Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Thompson Rivara Thompson ’96

Thompson, Rivara and Thompson M.D.s, “Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets in Preventing Head Injuries,” JAMA, 1996.

RT96tablew

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.



Chris Boardman on Helmets

British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman says it’s time for the cycling community to put the debate about mandatory cycle helmets to bed and get across the message that helmet use is one of the least important cycling safety measures.

Even talking about making helmets mandatory “massively puts people off” cycling, Boardman said, and likened the culture of helmet use among keen cyclists to people wearing body armour because they have got used to being shot at.

Talking to road.cc at the London Bike Show, Boardman said, “I think the helmet issue is a massive red herring. It’s not even in the top 10 of things you need to do to keep cycling safe or more widely, save the most lives.”

via Chris Boardman: "Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe" | road.cc.

More Boardman goodness:

http://road.cc/content/news/100104-chris-boardman-says-mps-should-be-embarrassed”-don’t-even-know-most-basic-facts”

We could use some straight talk like this in the US.



Melbourne’s bike rental scheme

They want to privatize and expand.

Patronage has grown every year since the scheme was launched in 2010. It had its best-ever month in January, when 18,809 rentals were recorded. Last month there were 12,781 rentals, an average of 421 rides a day. More than 1000 courtesy helmets were added last month to boost patronage.

via Buyer sought for Melbourne's bike scheme.

(Helmets are required for adults in Melbourne.)



New Yorker’s CitiBike Cover

Painfully slow rollout of NYC’s Citibike rental scheme is here, maybe. Lock up your daughters!

Interesting the artist put a helmet on the outside rider. Wonder if he/she was told to do that.

via http://publicbikeshare.com/2013/05/28/public-bike-share-a-picture-says-1000-words/

newyorkercitibike



Youth helmet recall
January 7, 2012, 19:01
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

These cheap helmets distributed by Triple Eight are recalled for failing CPSC requirements. Which is the first time I’ve ever heard of that happening. Not saying it doesn’t. I’ve just never heard that one before.

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/50268/