helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by 58%

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:54 pm

The Womble wrote:Just what is your issue here?

My issue with the link in the first post is made clear in my reply - that the claim made by RTA NSW, on its own, appears extremely dubious because they gives neither citation nor context for it.

My issue with you is your repeated attempts to misrepresent both my own and others' positions on matters relating to helmet laws.

Maybe I should start a new Santa Doesnt Exist thread and see how long it takes for you to counter claim. :|

Seems more likely that you'd start the thread by claiming that people who oppose mandatory helmet laws do believe in Santa. :roll:
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby The Womble » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:18 pm

Sounds possible :mrgreen:
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby trailgumby » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:33 pm

I'm with vitualis onthis one.

The evidence that helmets help reduce head injuries is pretty strong. I have no problem conceding that and consider it fact. However, I also think that the evidence that they act as a powerful disincentive to takeup of cycling is pretty strong - and getting stronger - and that the net benefit of mandatory helmet laws to the community as a whole and its health is negative.

I find it interesting that the Austalian experence with mandatory helmet laws and their impacts (pardon the pun) is often cited by public servants in the policy areas of community health and risk management as a reason *not* to go down the same path in their own jurisdictions in other countries.

So I'm sorry you're not going to succeed in a straw man argument with me. I have paper and matches and I'm prepared to use them. :P

IMO it is clearly a case of good intentions having devastating unintended consequences. Much like the Democrat change to financial laws in the US that were intended to help those who couldn't qualify for a mortgage get access to credit to buy their own homes. It led inevitably to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby martinjs » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:15 pm

It's funny how people knock the groups that believe in helmet laws considering one of them (Bicycle Victoria) has done more to promote cycling that just bout all of the other groups put together.
I though it was ran by cyclist and some very active cyclists, how come they have it wrong?

I think I'd rather support them the any single focus group that sole aim is to making Mandatory helmet laws go away.
I suspect there are better and more successfully methods than that around.

I can think of at least 2 other reasons why the Melbourne bike scheme is struggling,
1. The cold miserable wet winter. :shock: surprise, surprise.
2. The fact that you have to use a credit card.

also already bought up in this tread, the fact that no helmets are made available on site.
When you go bowling you always have shoes available, if you go and rent a canoe lifejackets are always available so it should be so with the bike scheme.

If I believed in conspiracy theory you could believe both the anti mandatory helmet group and the car lovers group had got together to have the scheme fail so both groups could go back to the already strong believers of their case and say "I told you so" :lol: :lol:

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:29 pm

martinjs wrote:I can think of at least 2 other reasons why the Melbourne bike scheme is struggling,
1. The cold miserable wet winter. :shock: surprise, surprise.
2. The fact that you have to use a credit card.

Respectfully, I really do doubt that either of these factors can account for the twentyfold difference in useage between Melbourne and Dublin.

1. Dublin's weather year-round is probably not much better than Melbourne's winter*.
2. Dublin's bikes must be accessed via a membership paid for by credit card. On top of this, they don't have a daily membership, only annual or 3-day.

People are looking for strange reasons for the failure in hire take-up, when the answer is plain as the nose on your face.

* Hmmm ? Dublin summer looks pretty cr@p compared to Melbourne's winter :roll:
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby trailgumby » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:35 pm

martinjs wrote:I can think of at least 2 other reasons why the Melbourne bike scheme is struggling,
1. The cold miserable wet winter. :shock: surprise, surprise.
2. The fact that you have to use a credit card.

also already bought up in this tread, the fact that no helmets are made available on site.
When you go bowling you always have shoes available, if you go and rent a canoe lifejackets are always available so it should be so with the bike scheme.

If I believed in conspiracy theory you could believe both the anti mandatory helmet group and the car lovers group had got together to have the scheme fail so both groups could go back to the already strong believers of their case and say "I told you so" :lol: :lol:

Martin

The weather is less persuasive as a cause when it comes to the Brisbane scheme's imminent failure. And the use of credit cards is such a non-issue that I don't understand why you've raised it.

Bowling shoes (I went bowling last Friday) are completely different to helmets, unless of course you don't wear socks and your feet are covered in so much hair they can be confused for poodles. So far as I know hobbits are still a minority.

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I don't generally believe in conspiracy theories - they're too much work. I prefer Occam's Razor. RACV runs roadside assistance for bicycles. It makes sense they get involved in the Melbourne scheme. They are not the redneck outfit we know as the NRMA.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby martinjs » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:58 pm

Both points were raised by others, I wouldn't know personally as I haven't been in Melbourne since early January, and I though we were talking about Australia, I don't personally know anyone in Dublin so haven't talked to any but I do talk to non cyclist and observe other cyclists around Leeton all year around and guess what? On cold miserable days around Leeton a lot less people ride bikes, usually I only see 1 or 2 others. Where as when the weather turns nice the cycling population increases big time. Also people think I'm crazy when I ride in 0c temps or when the wind is howling and it's raining.

By reading other threads and judging human behaviour I would have thought launching the scheme in spring coming in to the better weather and providing helmets would have helped promote the scheme much better.

Ultimately if as much effort went in to promoting cycling on top of what's already there, as went in to fighting the laws cycling would increase drasticly.

Oh and but the way, although I'm debating the point here, I don't loose any sleep over the though of the laws being over turned and I wouldn't run around trying to bring them back, just to much hard work. :D

Ever wondered why I don't go hunting for fact? Just can't see the point, like a good debate and I do really believe that helmet laws do some good, but spending all-night chasing statistics bores me to tears.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:06 pm

martinjs wrote:Ultimately if as much effort went in to promoting cycling on top of what's already there, as went in to fighting the laws cycling would increase drasticly.

Compared to the efforts by State bicycle groups, CPF, AGF and other local BUGs in promoting cycling (a great thing of course) there is virtually no lobbying effort going into turning over the helmet compulsion. Discussion here, and a few specific individuals taking a stand or writing to MPs - insignificant
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby martinjs » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:20 pm

Wasn't there a fair size protest a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne?
Thought I saw some reasonable sized protest ride, would have been better spent promoting cycling rather than stirring the pot.
Lots of little groups add up to lots of push, if we all pushed together instead of in different directions is what trying to get at.
Some on on this forum used a WA anti mandatory helmet website last year in one of these debates. Being fair minded I checked out the site only to find them claiming things like "a person getting locked up because he didn't' wear a helmet" great point at first glance, but if you read deeper you would have found he got locked up for being a smart bottom :shock: . When pulled up and warned by the police he bought it on himself to argue the helmet laws with them on the street. Real bright.

The point being there efforts would be more rewarding and have a better out come promoting the good things about cycling.

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:26 pm

martinjs wrote:Wasn't there a fair size protest a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne?
Thought I saw some reasonable sized protest ride, would have been better spent promoting cycling rather than stirring the pot.

20 people! And they were promoting cycling, pointing to the value of the Melbourne Bikeshare and their desire to see it work and get non-cyclists trying out cycling around the inner city.

It was timed to coincide with Mikael Colville-Andersen's seminar (part of the Sate of Design Festival) on the 'Four Goals to Promote Urban Cycling' :idea: :roll:
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby martinjs » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:34 pm

Bloody media, made it sound a lot bigger than that. :oops:

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby Thoglette » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:51 pm

The Womble wrote:guess it plain sucks when evidence comes to light that supports the use of helmets


Womble, you really, really should read some of my posts occasionally! I've said on several occasions I wear a helmet (and gloves) religiously. And as an early adopter of BMX have probably done so much longer than most. I'd be more than happy if mandatory helmet use clearly and meaningfully improved cyclist safety in all cases.

But (as I have already said) I am extremely skeptical of "studies say" and have been watching for supportable studies in a number of areas. And there's some unusual trends being discovered in the data right now.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby sogood » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:06 pm

Well, at this stage I'll have to classify this as another helmet thread. Mod sponsored too. :mrgreen:
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby vitualis » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:21 am

It seems that the people who deny the problem with helmets with the Melbourne scheme simply deny the reality of the numerous international schemes around the world. Weather is hardly a problem; Paris has terrible weather in winter and this doesn't affect their system in the way the Melbourne scheme has. With regards to credit cards, just about every mass bicycle hire scheme internationally use credit cards as security unless you are a local who specifically sign up for the system for another form of identity.

People are still stating that helmets could be hired with the bikes! Please actually look to see what the schemes look like and their purpose! Typical use of the hire bikes:

1. Pick up a bike from point A (maybe near your work) from automated (non-manned) rack. You swipe your card and a bike unlocks.
2. Ride to point B (perhaps local grocer) --> trip perhaps takes 10 minutes.
3. You return the bike your just use into the automated rack at point B; the system automatically acknowledges that the bike has been returned.
4. After you've bought some bread, milk and veges, you go back to the automated rack and swipe your card again; you pick up another bike (might not be the same one you dropped off before)
5. You cycle to point C, the nearest rack near your apartment and return the bike there --> trip takes another 5-10 minutes.
6. You walk about 2 minutes to get home.

The automated system massively reduces the cost as all the pick up and drop off points for the bikes are unmanned. In large parts of Paris (where I am right now), you can't walk more than 2-3 minutes without coming across another Velib station. For these short trips (less than 30 minutes), use of the bikes are free for locals (apart from the annual subscription). I encourage our members here to suggest a realistic, simple and cost-effective way that helmet hire could be incorporated into this type bicycle hire system because Melbourne is frankly struggling at present.

Ultimately what makes these bicycle hire systems work is convenience. If you make it so that using the bikes are more convenient and cost-effective than any other form of transport (driving, taxi, Metro, bus, etc.) then people will naturally use them. People are not going to carry a bicycle helmet on their trips around a city on the off chance them may use one of the free hire bicycles. Similarly, tourists are not going to have any bicycle helmets either. In this setting, mandatory helmet wearing removes the greatest immediate advantage of the mass bicycle hire programs; convenience.

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby simonn » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:50 am

il padrone wrote:Dublin summer looks pretty cr@p compared to Melbourne's winter :roll:


However, you have to take into account the general pussiness of Australians when it comes to weather.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby martinjs » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:06 am

I have never said helmets were NOT an issue in the uptake of cycling or the bike hire scheme, on the other hand it seems to me the anti helmet group don't seem to take in to account human nature. Most non cyclist will not go out and ride a bike of any type in cold or wet windy conditions, pure and simple. As I've pointed out even a lot of cyclists won't get out on those type of days.

Not everyone is a hard core cyclists. I love the way people keep comparing compact country's and cities with our spread out country and cities. Seems to me it's like comparing Bananas and Lemons.
Lets not get caught up in ignoring points that we don't like in this debate.

As I work in retail I talk to a lot of non cyclists also talk with a lot of teenagers both in my work and in my other passion of computing and play PC games and you no what?
None of them mention helmets as a reason for not cycling, in most cases its. haven't got the time, can't be bothered.

Why is it so hard to believe a lot of people just don't want to ride bikes?
It's sad but its true.

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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:21 am

vitualis wrote:It seems that the people who deny the problem with helmets with the Melbourne scheme simply deny the reality of the numerous international schemes around the world.

there's a bit of sleight of hand here, where the impact of helmet laws on the melbourne bike hire scheme has been held up by opponents as indicative of the impact of helmet laws more broadly. that isn't right.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:32 am

vitualis wrote:The point is that this weakens their data analysis. If pre-existing helmet wearing was already common without a law, the institution of a mandatory law is likely to have a lesser effect on ridership. Similarly, if after the implementation of such a law, the rates of compliance to the law is low, it is also going to have a lesser effect on ridership.

Optimally, you want the study to be done in a study population that has low helmet wearing prior to the law and then good compliance with helmet wearing after the law comes into place.

why? surely the objective is just to assess the impact of helmet laws on ridership rates. if the impact is low and explained partly by low compliance with the law, then the impact is still low. that's a perfectly legitimate finding, to me, unless the effect of the law is different in the region you wish to apply the results to. obviously if the law isn't improving wearing rates, that's a problem in its own right.

vitualis wrote: Actually, you're the one who has it the wrong way around. The onus is on the authors to be able to justify their conclusions on the basis of their study. Their conclusion is that the introduction of helmet laws in Canada "was not associated with changes in ridership". My reading of their study is that there are problems with their methodology such that this conclusion may not be validly justified (this is not to say that this conclusion is actually incorrect, just that they haven't adequately demonstrated it).

you're entitled to that view and you could even be right, but frankly any academic study will draw criticism, particularly from those who don't favour the conclusions. i'd be interested to see credible studies with contrary findings. their apparent absence speaks more to me than your concerns about the robustness of this study.

vitualis wrote: I have some sympathy for the researchers because this type of research is extraordinarily hard to do. For example, the response rate in their surveys (which mind you the authors haven't commented on their reliability because it most likely wasn't tested --> this is also a potential source of substantial bias due to problems with memory recall) is actually pretty good.

sourcing and processing the data is a problem with many statistical studies - i understand your concerns (broadly). but again, the hypothesis is that helmet laws have reduced ridership rates. that's just not proven, even if it's become a mantra of helmet law opponents.

vitualis wrote:Addit: you mentioned that they could "hire helmets" with the bikes. Actually, this doesn't work for a number of reasons: (i) the scheme use a large number of automated hire points around the city and (ii) hygiene problems with reusable helmets and the practical issues of cleaning helmets (I think this is the reason the Melbourne scheme doesn't hire helmets). Disposable folding helmets might be a solution but I assume this will substantially increase the cost of such a scheme.

it's a problem. disposables, which were suggested in a weekend newspaper article on the topic, are unlikely to meet the mandatory Australian Standard. like much of the article, they didn't think that out very carefully..
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby twizzle » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:40 pm

If I'm going to stack, I'd much rather be wearing a helmet.

Anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet can do the rest of society a favour by tattooing 'DNR' on their chest.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:44 pm

A tattoo cannot legally be a request not to resuscitate. Also, that's idiotic. Would you apply that standard to the 99% of Australians who don't ride bikes and choose not to wear helmets when just walking down the street?

I realise that you think you're talking about people who rides bikes and don't wear helmets, but are you really? Or are you only talking about people who ride bikes in the exact same manner as you and don't wear helmets, and merely applying the same standard to all riders through a failure to consider that different people have different circumstances?
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:50 pm

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:A tattoo cannot legally be a request not to resuscitate. Also, that's idiotic. Would you apply that standard to the 99% of Australians who don't ride bikes and choose not to wear helmets?

or the large proportions of Australians who chose to smoke, take illicit drugs, eat junk food at Maccas and do zip in the way of personal exercise.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby The Womble » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:58 pm

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:A tattoo cannot legally be a request not to resuscitate. Also, that's idiotic. Would you apply that standard to the 99% of Australians who don't ride bikes and choose not to wear helmets when just walking down the street?

I realise that you think you're talking about people who rides bikes and don't wear helmets, but are you really? Or are you only talking about people who ride bikes in the exact same manner as you and don't wear helmets, and merely applying the same standard to all riders through a failure to consider that different people have different circumstances?

DNR for all those who choose not to wear helmets AND pedestrians.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:03 pm

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:A tattoo cannot legally be a request not to resuscitate.

it could also be referring to the band of the same name, which would be ironic
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby twizzle » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:27 pm

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:A tattoo cannot legally be a request not to resuscitate. Also, that's idiotic. Would you apply that standard to the 99% of Australians who don't ride bikes and choose not to wear helmets when just walking down the street?

I realise that you think you're talking about people who rides bikes and don't wear helmets, but are you really? Or are you only talking about people who ride bikes in the exact same manner as you and don't wear helmets, and merely applying the same standard to all riders through a failure to consider that different people have different circumstances?


No, I was actually talking about astronauts doing spacewalks.

Or perhaps I was assuming that people would be able to work it out given the context of the forum.
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Re: helmets reduce head injury by 60% and brain injuries by

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:08 pm

twizzle wrote:No, I was actually talking about astronauts doing spacewalks.

Well, like I said, you don't appear to know who you were talking about, so it wouldn't surprise me. :roll:

So, if you'll answer my question, were you considering only people who cycle in the exact same circumstances as you, or would your "let them die" attitude also apply to, say, a 4 year old child on a plastic, training-wheeled bike, playing on a grass surface?
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