Stop Headway

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.
User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 10182
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Cunobelin » 27 Sep 2010, 11:06pm

Don't worry - the argument was made by a self styled "Road Safety Expert" called Paul Smith with his usual disregard for anything that could be misconstrued as a fact or statistical sense.

It is simply useful as an example.

Steady rider
Posts: 2189
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 28 Sep 2010, 10:58am

Copied from Northern Ireland section below, going a bit off the issue.
If my figures are about right, assuming helmets provide some benefit and this is debatable,
Assuming a helmet is replaced say every 4 years, cyclists could use about 200000 helmets before being saved. For the UK with 12 million bike users, if all used helmets, approx 1000 tones of material per year.

Deaths due to global warming are mentioned on the web to be 150,000 per year, pro rata UK population 1400 approx. I suppose not wearing a helmet is helping the planet in a small way and more environmentally friendly.

Headway Conference is due in October, what would be the main points to be made in a leaflet for delegates or to the media?


UK, 104 cyclist deaths 2009 from about 12 million who ride bikes
one death per 115,000 cycle users roughly
if helmets provide 10%-16% protection, about 1 in 7,
one death per 807,000 cycle users roughly

assume I ride for 50 years in my life, then on average the helmet may save me, once in 16,000 lifetimes.

So on average, a person would have to wear one for 807,000 years before it saved them.

In contrast, Erke and Elvik (Norwegian researchers) 2007 stated: "There is evidence of increased accident risk per cycling-km for cyclists wearing a helmet. In Australia and New Zealand, the increase is estimated to be around 14 per cent."

Robinson 1996 report, Table 2 shows data for children in NSW. The equivalent number of injuries for pre law level of number of cyclists increased from 1310 (384 head + 926 other injuries) in 1991 to 2083 (488 head + 1595 other injuries) in 1993. For NSW the helmet laws reduced children’s safety. The increased injury rate was 59%, from 1310 to 2083.
(Robinson DL; Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws; Accid Anal Prev, 28, 4: p 463-475, 1996 http://www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-head-injuries.pdf )

Cycling by secondary school children in Sydney reduced by 67% following legislation.

The British Medical Association reported that the health benefits of cycling exceed the injury risk by 20 to 1. Moderate cycling has many physical and mental benefits (BMA 1992) by reducing the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, depression and helping to control weight and increase fitness.

Serious head injury is associated with head rotation and helmets increase the risk due to the larger size and extra impacts.
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1182.html
http://www.ctcyorkshirehumber.org.uk/US ... t_laws.pdf

Would it be sensible to take the risk of wearing one?

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Jonty » 28 Sep 2010, 1:20pm

Steady rider wrote:UK
Rates killed per 100 million km
Urban roads, ‘A‘ roads, Other roads
Car 0.2, 0.1
cyclist 4.7, 0.5
Motorcyclist 8.4, 5.3

Rural roads, ‘A‘ roads, Other roads
Car 0.5, 0.6
cyclist 24, 3.2
Motorcyclist 17, 12
---------------
The 24 figure, rural A roads, would be 240 per billion km, compared with 5 per billion km for 'other' urban roads, 48 times higher risk.

Currently the Netherlands has a rate of about 11 per billion km, UK 24 per billion km, for cycling in general. The problem seems to be reducing this level of risk on rural A roads in the UK.

The problem with Headway is they convey the message helmets are safe and take up time that could be spent on addressing the main problems.


Interesting when the stats are disaggregated.
Has anyone any suggestions as to how to make rural "A" roads safer for cyclists? Presumably, Steadrider, you are referring to the main inter-city road network, except motorways when you refer to Rural "A" roads?
jonty

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Jonty » 28 Sep 2010, 1:24pm

Cunobelin wrote:
Jonty wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:Which is why cyclists are so dangerous!

1. Several thousand pedestrians are killed each year in vehicle accidents
2. One pedestrian is killed every few years by a cyclist
3. However the journey time and distances are greatly different.

When you correct these figures and put the "risk / exposure" into the equation - pedestrians are at greater threat from cyclists (and more likely to be killed by one) than from vehicles.


Cunobelin
Interesting. Could you just canter through the maths for me so that I can understand how you have come to this conclusion?
jonty

Jonty

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Jonty » 28 Sep 2010, 2:53pm

Interesting when the stats are disaggregated.
Has anyone any suggestions as to how to make rural "A" roads safer for cyclists? Presumably, Steadrider, you are referring to the main inter-city road network, except motorways when you refer to Rural "A" roads?
jonty[/quote]

Apologies, I meant the inter-urban network.
jonty

Steady rider
Posts: 2189
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 28 Sep 2010, 3:25pm

From Cycle paths unsafe
I think you have to consider the road risk level before whether cycle paths or lanes are required. There will not always be space in any case and its demand related, if no cycle use is listed for road from X to Y, engineers would not want to spend money on providing one.

Main UK 'A' roads are about 48 times higher risk than urban 'other' roads for cyclists, per billion km. 240 v 5.

Something needs to be done to reduce the risk and a working group looking at all the info could make recomendations. These may be wider roads, eg 8m (not 7.2m) or slower speeds, eg 50 mph limits or off road cycle paths or on road lanes, in other words all options would be considered.

I note from a Netherlands report they say
In a comparative study, they found that narrower bicycle lanes (less than 1.2 metres wide) were three to four times less safe (crashes per cycle kilometre) than wider bicycle lanes.
http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheets/U ... lities.pdf

and also
Conclusions
In a sustainably safe road traffic it is essential to have adjoining or separate bicycle paths alongside distributor roads in order to have a proper separation between motor vehicles and other traffic. Additional facilities are necessary at intersections in order to reduce the speed differences between cyclists and other traffic as much as possible. Priority regulations, speed bumps, and plateaus are suitable to achieve this.

I think you need seperation for many cyclists to feel safe and wih more cycling you get safety in numbers effects overtaking the risks mentioned with junctions and you get a change in driving culture. You can have underpasses for main roads. The Netherlands provide some of these even in their low laying land. North of York, 2 miles, A19 and ring road there is an underpass, along the York northern side ring road there is another underpass for cyclists.

Having cycle facility standards in my view would be better than guidelines. when where and what to provide for improving conditions for cycling, encourage more cycling and make it safer, is far from easy to prescribe.

As part of the LTPs possible people should be asked where do you want cycling facilities provided. This gives a view to start with and engineers can then consider the options available.

Flinders
Posts: 3018
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Flinders » 28 Sep 2010, 5:07pm

Steady rider wrote:Interesting way to view the topic.

The rotational tests found for the larger helmet size the results indicated a higher risk from wearing one.
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1182.html
However, for the most severe cases using a size 57cm (J) headform, rotational acceleration was typically greater than 10,000rad/s² and increased to levels of 20,000rad/s², a level at which a 35% - 50% risk of serious AIS3+ injuries is anticipated



So bigheads are at more risk? :wink:

Flinders
Posts: 3018
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Flinders » 28 Sep 2010, 5:09pm

Does it strike anyone as possible that because pedestrians almost never wear helmets, and cyclists often do, the comparative risk of head injuries to cyclists is mitigated in the stats because helmets work and accidents with them don't get recorded? :twisted:

irc
Posts: 4673
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Stop Headway

Postby irc » 28 Sep 2010, 6:08pm

Flinders wrote:Does it strike anyone as possible that because pedestrians almost never wear helmets, and cyclists often do, the comparative risk of head injuries to cyclists is mitigated in the stats because helmets work and accidents with them don't get recorded? :twisted:


Yes. But not by more than 10-16%, the effectiveness of helmets in protecting a rider from an otherwise fatal accident. So the big picture doesn't change that much.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

Steady rider
Posts: 2189
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 28 Sep 2010, 8:28pm

Is this suitable for circulation regarding Headway
------------------------
Stop the charity Headway misleading the public

Concerns have arisen due to statements by Headway regarding cycle helmets.

The Government issued a response to Headway's call for a new law to make it compulsory for children to wear helmets while cycling, rejecting the proposal because "there is some evidence that compulsory helmet wearing may discourage some people from cycling, leading to decreased bicycle use". Headway responded 26 Aug 2009, by saying "Cycle helmet laws have been introduced in a number of states across the USA and no trend has ever been recorded showing a reduction in the number of cyclists on the roads."

The US National Sporting Goods Association provides survey details showing a 29.9% reduction in cycling for the 7-11 age group from 1998 to 2007.

In 2004, a USA report by Grant and Rutner referred to a 21% reduction in bicycle use associated with a 12% reduction in fatalities.

Another report by Carpenter and Stehr (May 2009) referred to reduced cycling because of helmet legislation.

Headway chose to refer to the USA where enforcement may not always occur.
In contrast, details from Australia show cycling was reduced by introducing helmet legislation.

Victoria, 297 extra wearing helmets and 1110 fewer cycling

Children in New South Wales, 569 extra wearing helmets and 2658 fewer cycling

Combined, more than 4 stopped cycling for each extra one wearing a helmet, 866 extra wearing helmets compared with 3768 fewer cycling.

For children in NSW, the equivalent number of injuries for pre law level of number of cyclists increased from 1310 (384 head + 926 other injuries) in 1991 to 2083 (488 head + 1595 other injuries) in 1993. The increased injury rate was 59%, from 1310 to 2083.

Erke and Elvik (Norwegian researchers) 2007 stated: "There is evidence of increased accident risk per cycling-km for cyclists wearing a helmet. In Australia and New Zealand, the increase is estimated to be around 14 per cent."

The UK's National Children's Bureau (NCB) provided a detailed review of cycling and helmets in 2005, stating that the case for helmets is far from sound and the benefits of helmets need further investigation before even a policy supporting promotion can be unequivocally supported .

Headway is promoting bicycle helmet laws in Jersey, Northern Ireland and the UK and are collecting funds based on misleading information.

-----------

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 10182
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Cunobelin » 29 Sep 2010, 6:50am

Flinders wrote:Does it strike anyone as possible that because pedestrians almost never wear helmets, and cyclists often do, the comparative risk of head injuries to cyclists is mitigated in the stats because helmets work and accidents with them don't get recorded? :twisted:


... which answers its own question. If this was the case why have we not seen a reduction in head injures if helmets work?

On a population level the increasing number of helmets has failed to decrease the number of head injuries.

SilverBadge
Posts: 577
Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:28pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby SilverBadge » 29 Sep 2010, 3:20pm

Flinders wrote:Does it strike anyone as possible that because pedestrians almost never wear helmets, and cyclists often do, the comparative risk of head injuries to cyclists is mitigated in the stats because helmets work and accidents with them don't get recorded? :twisted:
Not really, because that is also the sanity check / acid test for the helmet claims. Pre-helmet wearing, accident profiles for cyclists and pedestrians have shown common trends, not always downwards, being largely dependent on traffic levels, policing enforcement etc. If helmet wearing by cyclists gradually or suddenly increases (trend or legislation) whilst pedestrian helmet wearing remains at approximately zero, then we have a control case and the injury profile for cyclists compared to pedestrians should deviate markedly. And historically, it hasn't to any great extent. So, the estimate of what a cycle helmet can actually do, applied to real-world accident scenarios, is validated, and Headway's claims disproved.
However, if you wish to campaign along the lines of "Walking helmetless is more dangerous than cycling helmetted - Wear a helmet when walking" I will not stop you.

pwward
Posts: 193
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 10:48am
Location: Newcastle u Tyne

Re: Stop Headway

Postby pwward » 29 Sep 2010, 3:45pm

To add to Silver badges post:

In Australia between 1988 and 1994 (Australian helmet laws 1991-92 depending on the state) head injury deaths among Australian cyclist fell by 30%, pedestrians by 38% and all road users 42% (FORS data). Cycling levels fell precipitantly during this time, but walking and driving did not.

If helmets are protective, the large increase in helmet use (greater than 40% points) during the early 90's should translate into less head injuries. However cyclists look like they have done worse than other road users.

Headway's unwillingness to even consider such facts makes them look deliberately obtuse.

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 10182
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Cunobelin » 29 Sep 2010, 7:42pm

Jonty wrote:Cunobelin
Interesting. Could you just canter through the maths for me so that I can understand how you have come to this conclusion?
jonty


As above, it is an excerpt from the famous Paul Smith (renowned road safety expert) - the one whose road safety techniques included advocating perjury, trawling obituary columns for people to claim were driving your car and other valued contributions to how to evade speeding convictions.


He simply took the figures for cyclists and calculated deaths per milage, then took vehicle groups such as "white vans" and did the same.

The result of his calculation was that the number of deaths per mile travelled was higher for cyclists making them a greater risk

As withj all his work it is deeply fkawed and mainly nonsensical, but serves as a good warning

Steady rider
Posts: 2189
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Stop Headway

Postby Steady rider » 8 Oct 2010, 8:50pm

Next Monday , 11 Oct, Headway are holding their national conference in Harrogate at the Majestic Hotel.

I will be distributing the following information. If anyone wishes to join me, that could be helpful, mid day - 2.00 pm.

Stop ‘Headway’ misleading the public
Concerns have arisen due to misleading statements by Headway regarding cycle helmets.

The Government issued a response to Headway's call for a new law to make it compulsory for children to wear helmets while cycling, rejecting the proposal because "there is some evidence that compulsory helmet wearing may discourage some people from cycling, leading to decreased bicycle use". Headway responded 26 Aug 2009, by saying "Cycle helmet laws have been introduced in a number of states across the USA and no trend has ever been recorded showing a reduction in the number of cyclists on the roads."

The US National Sporting Goods Association provides survey details showing a 29.9% reduction in cycling for the 7-11 age group from 1998 to 2007. In 2004, a USA report by Grant and Rutner referred to a 21% reduction in bicycle use associated with a 12% reduction in fatalities. Carpenter and Stehr (May 2009) reported of reduced cycling in the USA because of helmet legislation.

Headway chose to refer to the USA where enforcement may not always occur.
Survey details from Australia show cycling was reduced following helmet legislation.

Victoria, 297 extra wearing helmets and 1110 fewer cycling.
New South Wales, 569 extra wearing helmets and 2658 fewer cycling.
Combined, more than 4 stopped cycling for each extra one wearing a helmet, 866 extra wearing helmets compared with 3768 fewer cycling.

Robinson 1996 report, Table 2 shows data for children in NSW. The equivalent number of injuries for pre law level of number of cyclists increased from 1310 (384 head + 926 other injuries) in 1991 to 2083 (488 head + 1595 other injuries) in 1993. For NSW the helmet laws reduced children’s safety. The increased injury rate was 59%, from 1310 to 2083.

Erke and Elvik (Norwegian researchers) 2007 stated: "There is evidence of increased accident risk per cycling-km for cyclists wearing a helmet. In Australia and New Zealand, the increase is estimated to be around 14 per cent."

In practice, the main effect of the laws was to reduce cycling rather than improving safety.

The UK's National Children's Bureau (NCB) provided a detailed review of cycling and helmets in 2005, stating that the case for helmets is far from sound and the benefits of helmets need further investigation before even a policy supporting promotion can be unequivocally supported.

In accident compensation cases, the legal requirement to wear a helmet may tend to reduce compensation for a non-helmeted cyclist compared to helmeted ones or indeed motor vehicle occupants who sustain head injuries.

The charity Headway is promoting bicycle helmet laws in Jersey, Northern Ireland and the UK and are collecting funds based on misleading information.