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.
Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17907
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

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

Postby Vorpal » 27 Aug 2019, 4:27pm

poetd wrote:
Because you are analysing the wrong data.

A helmet cannot prevent an accident occuring. There's no reason to think it would.
If you measure by that standard, then it's easy to prove that helmets have no effect.


However, the vast body of research out there shows that helmets DO help to reduce the severity of head injury.
If we measure by that standard - then enforced legislation starts to look downright common sense - which is of course why anti-helmet advocates refuse to acknowledge that data.

Few of us are anti-helmet advocates. We just want governments and local authorities to stop promoting them in lieu of real change. My biggest problem with all of this is that even if helmets help (they seem to in a few circumstances), the chances of a helmet making any difference to an individual are tiny, and their importance is blown all out of proportion. They have become the biggest red herring known to road safety.

That said, there is no vast body of studies showing a significant benefit. There are a number of studies showing a small benefit. There are a few discredited studies showing a significant benefit, there are a few studies that show cyclists who wear helmets may take more risks, and there is a vast body of stuff that doesn't really tell us much at all.

poetd wrote:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 7587900029
Analysis of the crude, unadjusted data showed a statistically significant association between helmet use and reduced severity of head injury
There are a number of problems with this study, all very ably analysed by cyclehelmets.org https://www.cyclehelmets.org/1136.html
poetd wrote:https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-healt ... KKCN10U1LY
Researchers found that people wearing helmets had 52 percent lower risk of severe TBI, compared to unhelmeted riders, and a 44 percent lower risk of death.
Riders with helmets also had 31 percent lower odds of facial fractures. The upper part of the face, particularly around the eyes, was most protected
The actual research is neither presented nor linked to in this article. The author does not credit the researchers nor tell us where to find the study.
poetd wrote:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800611/
These data demonstrate that lack of helmet use is significantly correlated with abnormal head CT scans (fractures), admission to the hospital, admission to the ICU, and overall worse TBI severity both in the prehospital and ED environments
This study includes motorcycle and ATV use, without separating out bicycle helmets. It also noted that there is an association between alcohol use and not wearing a helmet, but does not correct for the resultant bias. Furthermore, this study refers to a study by Thompson, Rivara, et al that the authors subsequently admitted contained significant problems with the methods.
poetd wrote:https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/22/3/191/598707
Most bicycle-related accidents with head injuries (70%) happen without the involvement of motor vehicles (single accidents), but this study shows a decrease in head injuries also in collisions with motor vehicles. It also shows a decrease in both concussion and skull fracture.
This study is does demonstrate some benefits of helmet use among children who have crashed or been crashed into. You may have missed that it also shows an slight increase in head injuries among those who are 16 - 65 years old. Admittedly, the difference is not significant when a motor vehicle is involved. Nor is it significant for those over 65. That occurred despite a decrease in adult bicycle usage. Also, the study admits some difficulties in understanding bicycle usage among children.
It seems very strange to me that they published a study in 2007 using data that was more than a decade old. Especially since the data collected by the road traffic authority in Sweden is very much better from 2000 onwards than in the period for which they took data.
poetd wrote:https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles ... 751304.htm
The team found cyclists without helmets were 5.6 times more likely to suffer any head injury than cyclists wearing a helmet and 5.5 times more likely to suffer a severe head injury.

So it's not like the benefits aren't measured and known, you're just chosing to ignore them in favour of other cherry-picked data which supports your position.

Again, this is a study of those admitted to hospital, which says nothing about those who were not admitted (and also is not corrected for alcohol use or other factors). For Australia, we *know* that crash rates for cyclists increased with the introduction of a law requiring mandatory helmet use. There was an estimated 14% increase in accident risk per kilometer cycling, and a steady increase in the hospital admissions for cyclists. Yet, a study which demonstrates that a handful of cyclists had less severe injuries, shows benefits?

I don't think that I am the one one cherry-picking data.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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

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

Postby Wanlock Dod » 27 Aug 2019, 5:33pm

poetd wrote:By what mechanism are you suggesting ... that helmets improve infrastructure?

Widespread use of helmets actually seems to result in worse cycling infrastructure as has already been pointed out earlier, the emphasis in the following quote is mine.
Mike Sales wrote:You might call changes in the behaviour of riders and drivers which use up any safety benefit of helmets, micro risk compensation. I do not mean to dismiss the importance of this, but to distinguish it from macro risk compensation.
By this I mean the way in which helmets for cyclists are used by the road safety establishment as a panacea for the road danger which we suffer, instead of actually making interventions like safe facilities, or policing which might reduce aggressive driving.
Time and money is wasted trying to get us into helmets. This effort should go into proven safety interventions.

Mike Sales
Posts: 4376
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

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

Postby Mike Sales » 27 Aug 2019, 6:01pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:
poetd wrote:By what mechanism are you suggesting ... that helmets improve infrastructure?

Widespread use of helmets actually seems to result in worse cycling infrastructure as has already been pointed out earlier, the emphasis in the following quote is mine.
Mike Sales wrote:You might call changes in the behaviour of riders and drivers which use up any safety benefit of helmets, micro risk compensation. I do not mean to dismiss the importance of this, but to distinguish it from macro risk compensation.
By this I mean the way in which helmets for cyclists are used by the road safety establishment as a panacea for the road danger which we suffer, instead of actually making interventions like safe facilities, or policing which might reduce aggressive driving.
Time and money is wasted trying to get us into helmets. This effort should go into proven safety interventions.


I have heard that in Australia cyclists are often fined for no helmet. This policing time and effort could be going into improving driving behaviour.

Michael Gratton who was recently fined $531 during a police blitz on cyclists, which followed the introduction of ridiculous new fines earlier this year.
The robotics researcher was fined for not wearing a helmet, not having a working brake and for the highly troubling fact he did not have a bell.
Let’s start with the $106 fine for not having a bell — yes, you read the correct.
The NSW road rules consider bikes to be vehicles and stipulate it is illegal to ride on the footpath. It also says a bell or horn must be fitted to help warn pedestrians.

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

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

Postby Wanlock Dod » 27 Aug 2019, 6:46pm

It would appear that it is much easier to fine cyclists for not wearing helmets than it is to fine motorists for endangering cyclists, and this has evidently been quite lucrative in some states.
Cycling fines soar in first year of harsher penalties in NSW

It resulted in $1.99 million flowing into government coffers from people caught cycling without helmets in the first year of the higher penalties, compared with about $337,000 in the same period a year earlier.

In contrast, the penalties copped by motorists for failing to pass cyclists at a safe distance was 17 for the year – up from 10 in the prior period.

User avatar
The utility cyclist
Posts: 2904
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 28 Aug 2019, 12:10am

poetd wrote:
Wanlock Dod wrote:I have often wondered why given all of the demonstrable benefits of cycle helmets they don’t seem to be able to actually make cyclists safer in real world situations, can you offer any insights into why that might be?


Because you are analysing the wrong data.

A helmet cannot prevent an accident occuring. There's no reason to think it would.
If you measure by that standard, then it's easy to prove that helmets have no effect.

However, the vast body of research out there shows that helmets DO help to reduce the severity of head injury.
If we measure by that standard - then enforced legislation starts to look downright common sense - which is of course why anti-helmet advocates refuse to acknowledge that data.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 7587900029
Analysis of the crude, unadjusted data showed a statistically significant association between helmet use and reduced severity of head injury

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-healt ... KKCN10U1LY
Researchers found that people wearing helmets had 52 percent lower risk of severe TBI, compared to unhelmeted riders, and a 44 percent lower risk of death.
Riders with helmets also had 31 percent lower odds of facial fractures. The upper part of the face, particularly around the eyes, was most protected

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800611/
These data demonstrate that lack of helmet use is significantly correlated with abnormal head CT scans (fractures), admission to the hospital, admission to the ICU, and overall worse TBI severity both in the prehospital and ED environments

https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/22/3/191/598707
Most bicycle-related accidents with head injuries (70%) happen without the involvement of motor vehicles (single accidents), but this study shows a decrease in head injuries also in collisions with motor vehicles. It also shows a decrease in both concussion and skull fracture.

https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles ... 751304.htm
The team found cyclists without helmets were 5.6 times more likely to suffer any head injury than cyclists wearing a helmet and 5.5 times more likely to suffer a severe head injury.



So it's not like the benefits aren't measured and known, you're just chosing to ignore them in favour of other cherry-picked data which supports your position.

1.3million cases of head injury are reported in UK medical facilities annually, circa 160,000 are hospitalised, cyclists suffer according to stats19 data 3100 serious injuries, depending in whose 'guess' you beleive that produces 800-1200 serious head injuries, most due to criminals using their weapon of choice (the motor vehicle).

Which group given the data needs, given your belief system, helmets the most, the general population doing every day stuff including driving, walking etc, or people riding a cycle on the road? And do you indeed follow the logic of wearing a helmet for all activities in your general life given the risks involved? If you don't, my question is why, particularly when we know factually that more children are being killed in motor vehicles solely through head injury (In England and Wales) despite all the interventions and so called safety devices, than the total number of children killed on cycles (in the whole of the UK) by all injury types?

One presumes you are an advocate for anti rape devices and stab vests as an intervention given we know that these would prevent rape and stabbings right, actually it's pretty sad that many of the recommended votes in this discusion about anti-rape wear utterly miss the point, a bit like yourself and indeed other helmet wearers/promoters https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... t-28881723

There is an element of compensation mentioned in some of the comments about how a potential rapist may become more violent to act out their intention with even greater harm due to wearing It's similar to cycle helmets in pretty much every regard, yet some still can't see how anti rape wear and cycle helmets cause far more issues than they resolve whilst highlighting the breaches of human rights and creating a situation where victims of crime are blamed. Pretty disgusting stuff frankly, as it would be and is for people on a cycle. Don't wear certain clothes, don't go certain places at certain times because if you get raped then you're just asking for it ... sound familiar :twisted: Rapes occur in a certain area, police tell all women to wear anti rape wear, not make the area safer and crack down on sexual assaults and ignore that wome are raped in their own homes in their drives too. Given that convictions on rapes/sexual assaults have dropped massively over theyears I'm surprised the governments and police haven't already got onto anti rape wear on social media, via all sorts of sexual abuse charities to force/coerce women, men and young children to wear them in the same way they promote wearing cycle helmets.

You can see the comparisons right?

As it is, people like Jake Olivier who is the main protagonist when it comes cycle helmet studies, are not just twisters of facts, they are liars, Olivier even flies in the face of his own set of rules for meta-analysis when preparing his usual guff to support helmets as a safety intervention. He'll make up 'head injuries' that don't actually count as a head injury because they aren't even covered by a helmet, to add to his pile of waffle. Indeed he renounces risk compensation as not existing or rather it doesn't affect human beings, particularly in cycling.

He is clearly a nut job or one that is sponsored (lept in a job) by a state government who make millions from extorting money from their citizens whilst failing to uphold their human rights and also fail to protect them from criminals assaulting them. He clearly is unprofessional and harming the wider society not just in his native country but globally, he and his ilk have a lot to answer for!

As already mentioned, garbage in, garbage out!

poetd
Posts: 92
Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 6:12pm

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

Postby poetd » 28 Aug 2019, 6:47am

Comparisons to Rape and Sexual Assault all because a helmet might mess up your precious hair-do?

Revolting.

User avatar
bovlomov
Posts: 4202
Joined: 5 Apr 2007, 7:45am
Contact:

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

Postby bovlomov » 28 Aug 2019, 8:31am

poetd wrote:Comparisons to Rape and Sexual Assault all because a helmet might mess up your precious hair-do?

Is that how you've understood the arguments?

Try reading again from the beginning.

poetd
Posts: 92
Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 6:12pm

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

Postby poetd » 28 Aug 2019, 9:01am

bovlomov wrote:Is that how you've understood the arguments?


The bad logic, the statistical hokum, the refusal to accept plain empirical data, lab tests designed and run by idiots, the aggressiveness rudeness and pettiness you mean?

Yes, that is exactly how I've understood the arguments. Hair-do's. :roll:

Mike Sales
Posts: 4376
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

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

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Aug 2019, 9:16am

poetd wrote:
bovlomov wrote:Is that how you've understood the arguments?


The bad logic, the statistical hokum, the refusal to accept plain empirical data, lab tests designed and run by idiots, the aggressiveness rudeness and pettiness you mean?

Yes, that is exactly how I've understood the arguments. Hair-do's. :roll:


I am a bald old man who has never worn a helmet, so I don't understand your obsession with hair-dos. How are they relevant?
Last edited by Mike Sales on 28 Aug 2019, 9:52am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bovlomov
Posts: 4202
Joined: 5 Apr 2007, 7:45am
Contact:

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

Postby bovlomov » 28 Aug 2019, 9:41am

poetd wrote:
bovlomov wrote:Is that how you've understood the arguments?


The bad logic, the statistical hokum, the refusal to accept plain empirical data, lab tests designed and run by idiots, the aggressiveness rudeness and pettiness you mean?

Yes, that is exactly how I've understood the arguments. Hair-do's. :roll:

Not for the first time, you have taken a reasoned and particular argument - that you may or may not agree with - and rephrased it in a general and meaningless way - simply so you can ridicule it.

Earlier, there were a couple of reasoned posts about the value of different sorts of research. Your interpretation of those was a travesty, but it allowed you to present them with the accompanying eye roll.

The argument about rape and sexual assault was very particular. It was a valid comparison on the treatment of victims. It wasn't the general sweeping comparison that you chose to interpret it as.

You've mentioned hair dos. Has anyone else?
Last edited by bovlomov on 28 Aug 2019, 9:52am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
The utility cyclist
Posts: 2904
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 28 Aug 2019, 2:26pm

poetd wrote:Comparisons to Rape and Sexual Assault all because a helmet might mess up your precious hair-do?

Revolting.

It's revolting that human beings killed and seriously hurt/maimed for life often with horrendous life changing injuries are blamed when not wearing a garment that you consider would prevent such harm from occurring - despite the evidence proving it doesn't. It's revolting that governments/police, charity organisations and conformists think it's okay to shift the responsibility on not getting hurt to the vulnerable/potential victims of serious crime, in precisely the same way as I spoke about and the article in the gaurdian discusses with regards to anti rape wear.

But just to clarify do you think women/men/children should wear anti rape garments to prevent them from being raped, and if they don't and get raped do you think they are at fault? When/where should women, men and children wear anti rape garments, when outside, in the home, there's risk of rape everywhere so it would seem stupid not to wear all the time right?

You can see how that is analogous to wearing of cycle helmets surely and the fact that one is an accepted norm, in fact pushed to the point of enshrining it in 'law' despite it breaching human rights and also under threat of both financial penalty - or worse prison, discrimination within law by police and in the justice system, and exclusion from social activities and events?

You commented about the numbers, do you think they are false? The numbers are there in medical journals, in fact Headway.NICE quote them on their pages, so do you like Headway ignore that there are hundreds of thousands of serious head injuries occurring to people in the general populous, such that they have to stay in hospital and that these groups (whom aren't people on cycles) don't require helmets? It seems totally illogical that you and others see a tiny fraction of the population getting harmed and insist only that group has to change the way they dress and go about their business to not get harmed, but all the other groups can stay as they are

Surely if the NHS is in such financial crisis it should compulsory for everyone to wear helmets all the time, it would save billions of pounds and of course many, many lives, as you beleive a helmets saves lives right?

This is what I don't understand, when presented with logical comparisons and actual statistics the pro helmet types simply ignore it all, there's simply no logic in their thinking and plain old ignorance of what happens in the real world, it would be sad except it's damaging to all of us including the very people who are ignorant of the facts at hand.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14961
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

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

Postby mjr » 28 Aug 2019, 2:48pm

poetd wrote:
bovlomov wrote:Is that how you've understood the arguments?


The bad logic, the statistical hokum, the refusal to accept plain empirical data, lab tests designed and run by idiots, the aggressiveness rudeness and pettiness you mean?

I remember reading this:
Vorpal wrote:I'm trained in analysing statistics on risk. I've read many papers on the benefits & otherwise of helmets, and the only conclusion I've drawn is that if there were an obvious benefit, it should easily be demonstrated by statistics. Currently it is not. Sure, it's possible find some studies that show a small benefit.It's also possible to demonstrate the energy absorption of helmets. Equally, it's possible to find some studies that show a slightly increased injury rate for cyclists who wear helmets. If it were obvious, it would be easy. It isn't. Why? I don't know.

and would like to add that I am also a trained statistician (first class honours degree, some postgrad research-assistant work, some commercial work, in case it matters) and I agree with the above general assessment.

What is your logical and statistical training, please? Just so future readers can see what backs dismissing two trained practitioners' assessments as "bad logic" and "statistical hokum" while supporting flawed studies and data as "plain".

And I hope it is not too petty to point out that you may have overlooked the question asked at the end of viewtopic.php?p=1391285#p1391285
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.

User avatar
The utility cyclist
Posts: 2904
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 28 Aug 2019, 3:44pm

mjr wrote:
poetd wrote:
bovlomov wrote:Is that how you've understood the arguments?


The bad logic, the statistical hokum, the refusal to accept plain empirical data, lab tests designed and run by idiots, the aggressiveness rudeness and pettiness you mean?

I remember reading this:
Vorpal wrote:I'm trained in analysing statistics on risk. I've read many papers on the benefits & otherwise of helmets, and the only conclusion I've drawn is that if there were an obvious benefit, it should easily be demonstrated by statistics. Currently it is not. Sure, it's possible find some studies that show a small benefit.It's also possible to demonstrate the energy absorption of helmets. Equally, it's possible to find some studies that show a slightly increased injury rate for cyclists who wear helmets. If it were obvious, it would be easy. It isn't. Why? I don't know.

and would like to add that I am also a trained statistician (first class honours degree, some postgrad research-assistant work, some commercial work, in case it matters) and I agree with the above general assessment.

What is your logical and statistical training, please? Just so future readers can see what backs dismissing two trained practitioners' assessments as "bad logic" and "statistical hokum" while supporting flawed studies and data as "plain".

And I hope it is not too petty to point out that you may have overlooked the question asked at the end of viewtopic.php?p=1391285#p1391285


So if you're qualified in a certain subject you can't be wrong, can't make errors and are not subjected to bias both from your own beliefs and that from those around you/ outside influences, :lol: We already know that one of the biggest helmet promoters, sorry 'degree holders' manipulates stats to get a finding, despite actually ignoring their own rules regarding meta-analysis, despite their dismissal of science and real life events/occurrences, what are your reasons to make you think this never occurs in your field or any other field?

Given your qualification, is 1.3Million, or even 160,000, greater or smaller than say 1200 (the upper figure for serious head injuries for people on bikes), which of these group of numbers, if they were associated to a disease/deaths from disease would require the greater attention?

Also, since cycle helmets came to be a thing, how does the outcome for pedestrian safety KSI's measure up against people on bikes who have increasing helmet wearing rates in non compulsory countries and close tot 100% in compulsory wearing countries? Does your qualification allow you to compare the two groups and their outcomes with a yes or no answer, that being have people on bikes have worse statistical outcomes re KSIs compared to pedestrians since helmets became a thing/increased/mandated?

if helmets are so great how come in professional cycling despite all the increases in on course safety protocols - more barriers, more marshals/police on corners and around hazards etc and far better medical treatments (and much faster too), plus better/grippier tyres, improved brakes and better handling bikes, there are more deaths in the pro ranks post helmets rules and more crashes/more traumatic injuries?

Is that a long term statistical anomaly or actually just a statistical fact that more people crash/die/get hurt due to wearing helmets? Genuinely interested in how you explain a numerical increase in harm/crashes despite increases in safety, it doesn't take a qualified person in stats to see that there is a massive colanders worth of holes in the argument!

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14961
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

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

Postby mjr » 28 Aug 2019, 4:37pm

The utility cyclist wrote:So if you're qualified in a certain subject you can't be wrong, can't make errors and are not subjected to bias both from your own beliefs and that from those around you/ outside influences, :lol: We already know that one of the biggest helmet promoters, sorry 'degree holders' manipulates stats to get a finding, despite actually ignoring their own rules regarding meta-analysis, despite their dismissal of science and real life events/occurrences, what are your reasons to make you think this never occurs in your field or any other field?

I think you are attributing thoughts to me that I don't have. That question is rather like asking "have you stopped denying that you beat your wife?" :roll:

Of course trained people can be wrong. That is part of why we have peer review in so many ways and part of why I am so disappointed by someone steadfastedly clinging to the first material and apparently dismissing all reviews of it... so why not ask where they learned to make their assessments?

Given your qualification, is 1.3Million, or even 160,000, greater or smaller than say 1200 (the upper figure for serious head injuries for people on bikes), which of these group of numbers, if they were associated to a disease/deaths from disease would require the greater attention?

Clearly 1.3M but I would expect some attention would be given to all the diseases - and to the diseases more than what the potential victims should do to reduce the risk of death... and road deaths aren't a disease: many of them are one person killing another.

Also, since cycle helmets came to be a thing, how does the outcome for pedestrian safety KSI's measure up against people on bikes who have increasing helmet wearing rates in non compulsory countries and close tot 100% in compulsory wearing countries? Does your qualification allow you to compare the two groups and their outcomes with a yes or no answer, that being have people on bikes have worse statistical outcomes re KSIs compared to pedestrians since helmets became a thing/increased/mandated?

My qualification would enable me to make some comparisons, but they may be inconclusive. I don't have the necessary data readily available as I write this.

if helmets are so great how come in professional cycling despite all the increases in on course safety protocols - more barriers, more marshals/police on corners and around hazards etc and far better medical treatments (and much faster too), plus better/grippier tyres, improved brakes and better handling bikes, there are more deaths in the pro ranks post helmets rules and more crashes/more traumatic injuries?

Are there clearly more deaths now? I last looked a few years ago and it was inconclusive, partly because there are currently less than 2000 readily-identifiable UCI pro racers in the world (18 UCI World Tour and 25 Pro Conti men's teams of maximum 28, plus 44 UCI women's teams of about 15 but not all of those are pro) which has increased, while the numbers of race days riders do (hence the exposure) has fallen. There do seem to have been a lot of deaths recently but maybe I've been reading more cycling media.

Is that a long term statistical anomaly or actually just a statistical fact that more people crash/die/get hurt due to wearing helmets? Genuinely interested in how you explain a numerical increase in harm/crashes despite increases in safety, it doesn't take a qualified person in stats to see that there is a massive colanders worth of holes in the argument!

As I wrote, I agree with Vorpal: this is not understood yet.

And while I'd agree it doesn't take a qualified person in stats to see that the argument is flawed, I think it probably does take one to assess something as "statistical hokum" with any accuracy.

Finally, I also agree with Goldacre and Spiegelhalter that "The current uncertainty about any benefit from helmet wearing or promotion is unlikely to be substantially reduced by further research,” or at least that it probably won't be easy/cheap to reduce it and I suspect the money would be better spent on measures backed by clearer evidence.
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.

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

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

Postby Wanlock Dod » 28 Aug 2019, 4:44pm

poetd wrote:
Wanlock Dod wrote:I have often wondered why given all of the demonstrable benefits of cycle helmets they don’t seem to be able to actually make cyclists safer in real world situations, can you offer any insights into why that might be?


Because you are analysing the wrong data...

Surely evidence is evidence and any suggestion of considering the wrong data is going to introduce a bias into the analysis? I asked about cyclist safety, because this is what I am concerned about, whereas you have focused solely on the ability of helmets to reduce the severity of some head injuries. Whilst I don't doubt that in some cases helmets might reduce the severity of some head injuries I don't see any evidence in any of those studies that helmets actually have any meaningful effect on cyclist safety overall. So my conclusion is that whilst I could wear a helmet if I wanted to doing so probably isn't actually going to result in a significant improvement in my overall safety when cycling.