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Dad stops kid from crashing bike into parked car (+ link to video)

Footage goes viral - after soparking helmet debate

A video of a father dashing after his son to prevent him from crashing his bike into a parked car has been grabbing a l;ot of attention on Reddit - but not for the reason you might think.

 The footage, which you can watch here,  shows the father steadying his son's bike on a quiet suburban street before giving him a little push to help him on his way.

The father is jogging alongside his son as the youngster makes his first pedal strokes - then suddenly sprints into action as the nipper veers towards a parked car.

For many commenting on the video on Reddit, however, the quick-thinking father's prompt action to prevent a crash wasn't the most striking thing about the video, with the first commenter observing, "That kid needs a helmet" - an opinion that inevitably has sparked a debate on the subject.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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422 comments

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ClubSmed replied to davel | 6 years ago
0 likes
davel wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

I don't think that striving for this negates the need for a helmet. There are always going to be issues that cannot be controlled like black ice, falling trees/branches, animals running out etc.

I also agree that the helmet projects an element of danger that may put any would be cyclists off, but I don't think it creates as much as a barrier as the perceived need for lycra (I also wear lycra on my commute by the way).

So, to me, the risk of the first (I see the risks of having an off in which a helmet would protect me as pretty insignificant) doesn't outweigh the potential damage. But, again, in something that's impossible to measure, it probably comes down to ideology.

I'd sooner we stop apologising for existing alongside cars, and I suppose I see helmets as feeding that, while it isn't encouraged in any other road user (who happen to die in greater numbers).

But yes: I also used to have a section of commute where my head would get beaten up by branches... if I hadn't worn a helmet. It was pretty useful for that.

I can understand that, we are all shaped by our own experiences. I was unfortunate enough to watch my father get hit by a car (as a pedestrian) and his head go through the windscreen followed by him skimming along the road on his head. He survived but had massive scaring to the top of his head (the only place that scared as a result of the incident). The incident was pretty much my father’s fault as he tried to cross the road when he should not have, but it gave me an insight as to what could happen should I get hit by a car whilst on the bike. I do understand at the same time that wearing a helmet whilst saving my head may result in more severe injuries elsewhere like my neck and spine, it's all a gamble really.

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like

Agreed Davel, like you it sneaked up on me and I don't always wear one. You can also say that external pressure and the 'normalising' of it may have had an influence. There is potentially a small impact on the getting people into cycling and safety in numbers points and it'd be interesting to research this - I don't believe the Australian law changes are the way to do it as to me that showed a greater emphasis on their lack of care for cyclists to be a reasonable 'test' and 'control'. I would also wonder how many are directly put off returning based on this, I'd imagine many that say they would actually wouldn't.

 

They're all parts that need adding to the mix which is why I got a bit nawty about the graph, I don't propose I have the answer but I don't believe it's a line up and a line down.

 

Hope that you don't have to test the theory either Davel, I hadn't before July. Even with this I get the argument that the helmet is making the surface area bigger. However, the way my body and head hit that big flippin pole and the subsequent damage to body (not head) and helmet makes me gald I'd spent £50. And yes, it's influenced me, I replaced it with an £80 one!

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davel replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
2 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Agreed Davel, like you it sneaked up on me and I don't always wear one. You can also say that external pressure and the 'normalising' of it may have had an influence. There is potentially a small impact on the getting people into cycling and safety in numbers points and it'd be interesting to research this - I don't believe the Australian law changes are the way to do it as to me that showed a greater emphasis on their lack of care for cyclists to be a reasonable 'test' and 'control'. I would also wonder how many are directly put off returning based on this, I'd imagine many that say they would actually wouldn't.

Fair point, and conclusions drawn from 'safety in numbers' theory often have their critics. Nevertheless, it is A Thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_in_numbers#In_road_traffic_safety

But yes - the wider point is that there are impossible variables to measure at play, so helmet/no helmet regarding safety is essentially an ideological argument. We might as well argue about religion. I can see why you could get a bit evangelical if you had an off that resulted in a split helmet and unscathed head. Not having had that experience, the equation, for me, is still 'Am I safer with a helmet?'... and I genuinely don't know. I don't see how anyone can. The evidence regarding safety is pretty flimsy, which gifts the opposing arguments traction - risk compensation, driver behaviour... am I more likely to take risks on a descent? Are cars more likely to buzz me..? I doubt it, but I don't KNOW.

So the question for me then is about the wider use of helmets, and its potential effects. What I do know is that colleagues remark that they wouldn't cycle to work as they think it's dangerous; I know that surveys report that people are put off because they perceive cycling to be dangerous; I know surveys report that people associate PPE with danger; I know that people who've driven into cyclists have had lawyers who have discussed the victim wearing/not wearing a helmet as some sort of blaming device.

To me, that constitutes a more tangible negative impact to widespread helmet use, and that's the reason I'm largely anti-helmet.

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alansmurphy replied to davel | 6 years ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

So the question for me then is about the wider use of helmets, and its potential effects. What I do know is that colleagues remark that they wouldn't cycle to work as they think it's dangerous; I know that surveys report that people are put off because they perceive cycling to be dangerous; I know surveys report that people associate PPE with danger; I know that people who've driven into cyclists have had lawyers who have discussed the victim wearing/not wearing a helmet as some sort of blaming device.

To me, that constitutes a more tangible negative impact to widespread helmet use, and that's the reason I'm largely anti-helmet.

 

Absolutely - the 2 that bother me most are the associations with danger and the victim blaming. These are massive external factors that are wrong on so many levels and I've highlighted that I agree with Boardman that the helmet is so far down the list of things for the powers that be to concern themselves with - which incidentally makes the recent reviews so ridiculous.

 

The utopia is for motorists to behave as they should, infrastructure to improve (both cycling provision and road maintenance) and human beings (or lawyers) to improve their behaviours. Then I'd only have to wear a lid to protect me from myself  1

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Jimmy Ray Will | 6 years ago
3 likes

This is awesome...

 

 

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OldRidgeback replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 6 years ago
2 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

This is awesome...

 

 

 

Hmm, not sure. I've strong views on the helmet issue and participated in some of the threads in the past. To be honest I find it boring now. I'm only commenting now to see if we can get a record number of comments on this thread.  1

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to OldRidgeback | 6 years ago
3 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

This is awesome...

 

 

 

Hmm, not sure. I've strong views on the helmet issue and participated in some of the threads in the past. To be honest I find it boring now. I'm only commenting now to see if we can get a record number of comments on this thread.  1

 

The problem is that while it's boring and repetitive to go through the same arguments over-and-over, stories like the one on here just the other day emphasise why it can't simply be ignored, because one day the alliance of the car-centric and the ignorantly-paternalist might get the government to pass such legislation.

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OldRidgeback replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 6 years ago
1 like
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

This is awesome...

 

 

 

Hmm, not sure. I've strong views on the helmet issue and participated in some of the threads in the past. To be honest I find it boring now. I'm only commenting now to see if we can get a record number of comments on this thread.  1

 

The problem is that while it's boring and repetitive to go through the same arguments over-and-over, stories like the one on here just the other day emphasise why it can't simply be ignored, because one day the alliance of the car-centric and the ignorantly-paternalist might get the government to pass such legislation.

The issue of helmet use is an important one, I agree. But it's been debated on this website numerous times before and will be numerous times in the future. The fact is, there are people who argue for and against helmet compulsion on this website. The two sides will never agree. The debate will carry on and on and on here but never actually get anywhere.

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hawkinspeter replied to OldRidgeback | 6 years ago
4 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

The issue of helmet use is an important one, I agree. But it's been debated on this website numerous times before and will be numerous times in the future. The fact is, there are people who argue for and against helmet compulsion on this website. The two sides will never agree. The debate will carry on and on and on here but never actually get anywhere.

As the issue is (extremely) debatable, the only sensible answer is to NOT mandate helmet wearing and let the individual decide what safety equipment is appropriate.

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rnick | 6 years ago
1 like

It's the Dad who needs the helmet. He'll be in for a ferocious bollocking when Mum sees the video. Just another every day near injury / death experience which parents have always suffered when raising kids. As for a helmet, why not? If the worse happens and junior's noggin gets a whallop, you just might feel guilty sitting in casualty waiting for them to be fixed up.

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700c | 6 years ago
2 likes

What this forum proves is that the helmet zealots are just as bad as the anti helmet brigade in that both groups views' are so entrenched they will never see eye to eye

Why bother arguing or trying to reason. And be honest about your own biases people

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don simon fbpe | 6 years ago
3 likes

//margethelarge.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/make-it-stop-o.gif)

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CygnusX1 replied to don simon fbpe | 6 years ago
1 like
don simon wrote:

//margethelarge.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/make-it-stop-o.gif)

^ What he said ^

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davel | 6 years ago
3 likes

Yo Momma Thread!

 

Yo Momma so ugly, she makes onions cry.

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CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
1 like

Hey, Helmut ... is your brother Schubert still around?

This thread was more interesting when Schu D. Bate was here yes

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Helmut D. Bate replied to CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
2 likes
CygnusX1 wrote:

Hey, Helmut ... is your brother Schubert still around?

This thread was more interesting when Schu D. Bate was here yes

I don't see him much anymore.

He married a girl called Discbrake and our relationship deteriorated in predictably rapid fashion  2

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davel | 6 years ago
5 likes

Cyclists wearing helmets = creates the perception of danger = discourages people from cycling.

Totally agree: it's often trotted out by St. Chris and I don't see what's controversial about that.

Fewer cyclists = all cyclists are less safe. I'm not sure there're huge wads of evidence for this, but the argument that more cyclists = cyclists are safer, as drivers become conditioned to them and are more likely to be/know cyclists themselves seems logical. Therefore the converse would be logical too.

Cyclist Personal Protective Equipment results in an expectation that cyclists look after their own safety. How many court cases with drivers being prosecuted have we seen where cyclists' PPE (not a legal requirement) has been discussed? I'm not sure how commonplace this is, but it is reported. We don't seem to have the equivalent onus placed on pedestrians or drivers by the defence when they're the victims. So the sinister impression created is of a situation where you have one set of vulnerable road users being expected to go above and beyond what's required by law to protect their own safety.

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
3 likes

Correlation, causation, ergo propter hoc...

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Rich_cb replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Correlation, causation, ergo propter hoc...

Reading not your strong point is it?

Or is it comprehension you struggle with?

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alansmurphy replied to Rich_cb | 6 years ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Correlation, causation, ergo propter hoc...

Reading not your strong point is it?

Or is it comprehension you struggle with?

Yep I can do reading, what I've read so far is you digging a big hole without the ability to climb out. You may actually have a point if you took your head from up your arse.

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Rich_cb replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

Yep I can do reading, what I've read so far is you digging a big hole without the ability to climb out. You may actually have a point if you took your head from up your arse.

Where in the thread did I say that correlation proves causation?

I've said it can be evidence of causation but never said that it proved it.

In fact I've emphasised that point several times.

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davel replied to Rich_cb | 6 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Yep I can do reading, what I've read so far is you digging a big hole without the ability to climb out. You may actually have a point if you took your head from up your arse.

Where in the thread did I say that correlation proves causation?

I've said it can be evidence of causation but never said that it proved it.

In fact I've emphasised that point several times.

You kind of imply it, generally in an 'oh really?' smart arse response to a 'helmets have never been proved to cause significant decreases in KSIs' post.

You then post those pictures.

You probably never have said they prove cause and effect, because you lack the courage of your conviction. Which does beg the question...

Why the fuck post them, then?

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Rich_cb replied to davel | 6 years ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

You kind of imply it, generally in an 'oh really?' smart arse response to a 'helmets have never been proved to cause significant decreases in KSIs' post.

You then post those pictures.

You probably never have said they prove cause and effect, because you lack the courage of your conviction. Which does beg the question...

Why the fuck post them, then?

I post it because it's evidence against a lot of the nonsense claims posted on these threads.

The 'oh really' post was in response to

"Despite the thousands of "helmet saved my life" stories, the death rate of cyclists does not fall as helmet wearing rates increase"

Those graphs may not prove a lot but they are a good rebuke to that sort of post.

I don't claim that the graphs show causation because it can't be proved.

Personally I believe that, in certain specific circumstances, a helmet will protect its wearer from injury. I can't prove that though.

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ClubSmed replied to Rich_cb | 6 years ago
2 likes

 

Rich_cb wrote:

What is the source for your graph? I have very different (referenced) data to that.

Sorry you are right, I was looking at all traffic acidents, not cycling specific ones. (I'm not afraid of admitting when I am wrong)

Rich_cb wrote:

The balance of evidence suggests that bright clothing and lighting help to reduce accidents

But the graph you showed with the correct data of accidents showed the trend of accidents going up, how can that be if bright clothing and lighting help to reduce them?

Rich_cb wrote:

I've said it can be evidence of causation but never said that it proved it.

Your graphs showing the changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads cannot be compared with your graph of "Reported Fatalities Cycling UK" which is represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled. The reasons for this include (but are not limited to:

  • You don't know how many of the fatalities happened on the "major built up roads"
  • You don't know how many of the fatalities were due to head related injuries
  • You don't know how many of those billions of miles travelled were on "major built up roads"
  • You don't know if the number of cyclists have increased, just the number of miles travelled or a mixture of the two

 

Rich_cb wrote:

Personally I believe that, in certain specific circumstances, a helmet will protect its wearer from injury. I can't prove that though.

I believe that too, in fact I would say that the majority of people on this forum would agree that a helmet can protect it's wearer from injuries in certain specific circumstances. The problem arises in the debate around what those circumstances are and if they translate to the need for them on the road.

The main issue with all your posts is that you are not proving anything although you believe that you are. There are people on this forum sitting on both sides of the helmet/no helmet debate that are telling you this so it is not just biais, so just accept it.

 

 

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Rich_cb replied to ClubSmed | 6 years ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

But the graph you showed with the correct data of accidents showed the trend of accidents going up, how can that be if bright clothing and lighting help to reduce them?

Your graphs showing the changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads cannot be compared with your graph of "Reported Fatalities Cycling UK" which is represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled. The reasons for this include (but are not limited to:

  • You don't know how many of the fatalities happened on the "major built up roads"
  • You don't know how many of the fatalities were due to head related injuries
  • You don't know how many of those billions of miles travelled were on "major built up roads"
  • You don't know if the number of cyclists have increased, just the number of miles travelled or a mixture of the two

As the risk is stated per billion miles it makes no difference if the number of cyclists increase or the average length of journey increases.

You could quantify differently if you wanted, per journey or per hour or in any other way you chose but in order to have consistency you need to stick to the same metric.

Risk per distance is probably the best one IMHO.

The helmet wearing data is available for a lot of different road types, it all shows a similar trend so the point about different road types is essentially invalid.

As for your remark about the lights... Don't expect to be taken seriously if that is your honest response.

Believe it or not road collisions are multifactorial. If one factor improves but others deteriorate then you can still get an increase in collisions. I've linked to some pretty decent studies elsewhere in this thread that provide good evidence for hi-vis/reflectives and lights.

As I've acknowledged throughout the thread the evidence for helmets is not strong but it is strong enough to refute many of the more ridiculous claims put forward by the anti helmet posters.

The graphs were posted on the previous thread in response to such a claim.

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ClubSmed replied to Rich_cb | 6 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

But the graph you showed with the correct data of accidents showed the trend of accidents going up, how can that be if bright clothing and lighting help to reduce them?

Your graphs showing the changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads cannot be compared with your graph of "Reported Fatalities Cycling UK" which is represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled. The reasons for this include (but are not limited to:

  • You don't know how many of the fatalities happened on the "major built up roads"
  • You don't know how many of the fatalities were due to head related injuries
  • You don't know how many of those billions of miles travelled were on "major built up roads"
  • You don't know if the number of cyclists have increased, just the number of miles travelled or a mixture of the two

As the risk is stated per billion miles it makes no difference if the number of cyclists increase or the average length of journey increases.

Yes it does, because if the same number experienced cyclists begin to cycle further then the risk is the same. If more non experienced cyclists join in to increase the overall distance than the risk could rise due to the increase of inexperienced riders. 

Rich_cb wrote:

You could quantify differently if you wanted, per journey or per hour or in any other way you chose but in order to have consistency you need to stick to the same metric. Risk per distance is probably the best one IMHO.

That is exactly what I have been saying, you do not have the same metric in your two sets of data so they are not comparable!

One shows Changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads (represented as a % of cyclists seen during a period) and the other Reported Fatalities Cycling UK (represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled) which are nowhere near the same metric!

Rich_cb wrote:

The helmet wearing data is available for a lot of different road types, it all shows a similar trend so the point about different road types is essentially invalid.

You have not shown any other road type metric, just the one I mentioned

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Rich_cb replied to ClubSmed | 6 years ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

Yes it does, because if the same number experienced cyclists begin to cycle further then the risk is the same. If more non experienced cyclists join in to increase the overall distance than the risk could rise due to the increase of inexperienced riders. 

That is exactly what I have been saying, you do not have the same metric in your two sets of data so they are not comparable!

One shows Changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads (represented as a % of cyclists seen during a period) and the other Reported Fatalities Cycling UK (represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled) which are nowhere near the same metric!

You have not shown any other road type metric, just the one I mentioned

Here are all the helmet wearing stats.

https://trl.co.uk/reports/PPR420

The trend of increasing use is seen across
different road types and most demographics, teenage boys being the main outlier.

If you want to break down all the fatalities by road type you can do so using the STATS19 data here:

https://data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data/resource/63932dff...

You can't measure risk and presence or absence of a risk factor using the same metric.

What metric exactly are you proposing for measuring cycle helmet use?

What metric are you proposing for measuring cycling fatalities?

In both cases how exactly are you going to measure said metrics?

It seems to me that you're demanding data that doesn't exist in order to avoid discussing the data that does exist.

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ClubSmed replied to Rich_cb | 6 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

Yes it does, because if the same number experienced cyclists begin to cycle further then the risk is the same. If more non experienced cyclists join in to increase the overall distance than the risk could rise due to the increase of inexperienced riders. 

That is exactly what I have been saying, you do not have the same metric in your two sets of data so they are not comparable!

 

One shows Changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads (represented as a % of cyclists seen during a period) and the other Reported Fatalities Cycling UK (represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled) which are nowhere near the same metric!

You have not shown any other road type metric, just the one I mentioned

 

Here are all the helmet wearing stats. https://trl.co.uk/reports/PPR420 The trend of increasing use is seen across different road types and most demographics, teenage boys being the main outlier. If you want to break down all the fatalities by road type you can do so using the STATS19 data here: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data/resource/63932dff... You can't measure risk and presence or absence of a risk factor using the same metric. What metric exactly are you proposing for measuring cycle helmet use? What metric are you proposing for measuring cycling fatalities? In both cases how exactly are you going to measure said metrics? It seems to me that you're demanding data that doesn't exist in order to avoid discussing the data that does exist.

I am proposing that if you are using the metrics detailing use of helmets on major built up roads then you need to use the metrics from accidents on those same type of roads for comparison.
Having looked at the data on road accidents between 2012-2016 I can see that cyclists cover around twice as much distance on Urban roads than Rural roads but the number of cyclists killed are roughly the same over this period. So you could draw a conclusion that the data would be greatly skewed if you included these types of roads as you have.

I am not avoiding discussing the data that does exist, it is just if the data needed doesn't exist that is needed that the data that does exist cannot prove anything as it is uncomparable.

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Rich_cb replied to ClubSmed | 6 years ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

Yes it does, because if the same number experienced cyclists begin to cycle further then the risk is the same. If more non experienced cyclists join in to increase the overall distance than the risk could rise due to the increase of inexperienced riders. 

That is exactly what I have been saying, you do not have the same metric in your two sets of data so they are not comparable!

 

One shows Changes in helmet wearing rate on UK major built-up roads (represented as a % of cyclists seen during a period) and the other Reported Fatalities Cycling UK (represented as Fatalities per billion KM travelled) which are nowhere near the same metric!

You have not shown any other road type metric, just the one I mentioned

 

Here are all the helmet wearing stats. https://trl.co.uk/reports/PPR420 The trend of increasing use is seen across different road types and most demographics, teenage boys being the main outlier. If you want to break down all the fatalities by road type you can do so using the STATS19 data here: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data/resource/63932dff... You can't measure risk and presence or absence of a risk factor using the same metric. What metric exactly are you proposing for measuring cycle helmet use? What metric are you proposing for measuring cycling fatalities? In both cases how exactly are you going to measure said metrics? It seems to me that you're demanding data that doesn't exist in order to avoid discussing the data that does exist.[/quote]

I am proposing that if you are using the metrics detailing use of helmets on major built up roads then you need to use the metrics from accidents on those same type of roads for comparison.
Having looked at the data on road accidents between 2012-2016 I can see that cyclists cover around twice as much distance on Urban roads than Rural roads but the number of cyclists killed are roughly the same over this period. So you could draw a conclusion that the data would be greatly skewed if you included these types of roads as you have.

I am not avoiding discussing the data that does exist, it is just if the data needed doesn't exist that is needed that the data that does exist cannot prove anything as it is uncomparable.

[/quote]

The two data sources classify roads differently so you can not make a true comparison across the two sources.

What you can do is compare the overall trends.

Helmet use increased significantly from 1995 onwards on all road types.

Over the same period cyclist fatalities decreased significantly across the country as a whole.

There is a clear correlation, prior to 1995 there had been no significant change in the cyclist fatality rate for over a decade.

In the decade prior to 1995 the pedestrian fatality rate decreased significantly.

That implies separate causative factors for each group.

One hypothesis is that helmets represent the cycle specific causative factor that affected the fatality rate post 1995.

Without further data it is impossible to prove the hypothesis however.

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes

Rich's lack of understanding on basic statistical principles is quite funny but BTBS is equally as deluded:

"Disclaimer, I am anti helmet, as a whole to society they cause misery, exclusion, unjust/unlawful action by government, remove freedoms, increase danger and always lower the responsibility of those posing the harm without any increase in safety nor health.
the kids in my care never wear helmets, we ride on the roads, in parks trails etc."

If you're talking compulsory use then some of your arguments are correct. However, suggesting they increase danger and have no increase in safety is mind blowingly stupid!

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