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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 08-13-14, 03:57 PM
  #8451  
meanwhile
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
To put it more bluntly, the page you cited isn't worth an argument.
To put it more bluntly: the argument is over and you lose.

I've posted the statistics already, along with links, several times in this thread.
The thread is over 300 pages long. Saying "I posted something already that proves I am right - it's there, really!" is ludicrous.

Oh - and attempting to discredit a source because it links to a blog somewhere on the page is just silly. The only source the relevant exceprt, which in itself proves you are wrong, relies on is

Robinson, 1996Robinson DL, 1996. Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws. Accident Analysis & Prevention 1996 Jul;28(4):463-75.

..which is hardly a blog. And the chief author of the site I quoted from is the scientist who runs the UK's main helmet testing lab and who is the usual technical expert in UK accident trials where helmet knowledge is needed... He's Brian Walker in the list below:

[TABLE="width: 80%"]
[TR]
[TD]John Adams, Ph.D.[/TD]
[TD]Professor of Geography, University College London, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Jean-Renť Carrť[/TD]
[TD]Emeritus Directeur de Recherches, Institut National Recherche & Etudes sur les Transports et leur Sťcuritť, France[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Mayer Hillman[/TD]
[TD]Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Peter Keller[/TD]
[TD]Wellington Hospital, New Zealand[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Frank Krygowski, MSME, PE[/TD]
[TD]Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Youngstown State University, Ohio, USA. Nationally certified cycling instructor, LCI #315 KC[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Dorothy L Robinson[/TD]
[TD]Adjunct Associate Professor, University of New England, Armidale, Australia[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]John Whitelegg, BA, PhD, FCIT, FILT, FRSA[/TD]
[TD]Professor of Sustainable Transport, Liverpool John Moores University, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Gerald J S Wilde, Ph.D.[/TD]
[TD]Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[h=3]Editorial Board[/h] The Editorial Board is responsible for the content of cyclehelmets.org.
[TABLE="width: 80%"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 28%"]Avery Burdett[/TD]
[TD="width: 72%"]Accident Researcher; Past President, Ottawa Bicycle Club; Former Director, Citizens for Safe Cycling, Canada[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Guy Chapman[/TD]
[TD]Road Safety Activist, Reading, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Bill Curnow[/TD]
[TD]Retired scientist and policy adviser, Canberra, Australia[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Shane Foran, MSc[/TD]
[TD]Safety Analyst, Galway, Ireland[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]John Franklin[/TD]
[TD]Cycling Skills & Safety Consultant, Cheltenham, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Riley Geary[/TD]
[TD]Director, Institute for Traffic Safety Analysis, Arlington, Virginia, USA[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Chris Gillham[/TD]
[TD]Journalist and Researcher, Perth, Australia[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Richard Keatinge,
MFPH MRCGP[/TD]
[TD]GP, Anglesey, Wales[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Charlie Lloyd[/TD]
[TD]Transport Researcher, London Metropolitan University, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Nigel Perry[/TD]
[TD]Senior Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Dorothy L Robinson[/TD]
[TD]Adjunct Associate Professor, University of New England, Armidale, Australia[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Brian Walker[/TD]
[TD]Director, Head Protection Evaluations, UK[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dr Peter Ward, MB.BS DCH DRCOG MRCGP[/TD]
[TD]GP Principal, Gateshead, England[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Malcolm Wardlaw, BSc, MBA[/TD]
[TD]Consultant on Cycling, Health and Safety, Edinburgh, Scotland[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

..It's notable, and should be a tip off to anyone with common sense, that while there are many pro-helmet sites on the web they're all either anonymous, sponsored by helmet makers, or edited by Some Guy On The Internet. There is a complete absence of qualified pro-helmet opinion.

Last edited by meanwhile; 08-13-14 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 08-13-14, 04:16 PM
  #8452  
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Doesn't that "you lose" mean a surrender in the Internet?

The page linked in your article is not a site, it is a blog page. There may be other pages in the site.

The page contains none of the information supporting anything in the article extract.

Stop trying to play "gotcha". You got my attention for a little while, congratulations, but I don't play childish games.


Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
To put it more bluntly: the argument is over and you lose.


Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
The thread is over 300 pages long. Saying "I posted something already that proves I am right - it's there, really!" is ludicrous.
I don't care if you look it up or not. You're one person out of billions, it makes no difference to me whether you find that information, find it and disregard it, or do or not do anything with it. I've posted it.
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Old 08-13-14, 06:59 PM
  #8453  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
In the rare event that a cyclist accident involves a head strike, does the helmet really need to be puncture-proof? Consider the speed of a motorcycle vs the speed of a bicycle. How often is a cyclist going to hit anything fast enough to need that type of protection?
I could speculate about the combined impact speeds of car-bicycle collisions and the danger of pointy things at the backs of trucks, but I donít really care to because Iím not that interesting in making a claim the helmet standards should be more rigorous. What I did just claim is that the lack of a pen-test makes helmets less safe - to what degree, other here are better informed.

But, for me anyway, when I do wear a helmet, when I know Iíll be riding in very sketchy traffic or fast downhills, I wear a hard shell skateboarder type. Might as well make it count.
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Old 08-13-14, 07:12 PM
  #8454  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
You simply can't have a pen safe cycling helmet and shouldn't try. If you want to have a safer helmet then

1. You need one that forces the wearer to wear it correctly. Most people don't

2. You need a shell that won't shred on a rough surface

3. You need anti-rotation features

...Such a helmet would reduce minor head injuries. It wouldn't substantially impact deaths, because they all result from cyclists heads and torsos going across car hoods and bumpers at +30mph, and no imaginable helmet can manage those energy levels.
Australia did actually a pen-test in place for most of the 80s. It was why the iconic Rosebank Stackhat was able to corner the market, because imports didn't comply with the certification. Australia had protectionist trade policies at the time so this worked out well for everyone concerned, and in fact they didn't lose the pen-test requirement until Rosebank had enough time to develop their own soft-shell helmet.

Anyway, I'm not disagreeing with you about the qualities which would really make helmets safer, but it seems to me that if those factors were actioned the resulting helmet would be unwearable for most cyclists. This would draw, from the point of view of helmet makers, unwanted attention to the necessity of helmets in the first place. Policy makers and helmet manufacturers have found the sweet spot in helmet standards where they don't protect enough to help in the worst kinds of accidents, but do protect enough to work make their users feel safe, make the "won't someone think of kids" brigade and politicians feel like they have done something, and make helmet manufacturers a tonne of money.
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Old 08-13-14, 07:17 PM
  #8455  
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It came out in the very early 80s. Anyone notice the Star Wars influence? Its been pointed out in the Aussie bike forums that its basically a retro ice hockey helmet toughened up with less ventilation to satisfy the penetration test standard.
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Old 08-13-14, 08:53 PM
  #8456  
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Originally Posted by yugyug View Post
I could speculate about the combined impact speeds of car-bicycle collisions and the danger of pointy things at the backs of trucks, but I donít really care to because Iím not that interesting in making a claim the helmet standards should be more rigorous. What I did just claim is that the lack of a pen-test makes helmets less safe - to what degree, other here are better informed.

But, for me anyway, when I do wear a helmet, when I know Iíll be riding in very sketchy traffic or fast downhills, I wear a hard shell skateboarder type. Might as well make it count.
As I've said, I'm a helmet nanny. I wear one every time I ride.

If you're donning a helmet to protect you from motor vehicles, it has been shown you are expecting much more than a bicycle or skateboard helmet is designed to deliver.
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Old 08-13-14, 09:23 PM
  #8457  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
As I've said, I'm a helmet nanny. I wear one every time I ride.

If you're donning a helmet to protect you from motor vehicles, it has been shown you are expecting much more than a bicycle or skateboard helmet is designed to deliver.
No, my expectations of what such a helmet can do are quite low and commensurate with their capacities.
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Old 08-14-14, 06:29 AM
  #8458  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Doesn't that "you lose" mean a surrender in the Internet?
Not if you are over 8.

The page linked in your article is not a site, it is a blog page. There may be other pages in the site.
There are MULTIPLE cites in that article; which one are you refering to? And why should it matter as the only relevant cite to my point is the one for the data in the extract I used. Which



Robinson, 1996Robinson DL, 1996. Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws. Accident Analysis & Prevention 1996 Jul;28(4):463-75.


..is hardly a blog.

The page contains none of the information supporting anything in the article extract.
..Says Mr "I don't need any sources".

Really: stop being silly. Look at the names I quoted; anything on the site I used is guaranteed to be at the same level of accuracy as an academic journal because it has passed the same level of review. That you can't get at a copy of


Robinson, 1996Robinson DL, 1996. Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws. Accident Analysis & Prevention 1996 Jul;28(4):463-75.


...is your problem. If you have doubts, pay for your local library to get you a copy.

Last edited by meanwhile; 08-14-14 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 08-14-14, 06:33 AM
  #8459  
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Originally Posted by yugyug View Post

It came out in the very early 80s. Anyone notice the Star Wars influence? Its been pointed out in the Aussie bike forums that its basically a retro ice hockey helmet toughened up with less ventilation to satisfy the penetration test standard.
..However, said toughening up increases the weight. What increases rotational inertia in a crash. Which is the main instrument of serious neurological damage in car-less crashes. So it's probably one of the least safe helmets you can buy.
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Old 08-14-14, 06:44 AM
  #8460  
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Only one cite in the portion that you quoted, which I explained in detail and which you're arguing over now.

Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Not if you are over 8.



There are MULTIPLE cites in that article; which one are you refering to? And why should it matter as the only relevant cite to my point is ...
...is your problem. If you have doubts, pay for your local library to get you a copy.
You don't have a point, unless it's your hackneyed idea that setting a personal context in an introductory paragraph needs some kind of proof with urls submitted.

This is tedious and irrelevant. Back to the message filter from whence you came.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:08 AM
  #8461  
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I get a chuckle out of the anti helmet crowd listing "papers" that they say prove their point. IMO "papers" are produced by someone that has a preconceived point they want to prove, and their "research" magically always comes out to prove them right. I have a roll of "papers" hanging in the bathroom, and they are pretty much equal to the "papers" the anti helmet crowd list.

Fact------------do helmets work and prevent injury in low speed accidents-----------yes. Do helmets prevent injury or death in high speed accident on the hiway-----------no.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:13 AM
  #8462  
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Once again, rydabent presents opinion as fact, and further ridicules those who would try to determine facts from opinion with rigor. A fine example of cold logic.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:26 AM
  #8463  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Only one cite in the portion that you quoted, which I explained in detail
"In detail" does not equal COMPETENTLY. The one cite in said portion was of an academic journal, not a blog. My god, man, is this hard? It has page numbers, publication date, and an easily searchable journal name! Again:


Robinson, 1996Robinson DL, 1996. Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws. Accident Analysis & Prevention 1996 Jul;28(4):463-75.


..Complaining that this is a blog is just bizarre.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:28 AM
  #8464  
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
Once again, rydabent presents opinion as fact, and further ridicules those who would try to determine facts from opinion with rigor. A fine example of cold logic.
Rydabent famously claimed that being hit head-on by a truck at speed is safer on a recumbent because you don't have as far to fall to the ground...
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Old 08-14-14, 07:30 AM
  #8465  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I get a chuckle out of the anti helmet crowd listing "papers" that they say prove their point. IMO "papers" are produced by someone that has a preconceived point they want to prove, and their "research" magically always comes out to prove them right. I have a roll of "papers" hanging in the bathroom, and they are pretty much equal to the "papers" the anti helmet crowd list.
So basically you're an ignorant man and resent people who are smarter and better educated than you? Well, that's one of *my* preconceived ideas confirmed...
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Old 08-14-14, 07:54 AM
  #8466  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
...
Fact------------do helmets work and prevent injury in low speed accidents-----------yes. Do helmets prevent injury or death in high speed accident on the hiway-----------no.
I don't know why anyone would argue with this - it could be a starting point for discussion.
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Old 08-14-14, 08:11 AM
  #8467  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't know why anyone would argue with this - it could be a starting point for discussion.
Yes, it could. But in fact you junked that possibility by refusing to engage with the statistics which show that virtually all crashes that result in serious injury or death involve high speed hits from cars.

The reality is this simple: the energy limits of cycling helmets are so low that they only work in crashes where the chance of serious injury is virtually non-existent. Which is unsurprising when consider that they are an inch of packing foam with a 1 mm shell of hard plastic on top.

(Actually, the above is an over-simplifcation. Unlike you actually know what I'm talking about - I have a physics degree - and the helmet spec is probably wrong for producing helmets that mitigate even low speed falls effectively. Stronger shells and anti-rotation features are needed; the impact model that was used simply wrong. You could find out more about this if you did any research, but I doubt that will happen..)
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Old 08-14-14, 08:13 AM
  #8468  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
..However, said toughening up increases the weight. What increases rotational inertia in a crash. Which is the main instrument of serious neurological damage in car-less crashes. So it's probably one of the least safe helmets you can buy.
To my knowledge the studies on rotational concussion didn't come out until the 90s? Anecdotally the bigger problem was heatstroke.

Anyway, you can't buy it now, except on ebay - for anywhere between 10c and a gazillion dollars . It guess it has retro-cool - I saw a wannabe hipster wearing one the other day. If he was a true hipster he would just break the law and not wear a helmet at all though
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Old 08-14-14, 08:14 AM
  #8469  
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A question for helmet advocates: how to do you imagine helmet testing to ensure they match required certifcation levels works???
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Old 08-14-14, 08:20 AM
  #8470  
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Originally Posted by yugyug View Post
To my knowledge the studies on rotational concussion didn't come out until the 90s?
Indeed. The point is that increasing penetration resistance doesn't really help with safety and may make helmets worse. Like space launchers, cycling helmets suffer the problem that most design changes to increase performance in one area make it worse in another. Helmets require strength, but strength requires weight, and weight makes rotation worse. The only way out of this is by using materials with exceptional strength to weight - but they're very expensive and often have other problems (eg kevlar hates UV.)

To be blunt, most people are not very smart or prone to deep thinking. They look at a helmet and if it is helmet shaped they think "Helmet! Safe!" Rather like a child painting stripes on a soapbox racer thinks they will make it go faster. But real engineering isn't like this: it's full of trade-offs and complexities, and if you get a safety model wrong - which was probably the case with cycling helmets - you may do more harm than good. Helmets are designed around linear impact, but they should be design around rotation - and engineering to reduce linear impact may well make rotation worse.

Last edited by meanwhile; 08-14-14 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 08-14-14, 08:28 AM
  #8471  
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
Once again, rydabent presents opinion as fact, and further ridicules those who would try to determine facts from opinion with rigor. A fine example of cold logic.
I'll not comment on his alleged inclinations but there's not much wrong with the opinion he expressed here.

For example, and this was selected almost randomly from a simple Google search.
Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries

"Main Results.—There were 3390 injured bicyclists in the study; 29% of cases and 56% of controls were helmeted. Risk of head injury in helmeted vs unhelmeted cyclists adjusted for age and motor vehicle involvement indicate a protective effect of 69% to 74% for helmets for 3 different categories of head injury: any head injury (odds ratio [OR], 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26-0.37), brain injury (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.25-0.48), or severe brain injury (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.14-0,48). "

This is not an unusual result for this type of study. If I were to take issue with Ryadabent here it would be because "There was no effect modification by age or motor vehicle involvement (P=.7 and P=.3)." which would does not exclude the possibility that helmets can have some effectiveness even in collisions with higher speed vehicles.

To further illustrate the latter possibility, Accident Analysis & PreventionVolume 19, Issue 3, June 1987, Pages 183–190 concluded "a statistically significant association between helmet use and reduced severity of head injury. The association persisted after adjustment for age and sex of rider, and severity of crash forces. "

Again and again, this has been presented so often that we're flogging a dead horse. Injury patterns in cyclists attending an accident and emergency department: a comparison of helmet wearers and non-wearers "Results - There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to type of accident or nature and distribution of injuries other than those to the head. Head injury was sustained by 4/114 (4%) of helmet wearers compared with 100/928 (11%) of non-wearers (P=0.023). ...Conclusion: The findings suggest an increased risk of sustaining head injury in a bicycle accident when a motor vehicle is involved and confirm protective effect of helmet wearing for any bicycle accident."

Last edited by wphamilton; 08-14-14 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 08-14-14, 08:56 AM
  #8472  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I'll not comment on his alleged inclinations but there's not much wrong with the opinion he expressed here.

For example, and this was selected almost randomly from a simple Google search.
Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries

..Emphasis on **simple**: this is the same group of researchers who cheated to produce the 85% figure for the helmet company! And the methodology is exactly the same and so stupid that even a child shouldn't be fooled. They took two completely unalike groups and blamed the difference on helmets. Which, honestly, is stupid - people who bike salmon and ride drunk don't wear helmets but are about ten times as likely to be be injured. You can only meaningfully compare alike groups. Which is why the only meaningful studies are the ones using figures from countries introducing helmet laws.


...And this isn't even subtly bad science - it's a basic gross breach of methodology.

As was this:


To further illustrate the latter possibility, Accident Analysis & PreventionVolume 19, Issue 3, June 1987, Pages 183–190 concluded "a statistically significant association between helmet use and reduced severity of head injury


...That study was based on self-reporting and relies heavily on fudge factors for adjusting results; it's therefore junk. Especially when it is contradicted by results from the same country that were not self-reported and which used a vastly greater sample size, which was the case post MHLs. This is basic science: larger, better randomized samples always obsolete smaller ones

Suggestion: could you tell us what qualifications you have that allow you to decide which studies are valid and which are not? And whether you are even making a common sense attempt (eg googling "rivara helmet study criticism" which would have got eg A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets) to check validity?

Because my suspicion at the moment is that you're completely intellectually incompetent and are making no effort at checking at all..
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Old 08-14-14, 09:00 AM
  #8473  
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..Let's talk about basic common sense:

- You have a study from authors sponsored by a helmet maker

- The US government officially announces their key paper is meaningless and either incompetent or biased

- Their work disagrees with authorative, robust independent studies by organizations like the DTI

...And your answer is to ignore the independent studies and concentrate on results that favour your personal opinions, even they come from proven cheats/incompetents?
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Old 08-14-14, 09:03 AM
  #8474  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
The thread is over 300 pages long. Saying "I posted something already that proves I am right - it's there, really!" is ludicrous.
Yeah, and I remember a bare-head advocate once telling me "Do your own research" when I asked for a link to a paper they'd previously quoted...

Someone posted a newer study -- done in 2013 or 2014 -- which indicated that helmets do reduce instances of head injuries. To no surprise at all, study found that helmets were most effective regarding less than serious injury -- most effective at mitigating mild injury; less effective with moderate injury -- but it was found that there was also some effectiveness at reducing rates of serious head injury. I don't know that anyone was able to refute the findings of that newer study, and it stands in contrast to those claiming helmets are ineffective regarding serious head injury, which is certainly why I found it notable and worth paying attention to.
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Old 08-14-14, 09:08 AM
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It's not like the tricks used in that paper are even hard to understand (or uncommon: they saturate the pharma industry).

A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets
is very difficult to determine the benefit of a treatment by comparing groups who choose to take it with those who do not. A combined analysis of 30 studies, all or which compared women who chose to use Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) with non-users, estimated that HRT reduced the risk of heart disease by 50%. But when the bias of self-selection was avoided by choosing at random who would take HRT, it was found that HRT may even increase the risk of heart disease! The higher socioeconomic status of women who chose HRT may have been associated with other factors such as better diet and more exercise. This, not HRT, was the real cause of their lower rate of heart disease (Lawlor, Smith and Ebrahim, 2004).
As noted above, cyclists who choose to wear helmets differ considerably from non-wearers. The study of bike/motor vehicle collisions found that helmet wearers also had much less serious non-head injuries. These differences, rather than helmets, may also explain their lower rate of head injuries.

...You simply can't compare unalike groups robustly. When you introduce fudge factors, as the authors above did, to supposdely compensate then the results can be anything you want depending on how you set those fudges. Now, if you have excellent data and are very honest and competent, you can get good answers - but the authors here are proven incompetents/liars! wham had even been told this and shown unequivocal evidence - but it seems like doing something as simple as checking an author name is beyond him!

And most of all, fudge factor studies NEVER outweigh studies that don't need fudges. In and this case such studies exist and conclusiely disprove the claims made.
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