I don't trust bike lanes. I agree with wearing a bike helmet. But I don't trust bike lanes.
Somehow the news article decided that when there is any head injury and a death, then that is a head trauma death. Less than half of the deaths with known injuries involved only head injuries. When your torso is crushed, the state of your head isn't really important anymore. It's also interesting that almost half of the head injuries involving cyclists are to children. It's not a surprise; it's kind of like what one would expect of novice tight-rope walkers when no net is strung.
The author appears to have total confusion in his logic (if he has any):
"In addition to wearing a helmet, another helpful precaution is using a marked bike lane: Streets that have them have 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury."
Wearing helmet and using marked bike lane are two entirely different types of safety measures. Helmet prevents/reduces head injury after accident has occurred; marked bike lane may help prevent accidents from happening. If the author were to list the "helpful precautions" "in addition to wearing a helmet", he should also include using headlights and taillights, reflectors, mirrors, obeying traffic rules, etc.
(Maybe he has a relative working in the helmet industry?)
"In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury."
Reminds me of:
Mad Scientist: "I am dying."
Atomic Robo: "It's the massive plutonium leak in the forty ton bomb that's crushing your lower torso."
Oh I wish I had the guts to ride without my helmet...
My issue with the article is lumping all cycling together as "sport," especially in context of talking urban bike lanes and traffic safety.
Because of course if we were looking at head injury as a share of transport or even head injuries in general, 2% of head injuries by cyclists pales in comparison to head injuries suffered by those in motor vehicles.
How are you making this comparison? Bicycling accounts for such a small share of transportation in the US it wouldn't make sense to me to simply compare how many cyclists get head injuries while biking for transport to the number of people receiving head injuries while involved in auto collisions. And wouldn't auto collisions also include passengers?
I think the only legitimate comparison would be to correlate the data based on miles traveled or hours in transit and factoring in the difference in numbers of persons engaged in the activity and separating driver and passenger injuries. I'm not sure the data exists (or has been collected) to make any accurate comparisons.
Driver and passenger data need not be separated if we make a per passenger mile comparison.
Do you refute the statement that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of head injuries in the USA?
I do accept, rightly or not, that recreational cycling accounts for a disproportionate share of cycling injuries. However, that's only partly based on a perception of adult behavior and is more influenced by the likelihood that the riding done by children is recreational, since very few of them are allowed to ride to school or to the store anymore. (We rode up hill both ways through the snow to school back when I was young:50:)
EDIT Well, surprise, surprise. I should have heeded your disclaimer of being "frequently wrong." I'll know better than to take your word for it from now on. . I do refute "the statement that motor vehicles accidents are the leading cause of head injuries in the USA"! Something just didn't seem right in that statement so I checked.
According to the CDC FALLS are the leading cause of head injuries, followed by unknown causes and third is motor vehicle accidents. However, in all fairness, motor vehicle accidents do result in the largest share of deaths due to head injury.
Dumb article, far more people ride bicycles than play football or baseball.
The author is using a bunch of raw data apparently form different sources. This leads to some strange math. For example, a one point he says that almost half of head injuries are to children (most data agree there) then further on down say that the majority of men who die in bike accidents not wearing helmets are middle aged men. Unless men are more likely to die of injuries than any other category, there isn't much room for anyone else after subtracting the nearly half that are children.
In any case, it isn't the total numbers that matter, but the rate. Any activity with a large participation base will also have larger numbers of injuries and even deaths. When we look at the actual risk of head injury we find that the numbers for adults, with or without helmets is fairly low.
Is here a risk? Of course there is. Do helmets reduce the risk of head injury? Yes, but most data show that the reduction is not as much as folks tend to believe.
If commuting by bike was a sport, then commuting by car is like auto racing, right?
So I'd say by that logic, auto racing is the most dangerous sport!
All cycling isn't sport as mentioned above.
Another thing is that a lot of brain injuries in sports like football are not reported and the players are never trated properly. Some coaches are aware of head injuries now, but still there are probably a lot who will send a player back into a game after he had his bell rung. The effect of these injuries might not show up for years.
Of course there could be differences in how the data were collected, and what criteria were used, but the fact is that head injury and fatality data do not make the case that head injury is a serious risk for casual cyclists. I won't debate whether helmets reduce the rate of injuries or make a difference is the severity, and I certainly have no basis to object if anyone chooses to wear a helmet for cycling or any other activity. That's a personal choice. All I ask is that the true believers do what they feel is best for them, and give others the courtesy of accepting their decision to do differently.