Re: published helmet research - not troll

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc' started by Frank Krygowski, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. LioNiNoiL_a t_Ne t s c a pE_D 0 T_Ne T wrote:

    >> The Effect of Bicycle Helmet Legislation on Bicycling Fatalities -
    >> Grant and Rutner.

    >
    >
    > Their statistics are sound, and their calculation of a 15% reduction in
    > the juvenile bicycling fatality rate during the helmet-law era appears
    > to be accurate, although virtually indistinguishable from the
    > already-existing downward trend since 1975, represented by the blue line
    > in their data graph:
    >
    > http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9715/graph.gif


    Yes - if helmets were having a significant effect, that graph should
    show a significant drop in juvenile fatalities, over and above the
    prevailing trend, from 1991 to 1997, when (as they show) the helmet laws
    became fashionable.

    Incidentally, there are several sources on the web which plot cylist
    fatalities and pedestrian fatalities over the decades. Despite the
    increase in helmet use, the plots are stubbornly parallel... with, of
    course, a certain amount of random variation superimposed.

    It seems clear that a) the emergency medical people have gotten
    gradually better at their job (probably in large part due to
    technology), and b) helmets aren't making a significant difference in
    cyclists' fatalities. If they were, the cyclist plot would drop
    relative to the ped. plot.




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


  2. CowPunk

    CowPunk Guest

    > It seems clear that a) the emergency medical people have gotten
    > gradually better at their job (probably in large part due to
    > technology), and b) helmets aren't making a significant difference in
    > cyclists' fatalities. If they were, the cyclist plot would drop
    > relative to the ped. plot.



    This whole helmet discussion reminds of my pesticide chemistry
    class when my prof. would tell the class "but the LD50 is ...
    blah, blah, blah.", but never took into account that while maybe
    it takes a lot of whatever chemical to kill you, no one really
    knows how much it takes to cause cancer, nerve damage,
    brain damage, loss of eyesight, etc....

    The same thing holds true for this discussion. You're looking
    at FATALITIES. What about the accidents where a helmet
    prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be answered
    or tested easily....

    And I'll wear mine thank you, I've hit enough low hanging
    tree branches while MTB riding to know they help.
     
  3. On 17 Jun 2004 22:05:25 -0700, [email protected] (CowPunk) wrote:

    >What about the accidents where a helmet
    >prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be answered
    >or tested easily....
    >
    >And I'll wear mine thank you, I've hit enough low hanging
    >tree branches while MTB riding to know they help.


    Are you saying you received minor brain injuries riding your MTB w/o a
    helmet on? If not, how do you know helmets help prevent that?

    JT
     
  4. CowPunk

    CowPunk Guest

    > Are you saying you received minor brain injuries riding your MTB w/o a
    > helmet on? If not, how do you know helmets help prevent that?
    >
    > JT



    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that
    cracked plastic and dented styrofoam is better than
    cracked skin and a dented skull.
     
  5. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    [email protected] (CowPunk) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > The same thing holds true for this discussion. You're looking
    > at FATALITIES. What about the accidents where a helmet
    > prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be answered
    > or tested easily....


    That's a fair question. But ask yourself - how many brain injuries
    have occurred to cyclists over the intervening 30 years. The answer is
    that there are so few that they aren't even recorded. It isn't that
    they don't occur, but that your chances of having similar injuries as
    a pedestrian are many times greater on a statistical basis.

    The statistics also show that serious head injuries aren't helped by
    helmets either since the ratio of serious head injuries to fatalities
    hasn't changed in the least either. Although there are some medical
    sources that claim that using complicated statistical methods they can
    JUST detect some help.

    > And I'll wear mine thank you, I've hit enough low hanging
    > tree branches while MTB riding to know they help.


    You can do anything you like. Though I would think that if you are
    hitting low hanging branches your helmet must be interfering with your
    field of vision. The only time I ever hit my head on something
    overhanging was when I was riding past a structure and the helmet
    blocked vision of a rafter at head height.

    It is my OPINION that helmets make minor injuries even more minor or
    even non-existant. That is a reason for ME to wear a helmet. That is
    not a reason for laws that force helmets on children since it
    coincidentally causes children to to ride a great deal less, causing
    parents to drive their children to school making it more dangerous for
    all children in the vicinity of schools.
     
  6. On 18 Jun 2004 08:46:06 -0700, [email protected] (CowPunk) wrote:

    >> Are you saying you received minor brain injuries riding your MTB w/o a
    >> helmet on? If not, how do you know helmets help prevent that?
    >>
    >> JT

    >
    >
    >It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that
    >cracked plastic and dented styrofoam is better than
    >cracked skin and a dented skull.


    I asked a very specific question in response to a specifc assertion --
    that helmets protect from brain injuries hitting branches.

    I'll accept that a helmet can protect from cracked skin in the
    situations described. So can a wool hat.

    Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    skulls or brain injuries?

    JT
     
  7. "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    > skulls or brain injuries?


    I have an idea for an experiment. Go outside and have someone hold a brick
    about 2 feet over your bare head and have him drop it. Observe the pain and
    damage (assuming you're still conscious). Then try the same experiment on
    your friend, but have him wear a cycling helmet. If he laughs at you, you
    may be able to infer from this, experimentally, that he thought it was not
    necessary to run the experiment to know that you would end up with a damaged
    head and he wouldn't.

    If you are unable to apply the knowledge gained from this experiment to
    real-life, I would submit that it's not more experiments that you're
    actually in need of.


    Shayne Wissler
     
  8. Shayne Wissler wrote:
    > "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    >>Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    >>skulls or brain injuries?

    >
    >
    > I have an idea for an experiment. Go outside and have someone hold a brick
    > about 2 feet over your bare head and have him drop it. Observe the pain and
    > damage (assuming you're still conscious). Then try the same experiment on
    > your friend, but have him wear a cycling helmet. If he laughs at you, you
    > may be able to infer from this, experimentally, that he thought it was not
    > necessary to run the experiment to know that you would end up with a damaged
    > head and he wouldn't.
    >
    > If you are unable to apply the knowledge gained from this experiment to
    > real-life, I would submit that it's not more experiments that you're
    > actually in need of.
    >
    >
    > Shayne Wissler


    Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Tough to run a controlled study of
    this type in real-life conditions.
    Why someone would even try to suggest that helmets don't save lives
    because there are no controlled studies to prove they do says more about
    these people than it does about helmets.
    I've heard the same arguments from people who don't wear seatbelts in
    cars. I thought they made what could be valid points--until I spent a
    year covering head/neck trauma during my residency.

    Steve

    >
    >
     
  9. On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >
    >> Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    >> skulls or brain injuries?

    >
    >I have an idea for an experiment.

    That's your evidence? That's speculation. Give us some evidence or
    shut up.

    JT
     
  10. CowPunk wrote:
    >
    >
    > This whole helmet discussion reminds of my pesticide chemistry
    > class when my prof. would tell the class "but the LD50 is ...
    > blah, blah, blah.", but never took into account that while maybe
    > it takes a lot of whatever chemical to kill you, no one really
    > knows how much it takes to cause cancer, nerve damage,
    > brain damage, loss of eyesight, etc....


    The discussion also reminds me of a class where everyone has a strong
    opinion, but nobody does the homework! ;-)

    >
    > The same thing holds true for this discussion. You're looking
    > at FATALITIES. What about the accidents where a helmet
    > prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be answered
    > or tested easily....


    In another post, I mentioned a scientific study and an informal newpaper
    article that both dealt with injuries, as opposed to fatalities. The
    study was published as: "Trends in Cycle Injury in New Zealand under
    Voluntary Helmet Use" by Scuffham & Langley, Accident Analysis and
    Prevention, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-9, 1997.

    Briefly: New Zealand was getting ready to make it illegal for anyone of
    any age anywhere in the country to ride a bike without a helmet. As a
    run-up, they promoted the heck out of helmets. Helmet use suddenly
    surged in just a few years, from about 20% to over 80% for at least some
    age groups.

    The authors figured this was a great opportunity to show the benefit of
    helmets. The checked medical records of cyclists admitted to all the
    major hospitals. They were looking for the corresponding drop in the
    percentage admitted due to head injury (as opposed to, say, broken legs,
    internal injuries, etc.)

    They found no detectable difference at all. Zero. From the medical
    data, it was impossible to tell anyone had put on a helmet.

    The New York Times did an article on the same issue: "A Bicycling
    Mystery: Head Injuries Piling Up." http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1028.html

    It's not a great article, but it does mention that there seems to be no
    improvement visible due to America's adoption of bike helmets.

    >
    > And I'll wear mine thank you, I've hit enough low hanging
    > tree branches while MTB riding to know they help.


    I'm sure helmets help against these little bumps. I figure they also
    help against scratches and some bruises. But they're sold to the public
    and (especially) to the legislators as preventing death and serious
    brain damage. That's where they apparently fail.

    But you're welcome to wear yours. That's an individual decision.
    You're probably better off not even giving your reason.

    It's when you argue for _others_ to wear helmets, or start promoting
    their effectiveness, that people will disagree.


    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  11. "Steven Bornfeld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > Shayne Wissler wrote:
    > > "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > >
    > >
    > >>Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    > >>skulls or brain injuries?

    > >
    > >
    > > I have an idea for an experiment. Go outside and have someone hold a

    brick
    > > about 2 feet over your bare head and have him drop it. Observe the pain

    and
    > > damage (assuming you're still conscious). Then try the same experiment

    on
    > > your friend, but have him wear a cycling helmet. If he laughs at you,

    you
    > > may be able to infer from this, experimentally, that he thought it was

    not
    > > necessary to run the experiment to know that you would end up with a

    damaged
    > > head and he wouldn't.
    > >
    > > If you are unable to apply the knowledge gained from this experiment to
    > > real-life, I would submit that it's not more experiments that you're
    > > actually in need of.
    > >
    > >
    > > Shayne Wissler

    >
    > Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Tough to run a controlled study of
    > this type in real-life conditions.


    It's a mistake to think that you need a real-life trial in order to make
    valid inferences from the experiments. Even a thought experiment (as the one
    I gave above) is sufficient to know that helmets will protect your head to
    an important degree.

    But I agree with Frank that it should be left up to the individual to
    decide--I don't wear my helmet all of the time. (Although perhaps I should:
    my worst injury on the bike during the past year was less than a mile from
    my house when I was just on a little ride around the block. I was sprinting
    up the street and my foot came out of the pedal.)


    Shayne Wissler
     
  12. "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]
    > >
    > >> Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    > >> skulls or brain injuries?

    > >
    > >I have an idea for an experiment.

    >
    > That's your evidence? That's speculation.


    Let me guess. You must be a follower of Hume.

    On the contrary, the thought experiment I gave is perfectly valid evidence,
    from which a reasonable person would infer that some fraction of real-life
    accidents would result in a lesser injury if a helmet were worn.


    Shayne Wissler
     
  13. DRS

    DRS Guest

    "Steven Bornfeld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    [...]

    > I've heard the same arguments from people who don't wear seatbelts in
    > cars. I thought they made what could be valid points--until I spent a
    > year covering head/neck trauma during my residency.


    The difference is empirically obvious. I live in the first state in the
    world that made seatbelt use compulsory (Victoria, Australia). Not only did
    the fatality rate immediately plummet but the rate of spinal injuries
    dropped 75% in the first year. There is no such corresponding data for
    bicycle helmets.

    --

    A: Top-posters.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
     
  14. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > CowPunk wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > This whole helmet discussion reminds of my pesticide

    chemistry
    > > class when my prof. would tell the class "but the LD50 is ...
    > > blah, blah, blah.", but never took into account that while

    maybe
    > > it takes a lot of whatever chemical to kill you, no one

    really
    > > knows how much it takes to cause cancer, nerve damage,
    > > brain damage, loss of eyesight, etc....

    >
    > The discussion also reminds me of a class where everyone has a

    strong
    > opinion, but nobody does the homework! ;-)
    >
    > >
    > > The same thing holds true for this discussion. You're

    looking
    > > at FATALITIES. What about the accidents where a helmet
    > > prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be

    answered
    > > or tested easily....

    >
    > In another post, I mentioned a scientific study and an informal

    newpaper
    > article that both dealt with injuries, as opposed to

    fatalities. The
    > study was published as: "Trends in Cycle Injury in New Zealand

    under
    > Voluntary Helmet Use" by Scuffham & Langley, Accident Analysis

    and
    > Prevention, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-9, 1997.
    >
    > Briefly: New Zealand was getting ready to make it illegal for

    anyone of
    > any age anywhere in the country to ride a bike without a

    helmet. As a
    > run-up, they promoted the heck out of helmets. Helmet use

    suddenly
    > surged in just a few years, from about 20% to over 80% for at

    least some
    > age groups.
    >
    > The authors figured this was a great opportunity to show the

    benefit of
    > helmets. The checked medical records of cyclists admitted to

    all the
    > major hospitals. They were looking for the corresponding drop

    in the
    > percentage admitted due to head injury (as opposed to, say,

    broken legs,
    > internal injuries, etc.)
    >
    > They found no detectable difference at all. Zero. From the

    medical
    > data, it was impossible to tell anyone had put on a helmet.
    >
    > The New York Times did an article on the same issue: "A

    Bicycling
    > Mystery: Head Injuries Piling Up."

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1028.html
    >


    And the New York Times wrote on May 1, 2001 that:

    "A report last summer on "The Future of Children" noted that 35
    states lacked bicycle helmet laws, even though "research has
    shown that bicycle helmets are 85 percent effective at reducing
    head injuries." A study in Queensland, Australia, of bicycle
    accidents among children showed that wearing a helmet reduced the
    risk of loss of consciousness from a head injury by 86 percent.

    Even preschoolers who do not ride in traffic and toddlers on
    tricycles need head protection "whenever and wherever they are
    cycling," insists Dr. Elizabeth C. Powell of Children's Memorial
    Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Powell, a specialist in pediatric
    emergency medicine, notes that helmets can also reduce the risk
    of facial injuries when a child falls off a tricycle or bicycle."

    I guess it all depends on whether you live in New Zeland or
    Australia. Or whether you are Rivera or Scuffham. For every
    scientific study you come up with, I can find one or two that go
    the other way. And in the final analysis, it really does not
    matter, because we all just do what we do -- and, with minor
    exception, we are all too old for the MHLs in most states. MLHs
    are mostly a kid thing, and my kid wears a helmet when he is
    riding or skiing -- but not when he is walking, showering, or
    playing with his Legos or YuGiOh cards. Yes, I know that is
    inconsistent when we look at injury patterns, but we have learned
    to live with that inconsistency. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  15. On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 18:28:05 -0400, Steven Bornfeld
    <[email protected]> wrote:


    > Why someone would even try to suggest that helmets don't save lives
    >because there are no controlled studies to prove they do says more about
    >these people than it does about helmets.

    I haven't suggest anything. I've asked questions of assumptions. It's
    fine to say "I hope my helmet will protect me from brain injuries from
    hitting branches when mountain biking?" Or "Id' speculate that
    helmets will protect me from falling rocks and bricks that hit my
    head, or accidents on a bike that approximate that."

    But to go from that to "Wear a helmet because it'll save you from a
    brain injury" is a big leap. If you're going to advocate that people
    do something like wear helmets, at least you could be honest about the
    degree of speculation involved. And when you consider that riding a
    bike w/o a helmet is probably better for your health than not riding
    at all, honesty and recognition of uncertainty is even more important.
    To do otherwise is either intellectually lazy or unethical.

    JT
     
  16. Bill Z.

    Bill Z. Guest

    [email protected] (Tom Kunich) writes:

    > [email protected] (CowPunk) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > The same thing holds true for this discussion. You're looking
    > > at FATALITIES. What about the accidents where a helmet
    > > prevented brain injury? It's not something that can be answered
    > > or tested easily....

    >
    > That's a fair question. But ask yourself - how many brain injuries
    > have occurred to cyclists over the intervening 30 years. The answer is
    > that there are so few that they aren't even recorded. It isn't that
    > they don't occur, but that your chances of having similar injuries as
    > a pedestrian are many times greater on a statistical basis.
    >
    > The statistics also show that serious head injuries aren't helped by
    > helmets either since the ratio of serious head injuries to fatalities
    > hasn't changed in the least either. Although there are some medical
    > sources that claim that using complicated statistical methods they can
    > JUST detect some help.


    This is turning into a repeat of the very same discussion held 10
    years ago. Go back to the archives to look if you want.

    Keep in mind that serious head injuries covers a wide range of
    impacts. If you make a serious injury less serious, it still gets
    classified as a serious injury, and you might find it hard to
    detect the fraction that drop from "serious" to "not serious" or
    "prevented."

    >
    > It is my OPINION that helmets make minor injuries even more minor or
    > even non-existant. That is a reason for ME to wear a helmet. That is
    > not a reason for laws that force helmets on children since it
    > coincidentally causes children to to ride a great deal less, causing
    > parents to drive their children to school making it more dangerous for
    > all children in the vicinity of schools.


    This is not true. Children do not ride less due to helmet laws,
    particularly in California, where the helmet laws are not enforced
    (or rarely enforced.) If you tell a young teen to start using a
    helmet when he previously didn't want to, you can expect a negative
    reaction (natural rebelliousness.) Kids who started using helmets
    when they started riding bicycles don't have that reaction.

    Bill

    --
    My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
     
  17. On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:41:36 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> >news:[email protected]
    >> >
    >> >> Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    >> >> skulls or brain injuries?
    >> >
    >> >I have an idea for an experiment.

    >>
    >> That's your evidence? That's speculation.

    >
    >Let me guess. You must be a follower of Hume.
    >
    >On the contrary, the thought experiment I gave is perfectly valid evidence,
    >from which a reasonable person would infer that some fraction of real-life
    >accidents would result in a lesser injury if a helmet were worn.


    You're making a a big assumption -- that hitting a brick is similar to
    the impact people get when they hit their head on the ground (which I
    would guess -- note I am acknowledging the degree of specutation I'm
    making) or a tree branch (which is the object in question). I think
    that assumption is wrong insofar as it relates to any sort of likely
    accident on a bke. But yes, if someone is riding where they will be
    hit by falling bricks, a helmet sounds helpful.

    JT
     
  18. Shayne Wissler wrote:
    > "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    >><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>>news:[email protected]
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against dented
    >>>>skulls or brain injuries?
    >>>
    >>>I have an idea for an experiment.

    >>
    >>That's your evidence? That's speculation.

    >
    >
    > Let me guess. You must be a follower of Hume.
    >
    > On the contrary, the thought experiment I gave is perfectly valid evidence,
    > from which a reasonable person would infer that some fraction of real-life
    > accidents would result in a lesser injury if a helmet were worn.
    >
    >
    > Shayne Wissler


    There is a germ of truth in the assertion that helmets won't prevent
    death. This general feeling among safety experts seems to revolve
    arount the assertion that serious brain injury from bicycle accidents
    usually are not due to straight-on impact, but from torsional stresses
    that a helmet is unable to eliminate. But this is like saying that a
    seat belt shouldn't be worn because it won't save you from crushing
    injury of the thorax in a head-on 60 mph crash.
    Safety measures shouldn't be discarded because they are not 100% effective.

    Steve

    >
    >
     
  19. "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:41:36 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]
    > >> On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
    > >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> >
    > >> >"John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >> >news:[email protected]
    > >> >
    > >> >> Now what evidence do you have about helmets protecting against

    dented
    > >> >> skulls or brain injuries?
    > >> >
    > >> >I have an idea for an experiment.
    > >>
    > >> That's your evidence? That's speculation.

    > >
    > >Let me guess. You must be a follower of Hume.
    > >
    > >On the contrary, the thought experiment I gave is perfectly valid

    evidence,
    > >from which a reasonable person would infer that some fraction of

    real-life
    > >accidents would result in a lesser injury if a helmet were worn.

    >
    > You're making a a big assumption -- that hitting a brick is similar to
    > the impact people get when they hit their head on the ground (which I
    > would guess -- note I am acknowledging the degree of specutation I'm
    > making) or a tree branch (which is the object in question). I think
    > that assumption is wrong insofar as it relates to any sort of likely
    > accident on a bke. But yes, if someone is riding where they will be
    > hit by falling bricks, a helmet sounds helpful.


    I hesitate to say this because it amounts to pointing your nose in a
    direction you obviously do not wish to look, and you can always avert your
    eyes, but: Shape your "brick" like a flat peice of pavement and it is hardly
    different from falling down on the pavement with your head.

    He who actively engages in finding differences but is is lazy about finding
    similarity is a self-made idiot.


    Shayne Wissler
     
  20. DRS wrote:
    > "Steven Bornfeld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    > [...]
    >
    >
    >>I've heard the same arguments from people who don't wear seatbelts in
    >>cars. I thought they made what could be valid points--until I spent a
    >>year covering head/neck trauma during my residency.

    >
    >
    > The difference is empirically obvious. I live in the first state in the
    > world that made seatbelt use compulsory (Victoria, Australia). Not only did
    > the fatality rate immediately plummet but the rate of spinal injuries
    > dropped 75% in the first year. There is no such corresponding data for
    > bicycle helmets.


    The safety improvement from seat belt use that I have seen is nowhere
    near that dramatic. Nevertheless, I can tell you from first hand
    experience that no one involved in a car accident that I saw the whole
    year (that I asked--most of them) had been wearing seat belts.
    There are many studies out there--some designed better, some worse.
    There is poor compliance with helmet regulations in the US where they
    exist. But certainly Kunich can show studies which cast doubt on the
    efficacy of helmets in preventing head injuries. There is also this:

    http://www.cochrane.org/cochrane/revabstr/ab001855.htm

    which reaches exactly the opposite conclusion.
    In the end, people are going to believe what they want. Unfortunately,
    my tax dollars are going to pay the medical expenses of those who ignore
    common sense.

    Steve

    >
     
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