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  1. #1
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Negative health effects from mandatory helmet laws

    Found this while reading a Wikipedia entry on unintended consequences (link).

    In 1990, the Australian state of Victoria made safety helmets mandatory for all bicycle riders. While there was a reduction in the number of head injuries, there was also an unintended reduction in the number of juvenile cyclists—fewer cyclists obviously leads to fewer injuries, all else being equal. Research by Vulcan et al. found that the reduction in juvenile cyclists was because the youths considered wearing a bicycle helmet unfashionable.[22] A health benefit model developed at Macquarie University in Sydney suggests that, while helmet use reduces "the risk of head or brain injury by approximately two-thirds or more", the decrease in exercise caused by reduced cycling as a result of helmets laws is counterproductive in terms of net health.[23]

  2. #2
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Bolderdash. Hogwash. There is alway someone willing to put a spin on something.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  3. #3
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Great, we needed a new helmet thread.
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    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    How can you say that is "bolderdash". If the number decreased because of not wanting to wear a helmet, then it decreased by not wanting to wear a helmet. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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  5. #5
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Continue to read the last sentence. The one about putting a spin on things. Don't be gullible enough to believe everything you read as gospel.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    As with motorcycles, I would not ride without a helmet but would not support a helmet law. However, if you do not wear a helmet and sustain a serious injury do not expect me to pay for your medical cost and long term TBI care.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
    Bolderdash. Hogwash. There is alway someone willing to put a spin on something.
    Come now, the article states two things as facts and then quotes a conclusion based on some model. The facts quoted are (1) the use of a helmet reduces probability of brain injury by 2/3rds and (2) juveniles are less likely to cycle in the presence of helmet laws. Do you dispute either of the assertions?

    One step further: there are health consequences with lessened exercise levels in juveniles, well everybody for that matter. So far I think we're far below the threshold for "bolderdash (sic) and hogwash".

    Concluding with certainty that the relative negative health consequences of helmet laws exceed the positive utility could approach "spin". And that's ignoring the possibility that the juvenile energy doesn't just find another outlet, like gang violence (joke!!!).

    As far as I'm concerned the quote has one important part, that about helmet use decreasing brain injuries by 2/3rds but I'm not real concerned with appearing trendy nor am I particularly susceptible to peer pressure.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    OP is in Florida, so my cold ears and neck , that I avoid while wearing my warm hat and putting
    the Hood of my parka over it, and securing both under my chin, helmet wont fit.

    Has no Importance to them.. it's not cold enough there..

    they don't let the Pilots get in their airplanes at the Pensacola NAS base ... without a helmet.

    Oregon requires juveniles wear helmets, once older they too can choose..
    until they get motorbikes.

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    :

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Are there no other forms of exercise than Cycling? If helmet use decreases juviniles from riding doesn't that put them on foot? They aren't able to drive if they are juviniles and cycling isn't the only way to get to the basket ball court or the track. So yes it has moved to balderdash if we aren't told what the kids moved on to. If they had to go back to walking then we need the same eggheads to study the health and safety benefits of walking. Oh never mind there is no answer to this debate continue as you were.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  11. #11
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    Unfashionable!!??? If true, they don't know what unfashionable is! Would someone please show them how helmets looked (except for the old leather "hairnets" the racers wore) prior to 1987! They were quite geeky, nerdy, lame, heavy, unsleek, non-aerodynamic looking!! The Bell V1-Pro came close to looking cool (I bought one in 1983). PLEASE!!!! Today's helmets look no different than the cool ones worn by pro racers!

  12. #12
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Another vote for "not balderdash". The article is just one reason to not favor helmet laws but not a major and conclusive blow for such a justification IMO. I always wear a helmet myself though.... they are cool looking anyway.

    Maybe a media campaign to convince the youth that "helmets are cool babe magnets" is in order???

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  13. #13
    Man of constant sorrow Dudelsack's Avatar
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    A&S alert!

    They can take my helmet when they pry my cold dead ears off the chinstraps.
    Possunt quia posse videntur. St. Dudel: Epic is stupid that you get away with.

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    We just need a picture of the lastest teenage heart throb band/singer riding a bike and wearing a helmet to appear, then all the young wolf pups will want to do the same in order to look cool and attract the sweet young ladies. Problem solved.

  15. #15
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelnel View Post
    Great, we needed a new helmet thread.
    Not just another helmet thread, another helmet law thread.
    Craig in Indy

  16. #16
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Wearing helmets is good, helmet laws, bad. I always wear a helmet when I am out on my own bike but rarely wear a helmet when I ride a CABI (Capital Bike Share) around town. Public bike share programs will not succeed anywhere helmet use is mandatory. I would much rather see robust bike use than robust helmet use - witness Amsterdam.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Wearing helmets is good, helmet laws, bad. I always wear a helmet when I am out on my own bike but rarely wear a helmet when I ride a CABI (Capital Bike Share) around town. Public bike share programs will not succeed anywhere helmet use is mandatory. I would much rather see robust bike use than robust helmet use - witness Amsterdam.
    In our state it is only manditory for kids. The study talked about juviniles and reduction of riding. Are you opposed to those laws as well?
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    That is all the more important as an adult you set the standard by wearing your helmet around children. The pros have had a rule since Paris Nice in 2003. This report was in the 1990s. Kids are learning from their eviroment. If you looked at the adults in AU in the 1990, you can bet not one was wearing a helmet. Kids will be monkey see monkey do... So the report is not valid in today's society.
    Last edited by velocycling; 12-13-11 at 12:08 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Found this while reading a Wikipedia entry on unintended consequences (link).

    In 1990, the Australian state of Victoria made safety helmets mandatory for all bicycle riders. While there was a reduction in the number of head injuries, there was also an unintended reduction in the number of juvenile cyclists—fewer cyclists obviously leads to fewer injuries, all else being equal. Research by Vulcan et al. found that the reduction in juvenile cyclists was because the youths considered wearing a bicycle helmet unfashionable.[22] A health benefit model developed at Macquarie University in Sydney suggests that, while helmet use reduces "the risk of head or brain injury by approximately two-thirds or more", the decrease in exercise caused by reduced cycling as a result of helmets laws is counterproductive in terms of net health.[23]
    From this haven't a clue what the study, assumption and paremeters were. That they say "suggests" reinforces the idea that the study was more of an academic exercise than a real attempt to find a conclusion or cause-effect recommendation.

    There may be more real information in the study. But, it sure isn't presented.

    Sure does get a lot of comments though. Frankly, I'm mystified about all the smoke and fire associated with helmets.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Fashion!!!!

    This is the helmet I wore back in the late 70s through the mid 80s when I was in college--and for a few years after--riding my old Ross steel rodie.



    Talk about not fashionable. I wore it so I had protection. The helmet definitely saved my skull one Sunday morning at 7AM. A car ran me off a four lane road and there was not a single other car!

    Please take anything you read on the internet and WIKI with a suspicion and a large grain of salt.

  21. #21
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Found this while reading a Wikipedia entry on unintended consequences (link).

    In 1990, the Australian state of Victoria made safety helmets mandatory for all bicycle riders. While there was a reduction in the number of head injuries, there was also an unintended reduction in the number of juvenile cyclists—fewer cyclists obviously leads to fewer injuries, all else being equal. Research by Vulcan et al. found that the reduction in juvenile cyclists was because the youths considered wearing a bicycle helmet unfashionable.[22] A health benefit model developed at Macquarie University in Sydney suggests that, while helmet use reduces "the risk of head or brain injury by approximately two-thirds or more", the decrease in exercise caused by reduced cycling as a result of helmets laws is counterproductive in terms of net health.[23]
    huh?
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  22. #22
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    A health benefit model developed at Macquarie University in Sydney suggests that, while helmet use reduces "the risk of head or brain injury by approximately two-thirds or more", the decrease in exercise caused by reduced cycling as a result of helmets laws is counterproductive in terms of net health.[23]
    It's only a model.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Come now, the article states two things as facts and then quotes a conclusion based on some model. The facts quoted are (1) the use of a helmet reduces probability of brain injury by 2/3rds and (2) juveniles are less likely to cycle in the presence of helmet laws. Do you dispute either of the assertions?
    I don't, but keep reading. The alleged reduction in health was derived from a model. The assumptions in building the model may be flawed. Or worse yet, they could be selected to produce a predisposed result. For instance, in their assumptions, do they assert that kids who choose not to ride to avoid wearing a helmet subsequently do not engage in an alternate healthy activity? Is this a valid assumption to make? This model used to derive the overall health benefit of helmet use is really kind of squishy.

    For the record, I wear a helmet but do not advocate helmet laws.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  23. #23
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    From this haven't a clue what the study, assumption and paremeters were. That they say "suggests" reinforces the idea that the study was more of an academic exercise than a real attempt to find a conclusion or cause-effect recommendation.

    There may be more real information in the study. But, it sure isn't presented.

    Sure does get a lot of comments though. Frankly, I'm mystified about all the smoke and fire associated with helmets.
    No. It just reflects the cautious language that scientists everywhere are trained to use.

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  24. #24
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Suggest is one of the weaker words they might have used. It was BS. The point was not the conclusion, but that sometimes there can be unintended consequences.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  25. #25
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    A mod needs to move this self immolating turkey to A&S where it can get the attention it deserves.

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