Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
Steady rider
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby Steady rider » 10 Apr 2018, 8:42pm

The 2018 study states;
The overall percentage of bicyclists observed wearing helmets rose from 27% in the 1990 survey to 83% in 1993.
- sounds impressive
The 1990 report detailed 26% (25.7%) wearing helmets.

The 1993 report shows wearing rates of 83% for adults and 74% for children, roughly an average rate of 78.5%

From 100 cyclists in 1990, 26% roughly wore helmets, 74% did not, 26 v 74.

The study refers to;

The “road intersection” counts for children are shown in Fig. 1b. The same pattern of counts for 1990 and 1991 in Sydney and rural areas is evident. Participation through “road intersections” declined over the four surveys by about 21% for adults and 51% for children, overall about 29%. If the adjustment for rain is applied, the overall reduction rises to 40%.


For the road network, for each 100 cyclists.
Pre law 26 wearers v 74 no helmet
Post law (taking account of weather), 40% fewer, 60 cyclists, wearers at 78.5%, 47 in number, leaves 13 without helmets.
Estimated changes from 1990 to 1993, per 100 cyclists, -40% riding, +21 extra wearers (47-26), On average for each 10 extra wearing helmets 19 others stopped people. (social and cycling disaster)


Details from adult recreational surveys were not compatible due to different instructions being given to observers in different years (see Note 1, Table 9 in NSW 1992 report),

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby Wanlock Dod » 10 Apr 2018, 8:58pm

Steady rider wrote:...On average for each 10 extra wearing helmets 19 others stopped people...

So, for everybody that wears a helmet when they ride there are probably two people who don't ride because they consider it too dangerous.

Steady rider
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby Steady rider » 10 Apr 2018, 9:06pm

Not really, it appears for every person who followed the legal requirement to wear a helmet, perhaps 2 others decided to stop cycling, not because it was dangerous but because a law was imposed on them.
Per 100 cyclists, 26 were wearing helmets before the law, from an estimated 74 not wearing helmets, 21 decided to follow the legal requirement, 40 decided not to cycle and 13 kept on cycling without wear helmets. Assuming the 26 wearing helmets before the law just carried on cycling wearing helmets. In 1993 more than 14000 fines were imposed in NSW. The 2018 study did not detail how many fines.

pwa
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby pwa » 12 Apr 2018, 2:56pm

Surely a more accurate title for this thread would have been:

Confirmed, compulsory helmet use decreases cycling participation and damages health.

That is closer to what the report seems to say. It does not say that wearing a helmet will not protect you in some accidents. In fact it accepts that in some accidents wearing a helmet will protect you.

Also, while having to wear a helmet might put people off cycling in warmer climates than ours, saying that will automatically be replicated in the chilly UK is a bit of a stretch.

So a misleading title I think. Worthy of the DM!

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mjr
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby mjr » 12 Apr 2018, 3:15pm

pwa wrote:In fact it accepts that in some accidents wearing a helmet will protect you.

I'd have to reread it but I thought it merely didn't dispute that, rather than accepting that.
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Steady rider
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby Steady rider » 12 Apr 2018, 3:55pm

A part of the study states;

The estimate of reduction in participation is 29%, and when
adjusting for rain in Sydney in 1990, 40%. Over the same intervals, reported injuries decreased by 23%.

From this perhaps it can be claimed the study indicates a decrease in cycling safety

It does not state specifically that helmets decrease safety, it states;
That bicycle helmets have prevented some fatalities and reduced some injuries is not disputed.
and also
However, the factors mentioned above are able to explain most or all of the observed reductions in fatalities and provide a better explanation of the pattern of those reductions than mandatory helmet legislation.


With participation falling, 'safety in numbers' would have an effect over the longer period.

If injuries increased relative to cycling levels and no firm proof of helmets saving lives, the title is debatable but acceptable.

pwa
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby pwa » 12 Apr 2018, 4:32pm

mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:In fact it accepts that in some accidents wearing a helmet will protect you.

I'd have to reread it but I thought it merely didn't dispute that, rather than accepting that.


I'll check again (when I can muster the energy) but I think you will find it very near the end, in the summary section. Small point anyway. The main thing is it didn't actually say "helmets useless". It did find that compulsion had a detrimental effect.

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horizon
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Re: Confirmed, helmets are useless and decrease cycling safety & participation

Postby horizon » 12 Apr 2018, 8:32pm

pwa wrote:In fact it accepts that in some accidents wearing a helmet will protect you.



Which again (see other thread) makes me wonder how they arrived at that conclusion. Are people actually evaluating helmets following real accidents?

(Apologies - this slightly diverts your point but I wanted to pick up on it.)
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher