Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

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rfryer
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby rfryer » 14 Feb 2017, 11:07pm

Boyd wrote:
Mick F wrote:No options. :D
How many head injuries present nationally per year for cyclists and for car occupants.

What are car occupant head injuries got to do with cycling head injuries? Its injuries with helmets on and without. An attempt at winning an argument with irrelevant comparison. I beginning to believe that a lot of the anti helmet brigade are quite hysterical.

Many advocates of helmet use appear to be pro-compulsion; if not explicitly, then implicitly by criticising non-wearers, or implying that they must be mad not to be learning from other's "helmet saved my life" stories.

When discussing helmet wear in the context of individual choice, I think that the interesting question is "what is the risk to me in this activity, and how does that change if I wear a helmet". And that is a question that is so individual that it can't be answered.

However, when the discussion veers toward compulsion, then (in my opinion) the focus moves towards questioning whether the policy would reduce injury in the population. In this context, it seems entirely reasonable to question whether a policy of requiring car occupants to wear helmets wouldn't actually have a far greater benefit than requiring cyclists to do the same - and evidence that head injuries to car ocupants are dramatically higher than for cyclists might indicate that this is indeed the case.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Boyd » 15 Feb 2017, 1:02am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Boyd wrote:
Mick F wrote:No options. :D
How many head injuries present nationally per year for cyclists and for car occupants.

What are car occupant head injuries got to do with cycling head injuries? Its injuries with helmets on and without. An attempt at winning an argument with irrelevant comparison. I beginning to believe that a lot of the anti helmet brigade are quite hysterical.


They are everything to do with the level of hysteria that helmet promoters exhibit.

They run around like headless chickens suggesting that the sky is falling on anyone who looks at a bike without a few ounces of polystyrene.
Those who face similar, or higher, levels of risk without said few ounces of polystyrene are of course exempt from the hysteria.


There isn't much of an anti-helmet brigade. There is a strong anti-compulsion brigade, and even an anti-promotion brigade...
But both 'brigades' are approaching their decisions with data. There is no data suggesting that helmets provide a net benefit, so helmet promotion is on a par with a strong governmental promotion of homeopathy.

In fact I quite like that comparison - because people trusting in homeopathy often won't look at treatments that actually work...

No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!

Zigster
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Zigster » 15 Feb 2017, 9:00am

Boyd wrote:No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!


Helmet arguments split people into two main camps: pro-choice and pro-compulsion (whether explicit compulsion or via the medium of nagging supported by anecdote). Few would tell someone not to wear a helmet; many would tell someone they had to wear a helmet.

If you don't care whether or not someone cycles into a lamppost, and you understand that analysis of data gives at best a mixed message over the benefit of wearing a helmet, what exactly is your point?

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Mick F
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Mick F » 15 Feb 2017, 9:03am

Vorpal wrote: I am not against helmets, but I do think that people should make an informed choice.
Yep. Agree.

meic wrote:Comparing car occupant V cyclist figures show whether a helmet is LIKELY TO BE NEEDED or not.
That's the way I see it.

I'm not hysterical one way or another about helmets, but I would be very sad indeed if compulsory helmet use came in, because from all I have read on the subject, there isn't a positive reason to wear them.
Mick F. Cornwall

Ruadh495
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Ruadh495 » 15 Feb 2017, 10:20am

mjr wrote:
Mick F wrote:How many head injuries present nationally per year for cyclists and for car occupants.

I expect it remains similar to the attached:


Unfortunately "you are just as unlikely to bash your head open cycling as walking" is not a conclusion we can draw from that graphic. It appears to represent causes of head injury as percentages of total head injuries without allowance for participation rate (i.e. person/hours participating in each activity). So in terms of determining individual risk it is meaningless.

Where it would be useful, however, would be in targeting intervention. Cycling produces no more head injuries requiring treatment than walking, either because it is equally safe or because there are fewer cyclists than walkers. As result compulsory cycling helmets would be of no more benefit to the health system than compulsory walking helmets.

reohn2
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Feb 2017, 11:08am

Zigster wrote:
Boyd wrote:No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!


Helmet arguments split people into two main camps: pro-choice and pro-compulsion (whether explicit compulsion or via the medium of nagging supported by anecdote). Few would tell someone not to wear a helmet; many would tell someone they had to wear a helmet.

If you don't care whether or not someone cycles into a lamppost, and you understand that analysis of data gives at best a mixed message over the benefit of wearing a helmet, what exactly is your point?

The point is some people think they know enough to feel it is their duty and right to tell others they'd be better off wearing a helmet,pure and simple.
We all know smoking is bad for general health if not life threatening due to the number of associated diseases that have been scientifically attached to it,even on a passive level.
Yet no one would dream of telling a complete stranger that their smoking is harmful to their health.

I've dipped into this thread off and on and haven't read all the posts so forgive me if I'm repeating others,but WT* has it got to do with anyone if I decide not to wear a helmet whilst cycling?
It seems some are intent in explaining how dangerous it is not to,which if it were a scientific argument would be worth reading however unlike smoking it isn't,so who's business is it if I choose to or not to wear one,whatever kind of cycling I choose to participate in.
That said if I'm riding off road in tricky conditions I may in some circumstances choose to wear a helmet but that decision is mine and mine alone,and long may that remain the case.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby mjr » 15 Feb 2017, 12:01pm

Boyd wrote:No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!

No, I see wearing cycle helmets as an impersonal affront to reason, science and public health!

And cycle helmets are not tested or required to do much good against cycling into a lamppost. With all the posts (lamp, sign, bollard, ...) that litter our streets, they might be more useful if they were required to pass a test of frontal impact onto a cylinder, but I suspect it's not possible to do so and produce anything people wouldn't protest against wearing.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby RickH » 15 Feb 2017, 12:37pm

I came across an interesting quote from Chris Boardman while (re)watching this short video on YouTube about cycling in the Netherlands.



I think I've transcribed it reasonably accurately (starting at approx 3:44 in the clip)

Chris Boardman said, rather than wrote:...for those of us who have become accustomed to thinking of cycling as an inherently dangerous way to get about, an even more interesting stat - less than 1% of cyclists in the Netherlands wear helmets yet the country has the lowest incidence of head injuries in the world. (mybold)

Having already put that in a context of (at 3:32)

Chris Boardman previously said, rather than wrote:33% of all journey here [The Netherlands] are by bike...50% of all the children travel to school by bike...

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Feb 2017, 12:53pm

RickH
Thanks for that video link,though I've watched it before I'd quite forgotten about it.It's a breath of fresh air quite literally for the Dutch,and a glimpse of how improved life could be for UK city dwellers.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Phil Fouracre » 15 Feb 2017, 12:53pm

CB - absolute hero, should be put in charge of transport policy :-)
Don't really want to add to the pointless helmet debate, but, as mentioned already, it's the compulsion that worries me, look at the effect it's had in Australia! Why is it so difficult to treat people like adults and let them decide for themselves?
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby pjclinch » 15 Feb 2017, 1:08pm

Boyd wrote:No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!


"Anti" would generally require active discouragement of helmets. It does happen, but not nearly as often as the term "anti helmet" (typically with negative connotations and a degree of hysteria) gets rolled out.

As to not caring about people riding in to lamp posts, it's actually a thing worth caring about, especially as it happens more with more risk-taking approaches to cycling, which tend to correlate with... helmet wearing! Correlation is not causation, of course, but the take-away is riding in to lamp posts is bad whether or not you have a helmet, and avoiding accidents is far better than wearing some PPE that might help a little.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Feb 2017, 1:19pm

Boyd wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
Boyd wrote:What are car occupant head injuries got to do with cycling head injuries? Its injuries with helmets on and without. An attempt at winning an argument with irrelevant comparison. I beginning to believe that a lot of the anti helmet brigade are quite hysterical.


They are everything to do with the level of hysteria that helmet promoters exhibit.

They run around like headless chickens suggesting that the sky is falling on anyone who looks at a bike without a few ounces of polystyrene.
Those who face similar, or higher, levels of risk without said few ounces of polystyrene are of course exempt from the hysteria.


There isn't much of an anti-helmet brigade. There is a strong anti-compulsion brigade, and even an anti-promotion brigade...
But both 'brigades' are approaching their decisions with data. There is no data suggesting that helmets provide a net benefit, so helmet promotion is on a par with a strong governmental promotion of homeopathy.

In fact I quite like that comparison - because people trusting in homeopathy often won't look at treatments that actually work...

No the anti are the hysterical ones as those in favour are making a personal choice. While the antis see it as a personal a front to there freedom of belief. I personal don't care if you decided to cycle into a lamppost with or without a helmet!


Those in favour of wearing their own helmets are not the ones being criticised, although we will introduce them to the data which shows just how weak the protection is.

Those in favour of making others wear helmets are the ones that the 'anti' are against. There is a high level of evidence required before a new medication is allowed on the market, yet when other health initiatives are looked at there needs to be no evidence at all. The one thing we know for certain is that compulsory helmets reduce the amount of cyclists. And we know that that correlates very strongly with a a more dangerous environment for those who are left.

Cycling should be an easy and natural way for all members of society to use to get from A to B.
Cycling is inherently un-dangerous (to coin a word) since the health benefits are estimated to outweigh the risks by 20:1 (I can't recall where that came from now annoyingly). By even promoting helmets there is a net disbenefit to public health.
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Vorpal » 15 Feb 2017, 1:31pm

I don't want ban helmets. Just the word 'hysteria' :P :mrgreen:
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Ruadh495
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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby Ruadh495 » 15 Feb 2017, 1:43pm

RickH wrote:I came across an interesting quote from Chris Boardman while (re)watching this short video on YouTube about cycling in the Netherlands.



I think I've transcribed it reasonably accurately (starting at approx 3:44 in the clip)

Chris Boardman said, rather than wrote:...for those of us who have become accustomed to thinking of cycling as an inherently dangerous way to get about, an even more interesting stat - less than 1% of cyclists in the Netherlands wear helmets yet the country has the lowest incidence of head injuries in the world. (mybold)

Having already put that in a context of (at 3:32)

Chris Boardman previously said, rather than wrote:33% of all journey here [The Netherlands] are by bike...50% of all the children travel to school by bike...


I wonder how much the Dutch style of bicycle influences their low head injury rate? They tend to chose very upright riding positions and so are perhaps better able to protect their heads in a fall than those who are leaning forward to begin with. They also tend to ride a little slower than we do. I normally ride a "Dutch" bike and when I ride an ordinary bicycle (either what we used to call a "racer" or a mountain bike) I do get a distinct impression of leading with my head and tend to feel that a helmet might be a good idea.

The infrastructure in Holland does a good job of protecting cyclists from motors, which should result in a higher proportion of their cycling accidents being either single vehicle or involving only cycles. These are the type of accident cycle helmets are designed for, so one would expect helmets to be effective in Holland.

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Re: Simplification to cut through the mis-perceptions?

Postby meic » 15 Feb 2017, 1:50pm

The Dutch experience has very little to offer about the effectiveness of cycle helmets but says a lot about the perceived need for them.
For sure some Dutch cyclists will get head injuries but it is just a normal fact of living, no different from getting a head injury as a pedestrian.
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