    compared to either motor vehicle occupants (~1 per 85 ER visits) or
    pedestrians (~1 per 28 ER visits).

    > It's important to remember also that cyclists in the ER may be less
    > likely to be hospitalized than drivers in the ER, cyclists are more
    > likely to end up there in the first place, on a per-mile or per-hour
    > basis.
    >


    Granted, even though a disproportionate number of those ER visits are due to
    juvenile cyclists, and thus have little real relevance to adult cycling
    conditions.

    > It's also important to remember that a "minor injury" in the grand
    > scheme of injuries may not seem so minor to someone who is
    > dealing with it. If you rip your calf open on your chainring,
    > for instance, and have to go in for 30 stitches, that's a
    > minor injury. When I ripped my finger to the bone, in the NEISS
    > data it would read something like LACR PINKY, which would surely
    > get Frank a-snickerin' ("skinned knees"), but if he had been
    > on the scene he might have lost his lunch. It's good policy
    > to withhold judgment on somebody else's "minor injuries"
    > until you've had a few yourself.
    >
    > But minor injuries are not really what I'm talking about here.
    >
    > > ... nearly 1 out of every 7 trips by a pedestrian,

    >
    > Of traffic-related pedestrian accidents. But "pedestrian
    > accidents" (unintentional falls while walking) are by far the
    > number one cause of ER visits across all age groups. Pedestrians
    > in the ER are hospitalized far less often than cyclists.
    >


    Not according to the CDC data--unless you're including
    non-transportation-related falls around the home, etc. Total ER trips by
    pedestrians (as defined by the CDC, both traffic-related and
    non-traffic-related) are only about 1/3 the number of bicycle-related ER
    trips (~175k vs ~500k/year), even though pedestrians account for slightly
    more total hospitalizations than bicyclists (~24k vs ~19k/year), and roughly
    8 times as many fatalities (~6000 vs ~750/year). But then, that is the sort
    of ratio relationship we would expect where one type of activity tends to
    produce a much larger fraction of serious to fatal injuries compared to some
    other activity.

    Riley Geary
     
  17. Riley Geary wrote:

    > A more serious problem is that you're looking at just a single year's worth
    > of data, and due to the relatively small number of fatalities involved, it
    > may or may not be an accurate representation of the broader picture. As it
    > turns out, the HSMV website you've referenced currently contains 10 years
    > worth of data (1994-2003), and 1997 just happens to have the lowest


    I didn't choose 1997, while I was searching, that was the PDF that came
    up in the search results, I didn't know there were other years data
    available.

    > OTOH, I recently spent a week in Florida at Daytona Beach,
    > and of the 50+ cyclists I observed there, just 1 was wearing a helmet, so I
    > suppose it's at least possible that the Florida helmet use data is a fair
    > reflection of reality.


    I am from Florida, and was just back there earlier this month. Helmet
    use is pretty low. Most of the cycling appears to be in beach towns, and
    on college campuses, not a lot of commuting at all (too hot). So I do
    think that Florida's low level of helmet use may be an anomaly.

    Frankly, the 1.4 figure does seem a lot more reasonable than the 3.4
    figure, since 21-33% more fatalities for non-helmeted riders is what
    we've seen in other parts of the world.

    There will never be a double-blind study, and the data will always be
    subject to the influence of rider skill level, sobriety, age, etc., and
    the real possibility that a helmet wearer is more likely to be someone
    who follows traffic laws, uses lights at night, and exercises reasonable
    caution.
     
  18. Riley Geary wrote:

    > A more serious problem is that you're looking at just a single year's worth
    > of data, and due to the relatively small number of fatalities involved, it
    > may or may not be an accurate representation of the broader picture. As it
    > turns out, the HSMV website you've referenced currently contains 10 years
    > worth of data (1994-2003), and 1997 just happens to have the lowest


    I didn't choose 1997, while I was searching, that was the PDF that came
    up in the search results, I didn't know there were other years data
    available.

    > OTOH, I recently spent a week in Florida at Daytona Beach,
    > and of the 50+ cyclists I observed there, just 1 was wearing a helmet, so I
    > suppose it's at least possible that the Florida helmet use data is a fair
    > reflection of reality.


    I am from Florida, and was just back there earlier this month. Helmet
    use is pretty low. Most of the cycling appears to be in beach towns, and
    on college campuses, not a lot of commuting at all (too hot). So I do
    think that Florida's low level of helmet use may be an anomaly.

    Frankly, the 1.4 figure does seem a lot more reasonable than the 3.4
    figure, since 21-33% more fatalities for non-helmeted riders is what
    we've seen in other parts of the world.

    There will never be a double-blind study, and the data will always be
    subject to the influence of rider skill level, sobriety, age, etc., and
    the real possibility that a helmet wearer is more likely to be someone
    who follows traffic laws, uses lights at night, and exercises reasonable
    caution.
     
  19. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Riley Geary wrote:

    >If you define "seeking medical attention" as showing up at an ER, the CDC
    >data would suggest the ratio with respect to fatalities is more like 600
    >or
    >700-to-1.


    "Seeking medical attention" means just that.
    The NEISS estimates a half million outpatients
    seeking treatment for a bicycle-related
    injury in addition to the half million ER visits.

    >>The number of ALL injuries is unknown
    >> and unknowable, but a 5,000-to-1 ratio of total injuries-to-fatalities
    >> seems reasonable. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities would
    >> be what? About 60-to-1?
    >>

    >
    >No, more like 25-to-1. The ratio of hospitalizations to fatalities for
    >motor vehicle occupants is only about 6-to-1, and just 4-to-1 for
    >pedestrians. OTOH, the ratio for non-traffic-related bicycle
    >hospitalizations to fatalities is probably close to 50-to-1. Keep in mind
    >this simply demonstrates that even among the more serious injuries requiring
    >hospitalization, cyclists are much less likely to die from their injuries
    >than either motor vehicle occupants or pedestrians (this is generally
    >considered a good thing, though I suppose it may depend on your
    >perspective).


    I want to be clear here. Are you saying that
    motor vehicle occupants are hospitalized at
    4 times the rate of cyclists who have been
    injured in a car-bike accident? Or of cyclists
    who have been injured in all types of bicycle
    accidents? Big difference obviously.

    It seems that the rate of hospitalization
    would be similar for all parties involved in
    an accident with a motor vehicle, whether the
    injured party be on a bike, on foot, or a
    passenger in a car. That is my suspicion
    anyway.

    >...but then couch sitters tend to suffer from a whole range of
    >serious health risks later in life due to their >sedentary lifestyle;


    Yes of course. But everybody sits on the couch,
    even avid cyclists. When we do so, we are at much
    less risk of accidental injury than when we are
    riding our bikes.

    >and
    >even for traffic-related injuries, cyclists suffer far fewer fatalities
    >relative to either serious injuries (~1 per 22 hospitalizations) or all
    >injuries for which medical attention is sought (~1 per 400 trips to the
    >ER)
    >compared to either motor vehicle occupants (~1 per 85 ER visits) or
    >pedestrians (~1 per 28 ER visits).


    "Traffic-related injuries?" So all those would
    involve contact with a motor vehicle then?
    Otherwise it seems like you are just giving
    another stat that shows that cyclists face
    a greater likelihood of minor injury compared
    to their driving counterparts (due to solo wipeouts),
    IN ADDITION to facing a similar risk with regard
    to motor-vehicle involved accidents.

    >Granted, even though a disproportionate number of those ER visits are due
    >to
    >juvenile cyclists, and thus have little real relevance to adult cycling
    >conditions.


    Very true, although I suspect this is true even
    if the kids' injuries are culled out. A disproportionate
    number of the "trivial" ER visits belong to kids as well.
    Adults don't go to the ER for "skinned knees."

    >> But "pedestrian
    >> accidents" (unintentional falls while walking) are by far the
    >> number one cause of ER visits across all age groups. Pedestrians
    >> in the ER are hospitalized far less often than cyclists.
    >>

    >
    >Not according to the CDC data--unless you're including
    >non-transportation-related falls around the home, >etc.


    Well, yeah, we include non-transportation-
    related cycling injuries don't we? Or do
    we simply classify ALL cycling accidents as
    "traffic-related?" If you look at the CDC
    data (which I linked to from your site--great
    resource, thanks), you see that unintentional
    falls while walking around (in the park, across
    the street, in the home, whatever) are the
    number one cause of injury across all age groups.

    >Total ER trips by
    >pedestrians (as defined by the CDC, both traffic-related and
    >non-traffic-related) are only about 1/3 the number of bicycle-related ER
    >trips (~175k vs ~500k/year), even though pedestrians account for slightly
    >more total hospitalizations than bicyclists (~24k vs ~19k/year), and roughly
    >8 times as many fatalities (~6000 vs ~750/year). But then, that is the
    >sort
    >of ratio relationship we would expect where one type of activity tends to
    >produce a much larger fraction of serious to fatal injuries compared to
    >some
    >other activity.


    Well, you have to define "pedestrian" very
    narrowly to get that ratio.

    Robert
     
  20. R15757 wrote:
    >
    > Adults don't go to the ER for "skinned knees."


    You may think so. But according to "Bicycle Accidents; An Examination
    of Hospital Emergency Room Reports..." by Stutts, et. al.,
    Transportation Research Record #1168, the most common bicycling injury
    being treated in an ER is a minor injury of the "Knee, lower leg,
    foot". Of those injuries, nearly 90% are "minor."

    It could be that absolutely every one of those patients were treated
    for other injuries, and they just brought the skinned knee along with
    them, so to speak. But the fact is, way over 90% of injuries treated
    in ERs are minor - that is, Abbreviated Injury Score rating #1, the
    lowest possible.
     
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