Cycle helmet paper

A refreshingly sane bit of research into cycle helmets from the National Childrens Buearu has this as part of it's conclusion about cycle helmets:

The conclusion from the arguments outlined above is that the case for cycle helmets is far from sound. The strong claims of injury reduction made by helmet proponents have not been borne out for fatalities (which this paper argues is the most methodologically sound test of effectiveness) in real-life settings with large populations. Technical and operational limitations on the effectiveness of helmets support this conclusion, and arguments from the way humans respond to risk give it further support. Two key arguments against helmet promotion – strong criticism of the key case-control studies and the first empirical evidence of risk compensation – have both recently appeared in peer-reviewed journals (Curnow 2005 and Mok and others 2004). The case of cycle helmets is arguably an example of a wider phenomenon in childhood accident prevention noted a decade ago by Dr Elizabeth Towner, first author of the Towner review: ‘Very few of our present interventions, intended to prevent these injuries, are actually known to work’ (Jarvis, Towner, & Walsh 1995).

This is from someone who rides a bike, wears a helmet and makes his daughter wear one. The full paper can be found here.


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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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