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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?

Voters
1663. You may not vote on this poll
  • I've never worn a bike helmet

    178 10.70%
  • I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped

    94 5.65%
  • I've always worn a helmet

    645 38.79%
  • I didn't wear a helmet, but now do

    406 24.41%
  • I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions

    340 20.44%
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  1. #1326
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    First off, obviously I only have a layman's understanding; unless you have some credentials you aren't sharing with the group, we're just about all laymen here. Some of us have semi-related expertise, some don't, but on the subject of helmets in particular I think it's fair to say we're mostly laymen. I get that you were trying to be insulting, but that's just how discussions on Internet forums go. Second off, I don't have to be an expert in the field to discuss merits of the point; that's why you cite studies done by others who are experts, which I've done.
    My Credentials?- On the subject of helmets- none. I have laymen's knowledge, informed but a laymen's knowledge.

    On the subject of human behavior- it's my field, it's what I teach and I work in the field of human behavior. While I've worked with a variety of populations from people in locked facilities to persons with mental and physical handicaps and communication disorders I currently teach undergraduates primarily and some private workshops and classes. I am not a clinician, a statistician nor a theorist. My work, and that of my mentors and colleagues is more likely to be used as source material by others like Malcolm Gladwell, Carol Gilligan, and Antonio Damasio. I confer and am in dialogue with behavioral theorists, psychologists and neurologists frequently in order to stay current in my field. Occasionally, I am fortunate enough to have experts in those areas take one of my classes and am inspired by the dialogue.

    I am particularly interested in the work being done by neuroscientists and am fortunate enough to live in Boston, where I occasionally get to work and/or associate with true experts in that field. What you may be reading as a "bug up my ass" is that I've developed a healthy appreciation for the value and vulnerability of the human brain. And wearing a helmet in the appropriate circumstances is something I do see as valuable.

    With regards my 'insult' when I said you had less than a laymen's understanding of risk compensation behavior my intention was not to insult but to simply be honest- you do.

    Without launching into a dissertation on behavioral science and how incredibly inexact it can be and how sensitively such theories are applied in the field before anything remotely resembling a conclusion is drawn.I'll address a couple of points.

    #1- More than likely risk compensation is learned behavior. In other words, risk compensation studies, like the one done on children in playgrounds. Have them play without protective equipment then give them helmets, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads and send them out to play and they engage in riskier playground behavior. Why? Because they were told the equipment would make them safer? Nope. Because they fell for a second on their knee and it didn't get scraped, they jammed their finger and it didn't get hurt, they bumped their head and they didn't cry. Oooh, guess what? suddenly they start taking more risks, pushing the envelope. It's because they learned the limits had changed.

    #2 The ABS study you cite is even more problematic. A car without ABS brakes behaves differently than a car with ABS brakes. While risk compensation behavioral theory has as one of it's parameters that the subject be aware of the change (i.e. the car now has better, more sophisticated brakes) the body mind connection that operates the car actually feels the difference. Suddenly the driver starts driving too close to the car in front of them, applying the brakes later as they approach a stop light. They appear "less cautious" because they have learned "kinesthetically" that the limits have changed.

    People push the envelope in learned behavior situations. For example, there have been tremendous advances made in the area of skydiving. Technically, it should be a safer sport. But statistically the fatality rate is not substantially changed. Well, here's where risk compensation theory is applicable. Sky divers tend to be risk oriented individuals. They engage in the sport for the thrill- the risk is part of attraction to the sport. As improvements are made the risk becomes less so in order to maximize the thrill they cliff jump, wait longer to deploy the shoot, do more daring stunts etc.

    Certain bicyclists: extreme downhill cyclists, trick riders, MTB'ers that do extremely technical trails may fall into a similar category as sky divers. But again, these are learned behaviors altered by the equipment. In learning to do extreme sports of this kind there is a learning curve. You will fall, you will have crashes- it's how you learn. When you fall and survive because you had on shin guards or knee pads or a helmet your body learns it as much as your mind. And, yes, in these cases risk compensation theory may have some application.

    However, it is most often cited in BF's as to how it applies to all cyclists. This is where the risk compensation theory loses it's grip. The way it is oft applied as a challenge to helmet efficacy is that once a person puts a helmet on their head they will now take more risks. But neuroscience tells us that is not how the brain works. The decision making for this kind of behavior is not made by a piece of information about helmets that sits in the frontal lobes. It's far more complex. The body has to receive signals, and usually several that it is indeed safer. Basically, the body is smarter than that. It needs to get a light bump on the head or good slam to the ground to learn and feel the difference. That's why the kids in playground learn quickly they can be more audacious in their behavior with safety equipment, it's why hockey and football players do the same thing. The person with the ABS brakes can feel the change in the way the car behaves. The skydiver can feel the equipment can be pushed to a further limit- they feel it in their body.

    For risk compensation theory to apply to a helmet wearing commuting cyclist they would have to have a couple of bumps, falls, crashes for the complex series of neuropathways that engage when you run a red light, weave through, traffic or descend a hill at high speed and even then unless they are seeking the thrill those bumps, falls and crashes may just as likely make them be more careful helmet or not.

    So, maybe, just maybe, risk compensation and bicycle helmets works to some degree for the thrill seeking cyclists. The cyclists who see commuting as an extreme sport.(<<<----for the humorously challenged that's a joke) And the "study" that you say links bicycle helmets and risk compensation- is it the one done by the guy in England that concludes motorists behave differently when passing helmeted cyclists? First off, that study has never been duplicated and secondly, where's the evidence in the change in a bicyclist's behavior?

    For the overwhelming number of people who simply just ride their bikes for fun, participating in what I know you consider a relatively safe activity, risk compensation theory makes barely a blip on the radar of the topic of helmet efficacy.
    Last edited by buzzman; 01-29-12 at 07:02 PM. Reason: warning on sarcasm

  2. #1327
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    For the overwhelming number of people who simply just ride their bikes for fun, participating in what I know you consider a relatively safe activity, risk compensation theory makes barely a blip on the radar of the topic of helmet efficacy.
    I'm pretty sure you put too much weight on the "body perception" part of it. After all, insurance companies know that people who are insured are less carefull with their possesions. And stating that drivers can "feel" that ABS brakes are different - I doubt that most drivers are able to actually feel it untill they've experienced braking where ABS is supposed to work. Sky divers? How do they "feel" that their equipment is safer?

    Now, cyclists: Think of the many who have been brainwashed that helmets save 80% of those who would otherwise have died. Can you honestly say none of them would stop biking if suddenly, helmets were forbidden on the roads? I know that I've been guilty of taking more chances when wearing a helmet that without, before I became skeptical of their efficacy. If that's not risk compensation, I don't know what to call it. Just look at competitive cycling: The number of casualties seems to be fairly constant, helmets or not.

    All that doesn't change the fact, that we don't at present reallyknow how risk compensation influences the rate of bicycle accidents.

  3. #1328
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    OK, now we at least seem to be getting somewhere as opposed to just shutdowns.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I am particularly interested in the work being done by neuroscientists and am fortunate enough to live in Boston, where I occasionally get to work and/or associate with true experts in that field. What you may be reading as a "bug up my ass" is that I've developed a healthy appreciation for the value and vulnerability of the human brain. And wearing a helmet in the appropriate circumstances is something I do see as valuable.
    No, what I perceived as a bug up your ass were the thinly veiled insults and patronizing tone when I attempted to be civil. I attempted to be honest, and you seemed to try and paint me as wishy-washy rather than realize that I'm simply not being dogmatic. Not terribly conducive to honest discussion if your goal is to have more than dogmatic shouting matches a la ryda.

    With regards my 'insult' when I said you had less than a laymen's understanding of risk compensation behavior my intention was not to insult but to simply be honest- you do.
    So, if I call you an idiot, I can cop out by saying "Oh, but it wasn't meant to be an insult, I'm just being honest - you are". Yeah, where did I get the idea of incivility on your part? Saying I have a layman's understanding would be true; I'm not an expert in the field, therefore a layman. Saying I have less than that is obviously a thinly veiled insult. I'm not sure how it can be taken otherwise.

    Without launching into a dissertation on behavioral science and how incredibly inexact it can be and how sensitively such theories are applied in the field before anything remotely resembling a conclusion is drawn.I'll address a couple of points.
    [snip]
    Hagen basically already made the points I wanted to make. While the points you make are valid, I think you are ignoring the all-important risk/reward analysis we make when participating in an activity. We know this is a big deal, as I noted in the case of teen risk-taking. Driving too fast with too many distractions or whatnot, is a direct result of the risk/reward perception changing (except in this case due to greater value placed on reward vs less perceived risk). Again, I should think this is somewhat self-evident. Imagine scales with weights on each side. In the case of teen risk taking, adding weights to the "reward" side tilts the balance that way and encourages riskier behavior. In the case of risk compensation, you take weights off of the risk side to achieve the same effect.

    I can honestly say I think I've been guilty of the same thing when I started carrying pepper spray (I work nights on the weekend at a not-so-great area). I soon realized I felt I was becoming more "bold" as a result (this is before I really knew about the concept of risk compensation). Now, I wasn't marching through gang-riddled alleys challenging all before me; it was a far more subtle affect. Why did this happen? Because I felt I was at less risk of bodily harm were something to happen.

    So again, I take your point that there is a learned element to risk compensation, but I think perception of risk is terribly, terribly important, and this can easily be seen in other more well-studied areas of risk/reward management, such as the study on teens I mentioned. It certainly isn't to be ignored completely just because studies on how exactly it relates to cycling haven't really been done. Again, I'll freely admit that we don't know the extent that it does, but we definitely know changes in the risk/reward analysis can equal serious changes in risk taking behavior, when either element is changed.
    Last edited by sudo bike; 01-30-12 at 12:45 AM.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

    - William Saroyan

  4. #1329
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    As far as I can tell, there isn't good data to support the use of helmets (there's only incomplete and confusing data). As far as I can tell, the appropriate data isn't really possible to collect.
    The more I research the issue, the less sure I am that that's the case. Part of the confusion regarding the subject in general seems to arise from at least two factors:

    1) muddling the issue of helmet effectiveness with tangential arguments and topics, such as helmet laws or speculation about what helmets are designed to do without any reference to current testing methods, etc. These things do not directly tell us if cycling poses the risk for head injury (an unequivocal yes) or to what extent, if any, helmets can prevent or mitigate head injury. Note how many arguments or papers questioning helmets steer away from helmet effectiveness and talk about reduced numbers of cyclists, undermining overall health benefits, or other topics. Similarly, in some cases, sites arguing against helmet laws or effectiveness cite only the skeptical portion of a paper without noting that the author also suggests some benefits from helmets.

    2) citing nonprofessional or unreliable sources, such as Wikipedia or a blog; citing anonymous essays from openly partisan, polemical sites like bhsi.org or cyclehelmets.org; or citing letters to the editor in a journal instead of a peer-reviewed study.

    and of course, lots of emotion

    I've been able to find far more peer-reviewed journal articles and official or professional reports suggesting at least some efficacy of helmets in preventing or mitigating head injury than those that directly deny it (versus focusing on the tangential issues above). I've found none stating unequivocally that helmets cause or increase severity of head injury, though this article, which speaks to the benefits of helmets also discusses their potential for increasing rotational injury: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa...cle_Helm_1.pdf

    I know this apparent disparity is not proof in itself, but it does seem like the bulk of scholars and experts agree that helmets have some effectiveness. Here are some links, for those interested:

    Medical, professional, or government journal articles or reports suggesting some effectiveness of bicycle helmets in injury prevention or reduction:

    Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/276/24/1968.abstract

    Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Serious Facial Injury
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/276...5-d05ae607eb65

    Bicycle helmet wearing and the risk of head, face, and neck injury: a French case–control study based on a road trauma registry
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont.../1/27.abstract

    Bicycle helmet campaigns and head injuries among children. Does poverty matter?
    http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/9/668.abstract

    Epidemiology of bicycle injury, head injury, and helmet use among children in British Columbia: a five year descriptive study
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...2/122.abstract

    Changes in traffic crash mortality rates attributed to use of alcohol, or lack of a seat belt, air bag, motorcycle helmet, or bicycle helmet, United States, 1982–2001
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...3/148.abstract

    Trauma injuries sustained by cyclists
    http://tra.sagepub.com/content/8/2/77.abstract

    Impact of Mandatory Helmet Legislation on Bicycle-Related Head Injuries in Children: A Population-Based Study
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...5/e60.abstract

    Bicycle-helmet use and our children’s safety
    http://www.cfp.ca/content/53/7/1131.full

    Mandatory Helmet Legislation Reduces Serious Bike Injuries & Deaths
    http://aapgrandrounds.aappublication...2/20.1.extract

    A hospital led promotion campaign aimed to increase bicycle helmet wearing among children aged 11–15 living in West Berkshire 1992–98
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...2/151.abstract

    Bicycle-Associated Head Injuries and Deaths in the United States From 1984 Through 1988
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/266/21/3016.abstract?

    CR 195: Bicycle helmets and Injury Prevention: A Formal Review (2000) **
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa...c_Crash_5.aspx

    Trends in Pediatric and Adult Bicycling Deaths Before and After Passage of a Bicycle Helmet Law
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../605.full.html

    The potential for cycle helmets to prevent injury - A review of the evidence **
    http://www.trl.co.uk/online_store/re...e_evidence.htm

    Bicycle safety helmet legislation and bicycle-related non-fatal injuries in California
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457504000600

    A decrease in both mild and severe bicycle-related head injuries in helmet wearing ages—trend analyses in Sweden
    http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/3/191.full

    Bicycle helmet legislation for the uptake of helmet use and prevention of head injuries
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...B27DE6A.d01t02

    Extent and Severity of Cycle Accident Casualties
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/...71/0015829.pdf

    Intended and Unintended Effects of Youth Bicycle Helmet Laws
    http://www.gse.uci.edu/docs/Carpente...ript_50409.pdf

    SWOV Fact Sheet: Bicycle Helmets
    http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheet...le_helmets.pdf

    Bicyclist Fatalities and Serious Injuries in New York City, 1996-2005
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...fatalities.pdf

    State of the Road: Bicycle Safety
    http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publica..._safety_fs.pdf

    The impact of compulsory cycle helmet legislation on cyclist head injuries in New South Wales, Australia
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457511001485

    The potential for cycle helmets to prevent injury - A review of the evidence
    http://www.trl.co.uk/online_store/re...e_evidence.htm

    Bicycle Injury Interventions: Bicycle Helmet Effectiveness **
    http://depts.washington.edu/hiprc/pr...meteffect.html

    Motorcycle and Bicycle Protective Helmets: Requirements Resulting from a Post-Crash Study and Experimental Research
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa...cle_Helm_1.pdf

    Project: Cycle Helmets - A Review of Their Efficacy **
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/rmd/project.as...rojectID=10083

    Bicycle-related injuries in Tehran
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18154428

    Effectiveness of bicycle helmet legislation to increase helmet use: a systematic review
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564454/

    Head injuries to children riding bicycles.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3626910

    Impact of bicycle helmet safety legislation on children admitted to a regional pediatric trauma center.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9498409

    Trends in helmet use and head injuries in San Diego County: the effect of bicycle helmet legislation.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457505001375

    Hazards of bicycling: From handlebars to lightning
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10946745

    Cycle helmets and the prevention of injuries. Recommendations for competitive sport.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9587180

    Bicycle-related injuries among preschool children.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9287885

    Prevention of bicycle-related injuries: helmets, education, and legislation.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9611621

    Advances in the prevention of children's injuries: an examination of four common outdoor activities.
    http://www.safetylit.org/citations/i...ls&citationIds[]=citjournalarticle_92120_24

    Are bicycle helmets necessary for children? Pros and cons.
    http://www.safetylit.org/citations/i...ls&citationIds[]=citjournalarticle_111463_24

    Awareness of the bicycle helmet law in North Carolina.
    http://www.safetylit.org/citations/i...ls&citationIds[]=citjournalarticle_68873_24

    Bicycle helmet efficacy: a meta-analysis
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457500000488 **
    (but see these responses:
    Publication bias and time-trend bias in meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy: a re-analysis of Attewell, Glase and McFadden, 2001.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21376924
    The efficacy of bicycle helmets against brain injury
    http://people.aapt.net.au/~theyan/cy...ention%202.pdf )

    Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists **
    http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/us...d/CD001855.pdf

    Injury prevention strategies to promote helmet use decrease severe head injuries at a level I trauma center.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7636907

    Trends in serious head injuries among cyclists in England: analysis of routinely collected data
    http://www.bmj.com/content/321/7268/...e2=tf_ipsecsha

    Effectiveness of bicycle helmets in preventing head injury in children: case-control study
    http://www.bmj.com/content/308/6922/...e2=tf_ipsecsha

    Craniocerebral trauma in fall from bicycles--what is the effect of a protective helmet?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8685726

    Injury-Control Recommendations: Bicycle Helmets
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00036941.htm

    The effect of bicycling helmets in preventing significant bicycle-related injuries in children.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8673566

    Injury patterns in cyclists attending an accident and emergency
    department: a comparison ofhelmet wearers and non-wearers
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...00444-0023.pdf

    A prospective analysis of injury severity among helmeted and nonhelmeted bicyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1942172

    Cycle helmet effectiveness in New Zealand
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457599000330
    (But see "Changes in head injury with the New Zealand bicycle helmet law" below)


    ** Meta-analysis

    Medical, professional, or government journal articles or reports skeptical of, downplaying, or denying effectiveness of bicycle helmets in injury prevention or reduction. Note that some of these do conclude that helmets offer at least some protection:

    Cycling and Children and Young People: A review
    http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/443203/c...eport_2005.pdf

    Publication bias and time-trend bias in meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy: a re-analysis of Attewell, Glase and McFadden, 2001.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21376924

    Making Vision Zero Real: Preventing Pedestrian Accidents and Making Them Less Severe
    https://www.toi.no/getfile.php/Publi...-2007-nett.pdf

    Changes in head injury with the New Zealand bicycle helmet law
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457500000737

    The efficacy of bicycle helmets against brain injury
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...0145750200012X

    Specific patterns of bicycle accident injuries - An analysis of correlation between level of head trauma and trauma mechanism
    http://www.egms.de/static/en/meeting...dgnc0134.shtml

    Trends in cycle injury in new zealand under voluntary helmet use
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...01457596000541

    Effectiveness of bicycle helmet legislation to increase helmet use: a systematic review
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564454/

    Cycle Helmets and Road Casualties in the UK
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/1...89580590931590
    Last edited by Six-Shooter; 01-31-12 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #1330
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    As an addendum to the above, some of the groups advocating (or in the case of UCI, mandating) helmet use. Edit: note that these are policy statements or recommendations that may or may not come in the context of original research or statistics.

    New York City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, and the New York City Police Department
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...fatalities.pdf

    Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety -- Queensland
    http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publica..._safety_fs.pdf

    Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands
    http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheet...le_helmets.pdf

    National Safety Council
    http://downloads.nsc.org/pdf/factshe..._Bicycling.pdf

    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml98/98062.html

    British Medical Association
    http://www.bma.org.uk/health_promoti...5#.TyLxMvn4IqY

    American Medical Association
    http://www.ama-assn.org/ad-com/polfind/Hlth-Ethics.pdf
    http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/do...le-helmets.pdf

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...ics;108/4/1030
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.or....full.pdf+html

    American Academy of Family Physicians
    http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/p...elmetlaws.html

    American Association of Neurological Surgeons
    http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Inform...%20Injury.aspx

    American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
    http://www6.aaos.org/news/pemr/relea...releasenum=787

    Texas Medical Association
    http://policy.texmed.org/index.aspx "55.021.Use of ANSI- or Snell-approved Bicycle Helmets.doc"

    American College of Emergency Physicians
    http://www.acep.org/MobileArticle.as...2&parentid=748

    ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation
    http://www.thinkfirst.org/Kids/BicycleSafety2.asp

    US CDC
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr4401.pdf

    World Health Organization
    http://www.who.int/violence_injury_p...met_manual.pdf
    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publication...9241562609.pdf

    US National Bicycle Safety Network
    http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikemore/helmet.cfm

    Union Cycliste Internationale (International governing body for races)
    http://oldsite.uci.ch/english/news/n...0502i_comm.htm

    And of course the government bodies that mandate helmet use.
    Last edited by Six-Shooter; 01-31-12 at 01:20 PM.

  6. #1331
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Easy. In a car accident, it's possible that somebody might get a neck injury even with an airbag but it's easy to surmise that it might have been worse without it.
    Kids and small adults have been killed by air bags, is it easy to surmise that it might have been worse without it.
    ?? I think you mean they would have been worse-off with then. That is true but that doesn't answer whether people overall would be worse-off with them.

    This actually points to why one needs good real world validation of things. Getting real data forced airbags to be redesigned to address these problems.

    And, of course, I'm not saying that my supposition is what happened.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 07:51 AM.

  7. #1332
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    I'd rather not ignore pertinent data that has been studied to some extent.
    No one is asking you to ignore it. Just don't except it as "holy writ". That is, understand the problems and deficiencies of it (not understanding that is careless).

    What is interesting is that you have no problem ignoring data. Why do you ignore this "pertinent data" about ABS? If risk compensation was a general issue with ABS, then you would not see these sorts of results.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-lock_braking_system

    A 2003 Australian study by Monash University Accident Research Centre found that ABS:[1]
    Reduced the risk of multiple vehicle crashes by 18 percent,
    Reduced the risk of run-off-road crashes by 35 percent.
    ================

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Yes, I read that one (of three), and it seemed perfectly reasonable. Firstly, there isn't much skill needed with ABS. In fact, people complain it's led to skillful braking becoming a lost art; people just slam on the brakes because that generally works. You don't think a car being advertised as having a ABS braking safety system increases the perception of safety?
    The problem some people have with ABS is that they habituated the "old" braking skills which make ABS less effective (this issue should have declined over time as ABS became standard. And ABS doesn't work better in slippery conditions anyway.

    Cab drivers should have lots of experience and be able to avoid accidents by reacting/anticipating better than less-experienced drivers. The accidents they get into may be ones that can't be react-to or anticipated (pure surprises). If that's the case (I don't know), ABS would not reduce the number of accidents.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 07:43 AM.

  8. #1333
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Now, cyclists: Think of the many who have been brainwashed that helmets save 80% of those who would otherwise have died. Can you honestly say none of them would stop biking if suddenly, helmets were forbidden on the roads?
    Things like "save 80%" claim seem false (and people should stop making those claims).

    But helmets are "magic" indeed if promoting their use discourages people from cycling (a common anti-helmet claim) as well as encourages them to cycle!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    The more I research the issue, the less sure I am that that's the case.
    Keep in mind that evidence of some benefit isn't the same as claiming a benefit of "85% lives saved" (or whatever the large number often quoted is).

    Anyway, you are providing links without looking at them.

    1) The first link you posted before (and it's weak as I said earlier).

    2) In the second link, the only comment about helmets appears to just say "Wear a standards approved and properly fitted bicycle helmet." It's merely echoing the standard recommendation.

    3) This bases it's recommendation on just one reference regarding helmet benefits. "Attewell, R.G., Glase, K. & McFadden, M. (2001). Bicycle helmet efficacy: a meta-analysis. In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, vol. 33, nr. 3, p. 345-352." You'd have to go back and look at that study (and any criticisms there might be of it)."

    4) The fourth link echos. yet again, that overly-positive result: "Yet, research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of these deaths and injuries by as much as 85 percent."

    5) This link is about helmet benefits (it's not a "recommendation" publication, which is a good thing).

    6) The first link is odd. It's just a list of recommendations. The second uses one reference (Choc

    7) It's possible that helmet are beneficial overall in children and don't really have any overall benefit in adults. The profiles of bicycle accidents appears to be different in children compared to adults (there's not a lot of disagreement about that).

    8) This one is interesting.

    11) Appears to be just a recommendation.

    ======

    It looks most of these all rely on the same few publications the various Cochrane surveys (2001 and 2005) and Thompson, et al meta analyses (1999 and 2008). (I'm not sure about the dates.) It appears that we have lots of recommendations and not a lot of studies.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 10:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    2) citing nonprofessional or unreliable sources, such as Wikipedia or a blog; citing anonymous essays from openly partisan, polemical sites like bhsi.org or cyclehelmets.org; or citing letters to the editor in a journal instead of a peer-reviewed study.
    I disagree with this. Wikipedia is more and more becoming an accepted source, providing the claims in it you are using to support your position are cited.
    Last edited by sudo bike; 01-30-12 at 10:26 AM.
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  11. #1336
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    No one is asking you to ignore it. Just don't except it as "holy writ". That is, understand the problems and deficiencies of it (not understanding that is careless).
    I do understand that; buzzman was just complaining about all the "asterisks" I had included in my risk compensation argument, so I'm not sure how you could see that as taking it as "holy writ". Some are arguing we should throw it out altogether because it's effect, as it applies to cycling, is not well studied. I'm arguing that it's a consideration to me made in the assessment; not that it's a trump card.

    What is interesting is that you have no problem ignoring data. Why do you ignore this "pertinent data" about ABS? If risk compensation was a general issue with ABS, then you would not see these sorts of results.
    *sigh* I'm not ignoring data. Yes, there is contrary information, just as there is for pros/cons of helmet efficiency in the first place. Even if you don't like the ABS example, there are others out there. It simply cannot be denied that when the risk/reward assessment we make changes, it affects decisions we make based on that. I like to use the teen example in this case because it was fairly well studied in the mainstream, not by outliers in a small field like bicycle helmet research. The concept is the same. Again, what extent this applies to cycling, specifically helmets, can't be answered thoroughly because it hasn't been well researched; but we know it must be a factor due to our more extensive research on the risk/reward assessment in general. Perception of safety and risk matters a lot.

    Imagine if all cars were made of Nerf and accidents were harmless; do you really think people would drive as "carefully"? Of course not, because perceived risk has dropped. This is an extreme example, but it demonstrates the point. The same thing happens with safety gear. It's more subtle, and varies based on how people perceive it affects their level of risk, but it's the exact same assessment process we all make, both consciously and otherwise.
    Last edited by sudo bike; 01-30-12 at 10:23 AM.
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  12. #1337
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    I'd rather not ignore pertinent data that has been studied to some extent.
    No one is asking you to ignore it. Just don't except it as "holy writ". That is, understand the problems and deficiencies of it (not understanding that is careless).
    I do understand that; buzzman was just complaining about all the "asterisks" I had included in my risk compensation argument, so I'm not sure how you could see that as taking it as "holy writ".
    You indicated that people were implying that you should "ignore pertinent data". No one has done that. And you appear to think that authority (eg, government recommendations) suffices as an argument. You really have to look at the actual sources supporting those recommendations rather than treat them as "holy writ" (yes, that's hyperbole) so you can avoid the "appeal to authority" fallacy.

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...authority.html

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    *sigh* I'm not ignoring data. Yes, there is contrary information, just as there is for pros/cons of helmet efficiency in the first place. Even if you don't like the ABS example, there are others out there.
    You are arguing that there's risk compensation with ABS. The one "cabbie" study doesn't (necessarily) show that. The Queensland data strongly shows that the ABS is still very beneficial meaning that risk compensation doesn't occur OR the risk-compensation that does occur doesn't matter.

    The issue isn't that there is "contrary information". It's why you seem to prefer information from one side!

    I haven't seen the other studies. It would seem that you haven't either (otherwise, you would have linked to them).

    So, is ABS significantly better or worse overall? Or is it something of marginal/moot benefit?

    ===========

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Imagine if all cars were made of Nerf and accidents were harmless; do you really think people would drive as "carefully"? Of course not, because perceived risk has dropped. This is an extreme example, but it demonstrates the point. The same thing happens with safety gear. It's more subtle, and varies based on how people perceive it affects their level of risk, but it's the exact same assessment process we all make, both consciously and otherwise.
    For real cars, the most common result of careless driving would be damage to the car. Dealing with that is expensive and inconvenient. Why doesn't that cause people to drive more safely than ABS (supposedly) makes them drive less safely?

    I can see quieter cars causing people to drive faster because the lower noise level leads to a direct actual sense that one is driving more slowly. I don't see what actual sense ABS (or helmets) are changing.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 11:05 AM.

  13. #1338
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Keep in mind that evidence of some benefit isn't the same as claiming a benefit of "85% lives saved" (or whatever the large number often quoted is).
    I never said anything that would imply that. I said, "suggesting at least some efficacy of helmets in preventing or mitigating head injury."

    Anyway, you are providing links without looking at them.
    On the contrary, I read at least the abstracts of every article linked. Unless I accidentally linked the wrong thing (I looked at a lot of material), all of them in the first section suggest at least some safety benefit from helmets, based on original research and/or analysis/examination of existing research. I will assume, unless it's proven otherwise, that the authors did due diligence and considered the validity of any sources they incorporate.

    4) The fourth link echos. yet again, that overly-positive result: "Yet, research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of these deaths and injuries by as much as 85 percent."
    I'm not sure, for instance, how you reduce the research of the fourth article, "Bicycle helmet campaigns and head injuries among children. Does poverty matter?" full text: http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/9/668.full to "The fourth link echos. yet again, that overly-positive result: 'Yet, research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of these deaths and injuries by as much as 85 percent.'" First, that quote is not in the article. Secondly, if they're relying on supposedly bad sources, you need to provide some sort of solid evidence that source is bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    I disagree with this. Wikipedia is more and more becoming an accepted source, providing the claims in it you are using to support your position are cited.
    Not acceptable to me as a serious venue for a gaining a balanced and accurate scholarly assessment of a complex topic, more a convenient first step in getting a basic overview.

  14. #1339
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Things like "save 80%" claim seem false (and people should stop making those claims).

    But helmets are "magic" indeed if promoting their use discourages people from cycling (a common anti-helmet claim) as well as encourages them to cycle!
    The paradox is only apparent, as it has to do with two different situations. The discouraging has to do with helmet laws and greul propaganda making cycling seem like a terribly dangerous activity. So, when people after all decide to cycle, they feel that they definitely have to wear a helmet. Fewer cycle, but those who do, try to take all precautions.

    See?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    I never said anything that would imply that. I said, "suggesting at least some efficacy of helmets in preventing or mitigating head injury."
    No, you haven't (but one of your links did).

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    I'm not sure, for instance, how you reduce the research of the fourth article, "Bicycle helmet campaigns and head injuries among children. Does poverty matter?" full text: http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/9/668.full to "The fourth link echos. yet again, that overly-positive result: 'Yet, research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of these deaths and injuries by as much as 85 percent.'" First, that quote is not in the article. Secondly, if they're relying on supposedly bad sources, you need to provide some sort of solid evidence that source is bad.
    This is the fourth link and "Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent." is the last sentence of the first paragraph. I may have confused this with the "86% (or whatever) of fatalities" statistic (talked about in the other helmet threads).

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml98/98062.html
    ========

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    all of them in the first section suggest at least some safety benefit from helmets, based on original research and/or analysis/examination of existing research. I will assume, unless it's proven otherwise, that the authors did due diligence and considered the validity of any sources they incorporate.
    No, only some of them are actual "original research or analysis/examination of existing research" (which is really what needs to be looked at instead of "recommendations"). Some of them make recommendations with no indicated reference at all.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 12:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    The paradox is only apparent, as it has to do with two different situations. The discouraging has to do with helmet laws and greul propaganda making cycling seem like a terribly dangerous activity. So, when people after all decide to cycle, they feel that they definitely have to wear a helmet. Fewer cycle, but those who do, try to take all precautions.

    See?
    No, if they are "risk compensating", then helmets make cycling seem much safer!

  17. #1342
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    I'm not sure, for instance, how you reduce the research of the fourth article, "Bicycle helmet campaigns and head injuries among children. Does poverty matter?" full text: http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/9/668.full to "The fourth link echos. yet again, that overly-positive result: 'Yet, research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of these deaths and injuries by as much as 85 percent.'" First, that quote is not in the article. Secondly, if they're relying on supposedly bad sources, you need to provide some sort of solid evidence that source is bad.
    In general, case-control studies seem to find a much larger effect than do population studies. There are many reasons for this, I believe, the most important being perhaps that it's extremely difficult to find a usefull control group. All sorts of biases may sneak in there.

  18. #1343
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    No, if they are "risk compensating", then helmets make cycling seem much safer!
    Really, you can't mean that this refutes the original claim???

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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    This is the fourth link and "Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent." is the last sentence of the first paragraph. I may have confused this with the "86% (or whatever) of fatalities" statistic (talked about in the other helmet threads).
    You're looking at the wrong post That second post is just a list of some groups that advocate wearing helmets, as noted. I will edit it to make it clearer. The first post contains links to scholarly research and professional or government studies/reports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    The paradox is only apparent, as it has to do with two different situations. The discouraging has to do with helmet laws and greul propaganda making cycling seem like a terribly dangerous activity. So, when people after all decide to cycle, they feel that they definitely have to wear a helmet. Fewer cycle, but those who do, try to take all precautions.

    See?
    For those interested, some national statistics on cycling injuries:

    Bicycle Injury and/or Fatality Statistics
    US
    http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreation...einjuries.html
    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811386.pdf
    http://www.iihs.org/research/fatalit.../bicycles.html

    Great Britain
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/rmd/project.as...rojectID=10083
    http://www.bma.org.uk/health_promoti...2#.TyW9H_n4IqZ
    http://assets.dft.gov.uk/statistics/...cgb2010-01.pdf
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...-2001-2006.pdf (London only)

    Scotland
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/St...ndRoadAccident

    Wales
    http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/...sb532011en.pdf

    US, Germany, Netherlands
    http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/facult...omJacobsen.pdf

    Canada
    http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/t...-2007-1039.htm

    Australia
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa...pdf/rsr_04.pdf

    Netherlands
    http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheet...le_helmets.pdf

    Denmark
    http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/2010/0...-from-denmark/

    Norway
    https://www.toi.no/getfile.php/Publi...-2007-nett.pdf
    Last edited by Six-Shooter; 01-30-12 at 01:05 PM.

  21. #1346
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    You indicated that people were implying that you should "ignore pertinent data". No one has done that. And you appear to think that authority (eg, government recommendations) suffices as an argument. You really have to look at the actual sources supporting those recommendations rather than treat them as "holy writ" (yes, that's hyperbole) so you can avoid the "appeal to authority" fallacy.
    Go back and reread. That is exactly what was said by buzzman. And where did I think government recommendations suffices an argument?

    You are arguing that there's risk compensation with ABS. The one "cabbie" study doesn't (necessarily) show that. The Queensland data strongly shows that the ABS is still very beneficial meaning that risk compensation doesn't occur OR the risk-compensation that does occur doesn't matter.

    The issue isn't that there is "contrary information". It's why you seem to prefer information from one side!

    I haven't seen the other studies. It would seem that you haven't either (otherwise, you would have linked to them).
    They were cited in the Wikipedia article I posted earlier; three studies, all coming to the conclusion that ABS has an affect in risk compensation.

    If I "prefer" any information, it's because it's perfectly logical judging from what I already know about risk/reward analysis in humans. But I've attached so many "but keep in mind"'s that I hardly see how I can be accused of that.

    So, is ABS significantly better or worse overall? Or is it something of marginal/moot benefit?
    That's the million dollar question. My gut is that it works overall, but more education can help combat risk compensation somewhat. Unfortunately, it's always a factor, and I'm honestly not sure what research, if any, has been done on how to combat that.

    Of course, in this case, we then come down to whether helmets are all that effective in the first place and worthy of the risk compensation trade-off, like ABS probably is overall.
    -
    For real cars, the most common result of careless driving would be damage to the car. Dealing with that is expensive and inconvenient. Why doesn't that cause people to drive more safely than ABS (supposedly) makes them drive less safely?
    ? Because you don't have another data point to compare to? If cars were made of bouncy fun material and then changed to metal, you'd have an argument. But to take your point further, if all cars were made of glass, yeah, they probably would drive a little more carefully. And I would note that you did not answer the question.

    I can see quieter cars causing people to drive faster because the lower noise level leads to a direct actual sense that one is driving more slowly. I don't see what actual sense ABS (or helmets) are changing.
    It isn't about the sense; it's about perception of safety. If one perceives an activity as more safe, or less risky, it follows that when they have that conversation in their head (that they may be unaware of and may last a split second) of, "Gee, I wonder if I should do this?", it's going to skew the results. Do you really not see how this would be? It seems so self-evident to me...
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  22. #1347
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    And where did I think government recommendations suffices an argument?
    Crap. I may have attributed a comment by Six Shooter to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Imagine if all cars were made of Nerf and accidents were harmless; do you really think people would drive as "carefully"? Of course not, because perceived risk has dropped. This is an extreme example, but it demonstrates the point. The same thing happens with safety gear. It's more subtle, and varies based on how people perceive it affects their level of risk, but it's the exact same assessment process we all make, both consciously and otherwise.
    For real cars, the most common result of careless driving would be damage to the car. Dealing with that is expensive and inconvenient. Why doesn't that cause people to drive more safely than ABS (supposedly) makes them drive less safely?
    ? Because you don't have another data point to compare to? If cars were made of bouncy fun material and then changed to metal, you'd have an argument. But to take your point further, if all cars were made of glass, yeah, they probably would drive a little more carefully. And I would note that you did not answer the question.
    I did answer the question (indirectly). Cars aren't made of Nerf. They aren't made of glass either (not entirely). They do damage very easily and expensively. You'd think that people would tend to avoid damaging them.

    You seem to think that ABS causes people to drive more recklessly. I'm arguing that the damage resulting from crashing cars is much more likely to influence behavior much more easily than ABS would (since the benefit of ABS is abstract and low probability).

    Similarly, helmets only can protect the head but there are all sorts of other problems that can happen and are more likely: including damage to the bike and other injuries. It's weird to expect that people have no concern about those things!

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    They were cited in the Wikipedia article I posted earlier; three studies, all coming to the conclusion that ABS has an affect in risk compensation.
    Three studies were mentioned. One was described and the conclusion from that study isn't the only possible conclusion. What were the other two studies?

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    It isn't about the sense; it's about perception of safety. If one perceives an activity as more safe, or less risky, it follows that when they have that conversation in their head (that they may be unaware of and may last a split second) of, "Gee, I wonder if I should do this?", it's going to skew the results. Do you really not see how this would be? It seems so self-evident to me...
    A risk-compensation related to what people actually sense seems much more convincing than the other stuff. The book "Traffic" talks about it. I don't think your typical rider is doing that (having "conversations in their head" about taking more risks).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-30-12 at 04:29 PM.

  23. #1348
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Crap. I may have attributed a comment by Six Shooter to you.
    It happens in lengthy debates, no worries.


    I did answer the question (indirectly). Cars aren't made of Nerf. They aren't made of glass either (not entirely). They do damage very easily and expensively. You'd think that people would tend to avoid damaging them.
    My point is that they do already. People are worried about dinging or scratching a car all the time; many cyclists here who have "dared" to touch a car (like slapping a car hood) can run into serious trouble with owners. It isn't immediately evident that this is so because you are only working from a single data point (mostly), since cars have pretty much always been made of hardy materials. One needs to see a comparison between two points to really see the difference; glass car vs nerf car, ABS vs traditional brakes, helmet vs non-helmet, etc.

    You seem to think that ABS causes people to drive more recklessly. I'm arguing that the damage resulting from crashing cars is much more likely to influence behavior much more easily than ABS would (since the benefit of ABS is abstract and low probability).
    Indeed, and I think it does influence behavior. Look, for example, at folks with expensive cars. They are far more likely to be concerned about expensive body damage than I am tootling around in a beater. They have more to lose; the risk vs reward changed. As noted, insurance companies are aware that people with more full-coverage insurance are likely to suffer risk compensation. All of these examples have one thing in common: The risk/reward assessment changes. And it's often a subtle result. If I don't have full coverage insurance in a seedy area of town, I may be a little more mindful of where I park my car vs. if I have a good insurance plan that covers a stolen car with little consequences.

    Now, to stress my point, I'm not saying that this alone is a reason to abandon helmets. Any safety equipment, providing it gives the user a sense of increased safety, is likely to suffer effects of risk compensation. One has to look at the trade-offs. In the cases of, say, ABS, seatbelts, etc, I think one can easily make the argument that it's still worth it. They are known to save lives and work very well.

    The case of helmets, however, gets trickier. Many people overestimate the ability to protect themselves, especially in cases of fatal car crashes, so you stand to suffer more sever penalties of risk compensation in society (as long as society stays misinformed) out of proportion than the benefits we know helmets actually give (preventing more "minor" injuries). Therefore, you are getting the worst of both worlds; increased risk compensation with little benefit. If people were more realistic about capabilities of helmets, I suspect it would be less of an issue. And this all ties together with my previous points of why it's dangerous to overestimate capabilities of safety equipment, and why good information is required.

    As I noted with a situation I am familiar with, fencing masks, when originally introduced, were meant to do little more than withstand incidental hits, and even then only really protected the eyes (today they are meant to withstand many, many direct hits). Imagine if fencers at that time thought the masks could withstand direct impacts. Do you not think there might be more risk of injury due to this misinformation? This would be a direct result of risk compensation; the fencers perceive their masks as protecting them more than they really are, and so are less likely to hold back and more likely to attack the face directly (or at least not concern themselves with it).

    This is, essentially, the problem I'm outlining with helmets. Society is misinformed about their efficiency, and so this can negatively affect their performance in practice. My hope, and what I'm trying to do, is better inform people about the realities of helmet use. That way they can either choose to forgo it, as I have, or at least they now know when they get on the bike that the lid is probably not going to save their life. I'm perfectly fine with either outcome. What concerns me is cases where people choose to wear one under the impression it will do more than it will, since this can lead to riskier behavior.

    Similarly, helmets only can protect the head but there are all sorts of other problems that can happen and are more likely: including damage to the bike and other injuries. It's weird to expect that people have no concern about those things!
    Again, it isn't that there was no concern; the concerns are cumulative. Again, think of risk/reward as a scale; adding greater rewards or more concerns will tip the overall balance one way or the other.

    Three studies were mentioned. One was described and the conclusion from that study isn't the only possible conclusion. What were the other two studies?
    Not sure how readily these can be found online, but these were the citations:
    1. ^ Grant and Smiley, "Driver response to antilock brakes: a demonstration on behavioural adaptation" from Proceedings, Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference VIII, June 14–16, Saskatchewan 1993.
    2. ^ Sagberg, Fosser, and Saetermo, "An investigation of behavioural adaptation to airbags and antilock brakes among taxi drivers" Accident Analysis and Prevention #29 pp 293-302 1997.
    3. ^ Aschenbrenner and Biehl, "Improved safety through improved technical measures? empirical studies regarding risk compensation processes in relation to anti-lock braking systems". In Trimpop and Wilde, Challenges to Accident Prevention: The issue of risk compensation behaviour (Groningen, NL, Styx Publications, 1994).


    A risk-compensation related to what people actually sense seems much more convincing than the other stuff. The book "Traffic" talks about it. I don't think your typical rider is doing that (having "conversations in their head" about taking more risks).
    I was simplifying to make my point. In most cases, people don't even consciously do the assessment. We do it so often with so many things, we don't even think about it. But if you stop to think about it, we do it for nearly everything. Jaywalking, for a split second one is weighing the risks of being hit or getting a ticket vs getting across the road faster. Riding on an MUP with a lot of peds, one is weighing the risk of how fast to ride among people between chances of a collision and getting where you want to go faster. Again, every minute little choice, we make this decision; we just do it so often, we sometimes don't realize it.
    Last edited by sudo bike; 01-31-12 at 06:52 AM.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    ?? I think you mean they would have been worse-off with then. That is true but that doesn't answer whether people overall would be worse-off with them.

    This actually points to why one needs good real world validation of things. Getting real data forced airbags to be redesigned to address these problems.

    And, of course, I'm not saying that my supposition is what happened.
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    A few pages back, there was discussion of helmet-wearing perhaps correlating to cyclists' overall attitudes towards enhancing their bike safety. Here's an article on the subject:

    Cycling safety: injury prevention in Oxford cyclists
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...4/285.full.pdf

    Cycling helmet users were significantly more likely to use collision prevention measures in conditions of reduced visibility. Explanations may include higher levels of risk awareness and greater knowledge of safe cycling practices in the smaller, helmet using group. However, current measures by cyclists in a major cycling centre may be insufficient to prevent collisions and consequent serious injury or death.

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