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published helmet research - not troll



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 17th 04, 04:39 PM
Frank Krygowski
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Default published helmet research - not troll

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]

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  #2  
Old June 18th 04, 06:05 AM
CowPunk
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Default published helmet research - not troll

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.
  #4  
Old June 18th 04, 04:46 PM
CowPunk
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Default published helmet research - not troll

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  
Old June 18th 04, 05:38 PM
Tom Kunich
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Default published helmet research - not troll

(CowPunk) wrote in message . com...

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.
  #7  
Old June 18th 04, 11:16 PM
Shayne Wissler
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Default published helmet research - not troll


"John Forrest Tomlinson" wrote in message
...

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  
Old June 18th 04, 11:28 PM
Steven Bornfeld
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Default published helmet research - not troll



Shayne Wissler wrote:
"John Forrest Tomlinson" wrote in message
...


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  
Old June 18th 04, 11:34 PM
John Forrest Tomlinson
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Default published helmet research - not troll

On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 22:16:19 GMT, "Shayne Wissler"
wrote:


"John Forrest Tomlinson" wrote in message
.. .

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  
Old June 18th 04, 11:36 PM
Frank Krygowski
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Default published helmet research - not troll

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]

 




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