Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

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.
Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 8:29am

tim-b wrote:Hi
So car drivers who don't wear cycle helmets on the road will show an increased ability to assess risk and will be less likely collide, which is why drivers have instinctively taken the decision not to wear cycle helmets. We're all really lucky that drivers have taken this magnanimous decision, because as we all know it's led to drivers having an enviable ability to assess risk correctly
Sitting in a lab playing cards isn't the same as the real-world stimuli of cycling on our roads, hence the the thread title, "Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk"
Regards
tim-b


Try telling a driver that they should wear a helmet too, since motorists injure their heads at a similar rate to cyclists.
They will tell you that they have seat belts, air bags and crumple zones. They clearly feel safe enough.
The death rate for more vulnerable road users went up when seat belt compulsion was introduced.

Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 8:33am

merseymouth wrote:Hi all, How would you rate the "Risk Assessment Capability" of the folk who ride around on Fixed Wheel Bicycle with NO Brakes, yet wearing a re-cycled egg box helmet on their head??? :roll: :roll: :roll:
A few do it in Liverpool, one said he didn't have a front brake because he would have to drill the fork-crown on his classic steel track iron!!!!!!!!!!!
They don't creep through the shared use spaces. IGICB MM


We all have different settings on our risk thermostat, and the setting may well not bear much relation to reality.
Perhaps these cyclists swallow the idea that a helmet will make you safe. After all we are told so often enough.

tim-b
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 26 Aug 2019, 9:22am

Hi
The death rate for more vulnerable road users went up when seat belt compulsion was introduced

Which year was this?
  • 1983 - front seat belts?
  • 1991 - rear seat belts?
  • or any of a range of years after these dates as wearing seat belts became the norm and older cars were replaced with those fitted with rear seat belts (1986-onward)?
  • and what proportion of car users rigorously wore them on first introduction to effect this death rate change?
We're back at the same impasse, facts, and not the selective sort
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 9:33am

tim-b wrote:Hi
The death rate for more vulnerable road users went up when seat belt compulsion was introduced

Which year was this?
  • 1983 - front seat belts?
  • 1991 - rear seat belts?
  • or any of a range of years after these dates as wearing seat belts became the norm and older cars were replaced with those fitted with rear seat belts (1986-onward)?
  • and what proportion of car users rigorously wore them on first introduction to effect this death rate change?
We're back at the same impasse, facts, and not the selective sort
Regards
tim-b


Since I am not any sort of expert on statistics, I rely for this on an article in the journal of the Royal Statistical Society , Significance

In it four members of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety wrote

“The clear reduction in death and injury to car occupants is appreciably offset by extra deaths among pedestrians and cyclists”.


There is much discussion on seat belt effects in John Adams's website.

http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2013/02/08/1061/

Have a look at table 1.

To me, this transfer of risk to the vulnerable from the relatively invulnerable is immoral.

Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 9:37am

Mike Sales wrote:
tim-b wrote:Hi
The death rate for more vulnerable road users went up when seat belt compulsion was introduced

Which year was this?
  • 1983 - front seat belts?
  • 1991 - rear seat belts?
  • or any of a range of years after these dates as wearing seat belts became the norm and older cars were replaced with those fitted with rear seat belts (1986-onward)?
  • and what proportion of car users rigorously wore them on first introduction to effect this death rate change?
We're back at the same impasse, facts, and not the selective sort
Regards
tim-b


Since I am not any sort of expert on statistics, I rely for this on an article in the journal of the Royal Statistical Society , Significance

In it four members of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety wrote

“The clear reduction in death and injury to car occupants is appreciably offset by extra deaths among pedestrians and cyclists”.


There is much discussion on seat belt effects in John Adams's website.

http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2013/02/08/1061/

Have a look at table 1.

To me, this transfer of risk to the vulnerable from the relatively invulnerable is immoral.


There is even evidence that the injury rate for unbelted passengers went up when belts for drivers were mandated!

tim-b
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 26 Aug 2019, 11:16am

Hi
There's clear evidence that cars have become more numerous, with more powerful engines and faster top speeds in the same timescale. Most roads haven't been developed to accommodate these "improvements" and the driving test hasn't changed massively either, but the increased death rate for more vulnerable road users will be nothing to do with any of that :roll:
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 11:17am

tim-b wrote:Hi
The death rate for more vulnerable road users went up when seat belt compulsion was introduced

Which year was this?
  • 1983 - front seat belts?
  • 1991 - rear seat belts?
  • or any of a range of years after these dates as wearing seat belts became the norm and older cars were replaced with those fitted with rear seat belts (1986-onward)?
  • and what proportion of car users rigorously wore them on first introduction to effect this death rate change?
We're back at the same impasse, facts, and not the selective sort
Regards
tim-b



Table 1 from Allsop et al summarizes the risk transfer effect for vulnerable road users – cyclists, pedestrians and rear sear passengers who were not covered by the seat belt law.

Road User Group / Changes in death / Change in KSI
Percent / Number Percent / Number
Car drivers / -18 / -267 / -23 / -4476
Front seat pass. / -25 / -165 / -30 / -2837
Rear seat pass. / +27 / +80 / +3 / +141
Pedestrians / +8 / +150 / -0.5 / -95
Cyclists / +13 / +164 / +5 / +298



The seat belt law, they explained, has
“two potential unintended effects. First, the affected group may have more collisions, perhaps through taking greater risks, realizing that the likely consequences of collision have been reduced. Second, there may be an increased risk to other road users not protected by the safety measure. In these ways, the reduction in death and injury in the protected group may be partly offset by extra death and injury caused to others.”


These figures are from 1982 changes to 1983.
Note the difference between front and rear seat passengers.
The law changed then to mandate wearing in the front but not the back.

Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 11:35am

tim-b wrote:Hi
There's clear evidence that cars have become more numerous, with more powerful engines and faster top speeds in the same timescale. Most roads haven't been developed to accommodate these "improvements" and the driving test hasn't changed massively either, but the increased death rate for more vulnerable road users will be nothing to do with any of that :roll:
Regards
tim-b



I think that you will find it difficult to reconcile this idea with the figures from Significance.
Why did the changes you mention have such a sudden and selective effect on different classes of road user?
Why did the numbers go down for the belted road users, but up for the unbelted?
The changes you cite were gradual. The seat belt law changed overnight.

tim-b
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby tim-b » 26 Aug 2019, 12:32pm

Hi
I get the seat belt stats and although the law changed overnight habits didn't (in the same way that drink-drive has taken decades to become unnacceptable) and actual seat belt use would be a slow process to get us to 90+% use today.
None of this explains the root causal link between either a year(s) when seat belts were mandated and the increase in KSI amongst cyclists and pedestrians, or helmet wearing and risk assessment ability in the real world; it's all ifs, buts and maybes in a very complex picture with multiple causes over a spectrum of possibilities spanning 35 years
Anyway, I'll leave it there because helmets are one tiny corner in the overall need for greater safety
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

Mike Sales
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 12:50pm

tim-b wrote:Hi
I get the seat belt stats and although the law changed overnight habits didn't (in the same way that drink-drive has taken decades to become unnacceptable) and actual seat belt use would be a slow process to get us to 90+% use today.
None of this explains the root causal link between either a year(s) when seat belts were mandated and the increase in KSI amongst cyclists and pedestrians, or helmet wearing and risk assessment ability in the real world; it's all ifs, buts and maybes in a very complex picture with multiple causes over a spectrum of possibilities spanning 35 years
Anyway, I'll leave it there because helmets are one tiny corner in the overall need for greater safety
Regards
tim-b


I think seat belt wearing when the law changed increased a lot more quickly than the factors you wanted to use to explain the change in casualty figures.
Of course it is very difficult to directly connect any change in risk levels with changes in casualty levels. These figures are very suggestive, especially the difference between the belted front seat passengers and the unbelted rear passengers. This is even more interesting than the rise in figures for the vulnerable whilst the belted deaths and KSIs decreased.
I'm glad you agree that helmets are a tiny corner in road safety. This is quite the opposite to the propaganda of helmeteers and the road safety establishment in general. If you listened to them you would think that cycle helmets were one of the most important factors in cycle safety. I'm sure you would agree that it would be more productive to put that money and energy into tackling the actual source of road danger.
The propensity to take risks the most important factor in road deaths, and any intervention which does not tackle this propensity is likely to have undesired effects.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Wanlock Dod » 26 Aug 2019, 1:08pm

tim-b wrote:Hi
There's clear evidence that cars have become more numerous, with more powerful engines and faster top speeds in the same timescale. Most roads haven't been developed to accommodate these "improvements" and the driving test hasn't changed massively either, but the increased death rate for more vulnerable road users will be nothing to do with any of that :roll:
Regards
tim-b

In any study which tries to identify empirical evidence of an effect in the real world there will always be numerous confounding factors which can complicate interpretation. This is why experiments are performed on some of the individual factors to help understand their potential effects in the field. It would be extremely difficult to identify a risk compensation effect in the field where there are a variety of other factors.

Some would suggest that the considerable improvements in the safety of cars with respect to their occupants (e.g. seat belts, better handling, better braking performance, ABS, air bags, etc.) has tempted motorists to drive faster and with less care than they might have done otherwise. That some drivers consider ABS to be a driving aid, rather than a safety device, is evidence of risk compensation by drivers. Because “accidents” are relatively extreme events involving a very small proportion of the driving population it doesn’t need everybody to behave in the same way to have implications for safety.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Aug 2019, 1:24pm

There is an interesting development in the litigation-centred US.

A "Class Action" is being considered.

There are new developments such as MIPS and "WaveCel" that make helmets "more protective", and therefore if you are sold a helmet without these, the manufacturer is "less-than-maximimally protective helmet"

Interesting as it would have to prove that the helmet was efficient.

Then we can sue the manufacturer:
"You know how to make a better helmet, and you sold my injured client a helmet that did not provide the maximum protection possible."


Interesting as all the defence can do is show that the helmet complies to regulations!

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 26 Aug 2019, 1:43pm

Hi,
I went to buy a lid, the shop said it looked fine :)
Went for ride and the helmet slipped down over my eyes :(
Anyroadup I now wear a skull cap.......Lid fits just fine :mrgreen:
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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mjr
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby mjr » 26 Aug 2019, 4:32pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Anyroadup I now wear a skull cap.......Lid fits just fine :mrgreen:

Again I am reminded that this is against many helmet user manuals, with some examples in viewtopic.php?f=1&t=114274&p=1126159&#p1126159
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Study finds that wearing a cycle helmet may diminish ability to assess risk

Postby The utility cyclist » 26 Aug 2019, 7:50pm

poetd wrote:
mjr wrote:Do you know of an experiment showing any reason to expect these results to be different outside the lab?


Experiment no, but set and setting are well known to affect the outcomes of psychological studies.

The tests in lab focus on top of helmet impacts, given that motorcyclists have less than double digit % impacts on the top most part of their helmets in incidents that involve impact to the helmet this suggests that the lab testing is nowhere near to real world occurrences. We also know that simply dropping a weighted helmet onto a nice round or flat shape is also not reflective of real world. Unsurprisingly the Hovding self inflating head protection system used non real world scenarios to 'prove' their helmet works to save a head from being smashed in by a car :roll:

I'm not sure if it has been mentioned but there has been similar tests on children and risk taking whilst wearing helmets and doing non cycling based activities with the findings that children too were significantly affected by wearing something that they thought afforded them greater security.
I've just been reading up on some equestrian head injury studies and it's the reducing the risk taking/avoiding scenarios that could crop up in the first instance* that should be addressed first and foremost before anything else as the primary method to reduce head injuries. This is precisely the same for cycling and indeed all other activities whether in competition or simpply getting out the shower/climbing up/down a ladder, going onto a building site.
*through various methods incl prep of kit, environment assessment and importantly that of equine and the relationship between them and rider.