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Old 11-03-10, 07:36 AM   #1
TurbineBlade
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Helmet efficacy - same old story -

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2010/0...et-doubts.html
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Old 11-03-10, 08:32 AM   #2
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Poo-tee-weet indeed.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:10 AM   #3
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aerodynamics

I am wondering...leaving the safety issue aside for a moment, don't properly designed helmets make the wearer more aerodynamic (less wind resistance, etc) than just a bare noggin? And of course their different shapes and colors give you a way to embrace your inner geekiness.
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Old 11-03-10, 10:11 AM   #4
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it is the same old story and much of this has been covered on the helmet thread.

A local business paper recently published a story on the legal issues of starting a publicly shared bicycle system in Vancouver.

We have a helmet law here and there are problems supplying safe, fitted and clean helmets for users and liability concerns if users don't use helmets.

One of the provincial ministers in charge said the province wasn't going to rescind the law and said helmets save lives. I took issue with that and contacted the author of the piece as well as the minister.


The writer did a follow-up story

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Business in Vancouver October 26 – November 1, 2010

ICBC data counters bike lane safety claims

...Brad Kilburn, who has cycled to work for decades, believes cyclists and drivers should apply more critical analysis to data promising new safety measures will improve safety.

He pointed to various statistics to show that no clear evidence supports the claim that BCs mandatory helmet law for cyclists makes cyclists safer.

He wants Victoria to rescind the law to encourage cycling and increase use of the cities new bike lanes.

But even Mayor Gregor Robertson is not on board with that. He told BiV in
September that he supports the province's mandatory helmet law because it saves lives.

So did Steve Martin, who is BC's superintendent of motor vehicles.

"Helmets are a proven safety measure. The data demonstrates that they save lives and reduce head injuries," Martin said, without revealing any statistics.

But Kilburn trotted out statistics from the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation showing that the 1996 helmet law resulted in no reduction in the percentages of cyclists head injuries suffered in crashes.

In 1995, head injuries accounted for 12.8% of cyclists injuries. That grew to
13.9% in 1997 according to the BHRF.

Statistics from BC's Office of the Chief Coroner show that there were 9 cyclist fatalities in 1994. That rose to 11 in 2007, which is the last year of data available, according to ICBC, which tracks those deaths...
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Old 11-03-10, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
I am wondering...leaving the safety issue aside for a moment, don't properly designed helmets make the wearer more aerodynamic (less wind resistance, etc) than just a bare noggin? And of course their different shapes and colors give you a way to embrace your inner geekiness.
There are probably two answers:
* Aero helmet: Yes
* Non-aero helmet: No

I'm not offering any proof for that, just guessing. You wouldn't wear an aero helmet if you weren't competing in a TT or triathlon.
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Old 11-03-10, 11:19 AM   #6
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I always wonder about how these studies get their statistics, for example I have 3 hosed helmets from spills and never had to go see a physician because my helmet took the impact... and know plenty of others in the same boat...
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Old 11-03-10, 11:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ianjk View Post
I always wonder about how these studies get their statistics, for example I have 3 hosed helmets from spills and never had to go see a physician because my helmet took the impact... and know plenty of others in the same boat...
the usual way. lots of data from varying input.

When our helmet law passed, it was claimed as a success because there was a doubling of helmet use and a 30% drop in cyclists treated for head injuries, but it soon became apparent that this was a false claim because it wasn't just head injuries that dropped 30%, all injuries to cyclists dropped the same amount.

Upon further investigation, it was found that there were 34% fewer reported collisions between cars and bikes and that the ratio between pedestrian and cyclist deaths remained the same after as before the law.

The real problem reared its head when that despite the increased presence of helmets on the remaining cyclists on the road, and the fewer collisions between cyclists and motorists, there was a significant increase in deaths to cyclists in the three years following the implementation of the law. The direct opposite result of what was hoped for.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-03-10 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TurbineBlade View Post
Interesting how he drags the wrong conclusion out of it:

Quote:
I plan to be much more casual now about whether I wear a helmet, especially since most of my biking is on mild trails away from cars.
A mild trail without cars might be place where a slow-moving, wobbly cyclist would fall off in a single vehicle accident and strike their head at a low speed: that's pretty much the spec for helmets.

By contrast there's not much point in wearing it to protect yourself from collisions with cars.

Interesting how this can be gone over again and again with the simple take home message being avoided. Doesn't say much for the quality of the rest of Robin Hanson's blog.
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