Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bicycle helmet, bicycle safety, bicycling, biking, CPSC, cycling, family biking, helmet, helmet standards, JAMA, Thompson Rivara Thompson, youth helmets
Thompson, Rivara and Thompson M.D.s, “Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries,” JAMA, 1996.
This is probably the most cited of all helmet studies. It appeared at a time when the CPSC was considering the possibility of making new standards for little kids’ helmets. On one side of the discussion, engineers and advocates who thought child and toddler helmets should be made softer to protects kids from the type of head injuries they are most likely to suffer while bicycling. On the other side, helmet company reps who argued that kids didn’t need new standards or softer helmets.
Thompson, Rivara and Thompson’s “Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries” came along just in time to lend the industry some apparent scientific legitimacy to their argument.
The study concludes like this: “Based on our study, changes in helmet certification standards or the design of helmets particularly for younger age groups are less likely to result in major benefit.” The mention of kids’ helmet standards–“particularly for younger age groups…”–comes out of the blue at the end of the paper.
This is quite strange because, earlier in the document, the authors revealed that the study, which included over 3,000 crashed cyclists, included only one helmeted brain-injured subject under 6 years of age. Because of this almost total lack of data, the authors admit that their study cannot estimate any protective effect of helmets for this age group.
Hmm. But in the conclusion, which is the only part of the privately held document that journalists or 99% of the public will ever read, the authors do just that. They claim that helmets give the same protective benefit “to cyclists of all ages…” And then they go out of their way to say that bit about little kids not needing better helmet standards.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s very interesting that the particular age group that receives the most attention in the conclusion, is the one that received the least attention when collecting data. This seems to be a really smarmy piece of work.
See industrializedcyclist.com and Family Biking: The Parent’s Guide to Safe Cycling for more on kids’ helmet standards.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bicycle crashes, bicycle safety, Boston, Cambridge, car-bike collisions, car-bike crashes, enforcement, Harvard, Jack Danilecki, traffic accidents
Capt. Jack Danilecki of the Boston police, former commander of the tactical bicycle unit, said that five cyclists were killed in Boston last year. Police are taking an initial step to address the problem by issuing reminders — in the form of $20 tickets — to cyclists who run red lights and stop signs that they are legally bound to obey the rules of the road.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bicycle helmet laws, bicycle injuries, bicycle safety, bicycling injuries, Bike accidents, bike helmets, child cyclists, children and cycling, cycling, cycling injuries, helmet laws, helmets, mandatory helmet laws, transportation, urban cycling
Pinka Chatterji and Sara Markowitz, “Effects of Bicycle Helmet Laws on Children’s Injuries.” NBER Working Paper No. 18773. February 2013. JEL No. I0,K0
Cycling is popular among children, but results in thousands of injuries annually. In recent years, many states and localities have enacted bicycle helmet laws. We examine direct and indirect effects of these laws on injuries. Using hospital-level panel data and triple difference models, we find helmet laws are associated with reductions in bicycle-related head injuries among children. However, laws also are associated with decreases in non-head cycling injuries, as well as increases in head injuries from other wheeled sports. Thus, the observed reduction in bicycle-related head injuries may be due to reductions in bicycle riding induced by the laws.
State University of New York at Albany Economics Department
Department of Economics Emory University
The auto industry loves mandatory helmet laws.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bicycle, bicycle safety, bicycling, bike safety, cycling, mandatory helmet laws, Maryland, urban cycling
Would require helmets for adults on bicycles.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: affect heuristic, bicycle accidents, bicycle safety, bicycling, bike commuting, modism, road rage, Slate, transportation, Why You Hate Cyclists
This article makes a good point or two.
I’d just point out a minor issue. If fatalities-per-trip is falling, that might not mean that cycling is safer. It might just mean people are making more frequent, shorter trips. The metric you want is (if you want to use fatalities) fatalities per hour of bike use. But this is an even more elusive figure which ultimately relies on self-reported surveys of bike use — allowing us to fill in the blanks (erroneously) with our emotions as the article mentions. Furthermore, injuries might be higher even if fatalities are lower.
If all cyclists suddenly started following the letter of the law, cyclists would be much more in the way, and negative emotions toward cyclists would grow, not disappear. But that’s just a theory.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Betsy Price, bicycle, bicycle accident, bicycle crash, bicycle safety, bicycling, bike accident, bike crash, bike path, Bill Ritter, Fort Worth, MUP
What started as a routine Saturday morning bicycle ride for Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price ended with a broken collar bone, a concussion and some scrapes.
Despite her injuries, Price is in good spirits and still has a sense of humor, said Jason Lamers, chief of staff for Price and the City Council.