Fatality risk and helmet use

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
Posts: 2187
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Fatality risk and helmet use

Postby Steady rider » 11 Dec 2018, 3:38pm

New research paper
Evaluating cycling fatality risk with a focus on cycle helmet use

During the last 3 decades the use of cycle helmets has increased substantially in
some countries, with laws requiring their use and many places promoting them.
Reports have detailed the cycling fatality risk with rates varying per billion kilometres
cycled, for example the Netherlands with a rate of 8, Germany 11, France 27, United
Kingdom 21 and United States of America 49. Helmet wearing is much higher in the
USA than in the Netherlands or Germany, yet they have a fatality risk 4 to 5 times
higher, so how much effect does helmet wearing have? Claims are made of them
saving lives and preventing head injuries. On the other hand, some findings suggest
a higher accident/injury rate may result from helmet usage and other evidence
suggests they may not have a significant effect in saving lives. Helmet requirements
and legislation can lead to discouraging cycling, resulting in serious health implications.
A clear understanding of the pros and cons of the issues are needed to guild
individuals and public policy.

http://worldtransportjournal.com/wp-con ... 4.4opt.pdf

User avatar
Wanlock Dod
Posts: 556
Joined: 28 Sep 2016, 5:48pm

Re: Fatality risk and helmet use

Postby Wanlock Dod » 14 Dec 2018, 4:11pm

That seems like very heavy going, but seems to make some interesting points such as helmeted cyclists apparently being more likely to be fatally injured in an accident which does not involve another vehicle. I have sometimes thought that this might be the case as I notice how much less likely I am to be reaching high speeds descending since I stopped wearing a helmet.

However, I also wonder of some of the inferences might be a bit back to front.
Information shows non-helmeted appear to behave similar to pedestrians in aspects of drinking alcohol, helmet wearers seem to be more safety conscious in several respects.

Could it be that once drunk, one is somewhat less likely to don a helmet? Similarly, I sometimes wonder if levels of helmet wearing are simply an indicator of how dangerous cycling conditions are.

Steady rider
Posts: 2187
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Fatality risk and helmet use

Postby Steady rider » 14 Dec 2018, 5:35pm

The paper may be one of the longest published.

Table 12 refers to differences in helmet wearers and non-wearers for the USA.
Alcohol use, average for the 3 examples 4.16% v 22.2%. It appears to be the case that helmet wearers in regards to heavy drinking are below average.

Quite of few other factors can be seen from Table 12. The USA may be exceptional in some ways because it is at the upper end of the fatality rates when comparing countries.

User avatar
Posts: 17178
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Fatality risk and helmet use

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Dec 2018, 4:44am

Lack of health service, ‘cars’ are what we would call trucks a broad, flat/bullbat fronted monstrosities...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.