Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation.

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pwward
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Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation.

Postby pwward » 24 Jan 2012, 10:29pm

My attention is drawn to this document. It's encouraging to see some official acknowledgement of this idea, albeit in a rather obscure and long paper.

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/p ... sarr18.pdf

p31-32 Start quote
Children may learn to respond to wearing safety equipment by increased risk compensation(Morrongielloet al.,2007). This is a familia phenomenon to analysts
of road-user behaviour. Risk homeostasis theory(Wilde, 1998)holds that individuals maintain an acceptable level of risk and that if the risk is moderated in
some way(e.g.bytheintervention of a safety restraint)then they adjust some other aspect of their behaviour to restore the acceptable risk level. While this model is controversial and it is uncertain how extensively children’s behaviour conforms to the predictions of risk homeostasis theory(cf.Plesset al.,2006), it is very plausible that patterns of balancing risk/preferred behaviour are established in the course of development.

Morrongiello et al. (2007) found that children (ages 8 to 11) offered a range of reasons to explain why wearing a helmet when bike riding would be protective, all of which indicated a risk compensation bias. These included suggestions that they were more competent when wearing safety gear (‘Because when you are wearing a helmet you have more balance’), or that they were invulnerable (‘Because you just wouldn’t fall off your bike or get injured’), or that the protection would reduce injury severity in the face of an accident (‘Because if I fall, I wouldn’t get hurt as much if I wore a helmet’).

Interestingly, Morrongiello and Major (2002) found that parents tended towards the same biases. Thus, parents allowed their children to engage in greater risk-taking in activities such as bicycling when wearing safety gear than when not, and the parents’ explanations showed that they assumed the gear would fully protect their child – including even parts of the body not covered (e.g. a bike helmet would protect limbs) – and prevent injury regardless of the child’s level of risk taking. This optimistic, almost magical, reasoning seems to be shared by children and their parents during periods that may be formative in the development of safety orientation. end quote

TonyR
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby TonyR » 24 Jan 2012, 10:49pm

pwward wrote:Interestingly, Morrongiello and Major (2002) found that parents tended towards the same biases. Thus, parents allowed their children to engage in greater risk-taking in activities such as bicycling when wearing safety gear than when not, and the parents’ explanations showed that they assumed the gear would fully protect their child – including even parts of the body not covered (e.g. a bike helmet would protect limbs) – and prevent injury regardless of the child’s level of risk taking. This optimistic, almost magical, reasoning seems to be shared by children and their parents during periods that may be formative in the development of safety orientation. end quote


Any parent that won't let their child cycle without a helmet is demonstrating risk compensation.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Jan 2012, 11:08pm

The thing with children is not whether they wear helmets, but whether those helmets are in fact going to increase their injuries.

Although there is some doubt aboutthe methodology, one paper suggests that in alargenumber of cases this is what is h=goingto happen.

The paper by one of the big helmet advocates (F P Rivara of the 85% reduction claim)

They showed that:

Individuals whose helmets were reported to fit poorly had a 1.96-fold increased risk of head injury compared with those whose helmets fit well. Children with head injuries had helmets which were significantly wider than their heads compared with children without head injuries.


..and concluded that

Poor fit of helmets may be associated with an increased risk of head injury in children


Over half of the Children examined had helmets that were too big and in a majority of these cases there was an inch or more difference between the helmet and the correct size.

It always amuses me as these misguided parents follow the wear a helmet propoganda blidly and without thought or care!

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby hubgearfreak » 25 Jan 2012, 6:40am

Cunobelin wrote:It always amuses me as these misguided parents follow the wear a helmet propoganda blidly and without thought or care!


agreed. their off-spring have the forks on backwards and with the brake arms stuck out like linnekar's ears

TonyR
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby TonyR » 25 Jan 2012, 7:39am

hubgearfreak wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:It always amuses me as these misguided parents follow the wear a helmet propoganda blidly and without thought or care!


agreed. their off-spring have the forks on backwards and with the brake arms stuck out like linnekar's ears


http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Troy_Parker

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby hubgearfreak » 25 Jan 2012, 4:27pm

TonyR wrote:http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Troy_Parker


that's a case that ended terribly for the poor parents. if i was making that page, i'd have worded it more sensitively.

disregarding his/his parents maintainance regime or the absense of his headware. as a motorist i'm very, very cautious around boys on BMXs even if they're on the footpath. they're a impetuous bunch prone to peer pressure and a menace to themselves. how have the parents not attributed any blame to the motorist who wasn't expecting the unexpected (or in this case a bit likely) ? :(

Michael R
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby Michael R » 25 Jan 2012, 5:36pm

The greatest safety device you could put in a car is a spike inside the steering wheel which would impale the driver on impact

TonyR
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby TonyR » 25 Jan 2012, 11:39pm

hubgearfreak wrote:
TonyR wrote:http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Troy_Parker


that's a case that ended terribly for the poor parents. if i was making that page, i'd have worded it more sensitively.

disregarding his/his parents maintainance regime or the absense of his headware. as a motorist i'm very, very cautious around boys on BMXs even if they're on the footpath. they're a impetuous bunch prone to peer pressure and a menace to themselves. how have the parents not attributed any blame to the motorist who wasn't expecting the unexpected (or in this case a bit likely) ? :(


Where I fault his parents is they happily let their son ride out on a bike with broken brakes. And then when the worst happened, rather than campaigning to alert parents to the need to make sure their children's bikes are roadworthy they campaigned for everyone else to be forced to wear helmets. So they want everyone else to suffer for their own failings.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Jan 2012, 6:27am

Because that is the message that BHIT and others promote.

The helmet is the ultimate panacea for all and prevents injury no matter what the cause.

If the same time, energy and money was spent on training and maintenance lessons as is spent on promoting helmts ther would be a far greater reduction in injury.

The Scout Association is typical..... no mention of whether the bike must be correctly maintained, suitable size, or that the helmet must be properly fitted



Rule 9.71 Cycling

a. Cycle safety helmets must be worn by all cyclists in all organised Scout cycling events, except in the case of 9.71b.
b. A Sikh wearing a Turban may choose not to wear a cycle helmet. This does not apply to a Sikh wearing a Top Knot.

Michael R
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby Michael R » 26 Jan 2012, 8:13am

TonyR wrote:
hubgearfreak wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:It always amuses me as these misguided parents follow the wear a helmet propoganda blidly and without thought or care!


agreed. their off-spring have the forks on backwards and with the brake arms stuck out like linnekar's ears


http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Troy_Parker



Some years ago I nearly eliminated a boy cyclist who was out with his mummy. He had a helmet but no brakes and I only missed eliminating him by anticipating folly .

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Dft publication: helmets might lead to risk compensation

Postby hubgearfreak » 26 Jan 2012, 4:22pm

TonyR wrote:Where I fault his parents


i agree 100%. i do hope however, that us cautious and considerate drivers would avoid being in such an awful situation, as micheal has.