Author Topic: Motorists helmet law yes!  (Read 6074 times)

Systematic

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Motorists helmet law yes!
« on: October 23, 2013, 11:57:20 PM »
The number one cause of head injuries is motor vehicle accidents

There should be a law requiring all motorists to wear a helmet.

REASONS FOR

Wearing a helmet will remind motorists of their vulnerability and increase the likelihood of safe driving,

It will point out to the world who the person with the most dangerous vehicle is and differentiate them to their peers,

Helmets protect their wearers in low impact accidents and reduce the likelihood of brain injury.

Formula 1 drivers wear them,

Wearing helmets has been proven to encourage transport trips- less vehicles - less environmental harm


Can anyone argue against this? 

TS

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 01:20:27 AM »
You can do any number of things to reduce death/injury and this is one suggestion.  There were 32,367 road deaths in the USA in 2011.  Wearing helmets may cut this by a small but significant percentage (optimistically, let's say 50%).

In comparison in the USA:
- If you outlawed guns you would reduce the number of firearm related deaths by 30,000 a year.
- If you outlawed tobacco sales, you would reduce tobacco related deaths (over time) by 440,000 a year.
- If we made people wear helmets all the time with only a tiny slot so they couldn't eat much food (or more realistically, put higher taxes on certain types of food, or found some other way to discourage excessive eating), we could cut significantly the estimated 400,000 deaths a year estimated to be caused by obesity.
- If you outlawed alcohol you would reduce the 40,000 alcohol related deaths each year.
There would be lots of other similar examples in relation to things with high rates of death/injury. 

Making everyone in cars wear helmets seems a bit excessive, when there are so many other things that could be done more easily to reduce injury/death. 

(That said, I am not in favour of any of the suggestions above.  Well, given I'm in Australia, I don't really under the fascination people in the US seem to have with guns ...)

Systematic

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 02:40:54 AM »
Thanks TS

if people perceived vehicles to be vulnerable I could counter in terms of influencing majority moral belief by offering an emotional story about a brain injury.

I'm trying to understand both sides of the argument to widen my understanding of the arguments around cycle helmets.

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64059








Greenbeard

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 08:50:20 AM »
Wait, wait, wait...

We should address problems based on impact.

According to the National Institutes of Health there were:

Almost 600,000 deaths in 2012 attributed to heart disease.
Over 500,000 deaths in 2012 attributed to cancer.
Over 300,000 deaths in 2012 contributed to obesity.

So let's address nutrition, and smoking first.  So we have fat smokers wear helmets it will remind them how unsafe they are.





BlueMR2

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 05:00:04 PM »
Oddly, you can get ticketed for wearing a helmet in a car around here (I happen to know somebody that did it on his way out to race and got a warning for it).  "Obstructing vision & hearing".  Yet, it's required for motorcycle novices (first year).  Apparently seeing and hearing things are not important for newbie motorcyclists???  :-)

mpbaker22

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 08:00:51 AM »
You can do any number of things to reduce death/injury and this is one suggestion.  There were 32,367 road deaths in the USA in 2011.  Wearing helmets may cut this by a small but significant percentage (optimistically, let's say 50%).

In comparison in the USA:
- If you outlawed guns you would reduce the number of firearm related deaths by 30,000 a year.
- If you outlawed tobacco sales, you would reduce tobacco related deaths (over time) by 440,000 a year.
- If we made people wear helmets all the time with only a tiny slot so they couldn't eat much food (or more realistically, put higher taxes on certain types of food, or found some other way to discourage excessive eating), we could cut significantly the estimated 400,000 deaths a year estimated to be caused by obesity.
- If you outlawed alcohol you would reduce the 40,000 alcohol related deaths each year.
There would be lots of other similar examples in relation to things with high rates of death/injury. 

Making everyone in cars wear helmets seems a bit excessive, when there are so many other things that could be done more easily to reduce injury/death. 

(That said, I am not in favour of any of the suggestions above.  Well, given I'm in Australia, I don't really under the fascination people in the US seem to have with guns ...)

I think the OP is sarcastically commenting on the ridiculous bike helmet laws which have not been proven to save any lives, and actually, more than likely, result in more deaths.

Systematic

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 11:54:02 AM »
If you're wondering why i created ths thread

The idea of this thread was.

1. Because the concept was such a logical response to those who complain about cyclists not wearing them, it was so helpful ini that thread. Will add it in post in this thread when im at computer.  Ive seen a few situations before where enforcement of helmet law is an opportunity for motorists to vent.  If we know their responses early we increase the liklihood of a counter argument.

2,. Open up the whole discussion about helmets. Often unexpected ideas drop out of these wider discussions which ee're not aware of.


martynthewolf

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 02:32:19 AM »
Or alternatively, the car -> helmet wearing law comes into existence and has the opposite effect. People now feel safer so drive much more dangerously, under the false impression that they are even more invincible...

Demolition derby here we come :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 07:28:27 AM »
F1 drivers wear helmets because they are sitting in a central mounted, open top bathtub pulling high Gs an inch off the ground.  They drive on a closed course, with traffic heading one direction only.  They do not have to make U-turns, or 3-point turns.  They have a spotter who is relaying information to them for the entire drive.  There is little in common between them and the average person driving around in a car.

I think that it might be less safe to require that all people in a motor vehicle wear helmets.  At the very least it would require a significant redesign of most vehicles.  I'm a tall guy.  I could not sit without hitting my head on the roof with a helmet on.  I could not check over my shoulder while making a turn without banging a helmet off of the side of the car.

I like the idea of additional protection, but this proposed solution may create more problems than it solves.

Systematic

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 08:15:17 AM »
Well these posts got my old brain cells working

1. Because non fi cars have to do these manoeuvres whereas fi cars don't it makes them more dangerous in aspects not involving speed and therefore likely to need a helmet

2   if you have a reason like you are too tall you would get a waiver, like cycle helmet wearers get. Apparently the authorities are surprised at the number and the interesting reasons given, it would likely be the same with cars.

3. There is evidence that cyclists are perceived as safer when they wear a helmet so car drivers perceive its safer to drive closer.  So why is it ok for cyclists to appear more invincible and not car drivers

Anyway just some thoughts, am finding all the counter arguments interesting, am just playing with the concept

mpbaker22

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2013, 08:25:22 AM »
I like the idea of additional protection, but this proposed solution may create more problems than it solves.

This actually strengthens the connection between motorist and bicycle helmet laws.  The same statement can be made about bicycle helmet laws.

GuitarStv

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 10:11:28 AM »
I like the idea of additional protection, but this proposed solution may create more problems than it solves.

This actually strengthens the connection between motorist and bicycle helmet laws.  The same statement can be made about bicycle helmet laws.

I don't feel like wearing a bike helmet makes me a less safe cyclist.  I think that the distractions associated with a car helmet would make me a less safe driver.

brewer12345

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2013, 11:15:08 AM »
Instead, lets make bicyclists wear padded suits as well as helmets.  They aren't protected by almost 3 tons of rubber, glass and steel like I am when I drive...

mpbaker22

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 11:18:20 AM »
I like the idea of additional protection, but this proposed solution may create more problems than it solves.

This actually strengthens the connection between motorist and bicycle helmet laws.  The same statement can be made about bicycle helmet laws.

I don't feel

Feelings don't matter in a logical argument.  The fact is that helmet laws increase the risk (per mile) of a crash, just as in a car.

iamlindoro

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 11:29:09 AM »
The fact is that helmet laws increase the risk (per mile) of a crash, just as in a car.

Wildly, exceedingly, obscenely debatable.  I'll acknowledge that it's possible to find studies that support this, but there are just as many credible studies that support the opposite.  But we really don't need even more threads for this debate, what was wrong with the first one?

GuitarStv

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 12:45:55 PM »
I like the idea of additional protection, but this proposed solution may create more problems than it solves.

This actually strengthens the connection between motorist and bicycle helmet laws.  The same statement can be made about bicycle helmet laws.

I don't feel

Feelings don't matter in a logical argument.  The fact is that helmet laws increase the risk (per mile) of a crash, just as in a car.

Oh irony.


You know that claiming something is fact doesn't make it a logical argument right?

If you take the time to read past the first three words of my post, you'll notice that I didn't mention cycling laws at all (wasn't talking about them).  You will be hard pressed to find as study indicating that a cyclist involved in an accident who is wearing a helmet is worse off than a cyclist without a helmet.

The reason I don't feel that wearing a bicycle helmet makes me a dangerous cyclist is that I can easily turn my head in either direction to look for obstacles.  Wearing a helmet in a car I would be unable to do this as I would bump my head, jarring me and preventing my neck from turning.  There's a physical problem with tall people in cars who wear helmets that doesn't exist for bicycles (no roof).  Equating the two scenarios is not really very logical.

Systematic

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 02:15:59 PM »
The objective of this thread was to open up all the concepts about helmets.


1. wearing a helmet

theres evidence on both sides of this one.

wearing  helmet increases the risk of a motorist driving closer so may increase chance of a crash

less chance of brain injury if yoou fallof your bike

There are other issues and  I'd have to look at the overall dataina different thread.

2. helmet laws

Helmet laws are an ethical issue weighing good over bad  which is why people get pretty heated.

Please if you have any evidence that:

 the Cycle Helmet Law does not increase the proportional number of crashes involving cyclists per cycling trips    or reduces it

or

 the Cycle Helmet Law does not increase the proportional number of brain injuries and deaths involving cyclists per cycling trips    or reduces it

Please post it

In Christchurch we have evidence the number of crashes and injuries per cycling trip has increased, cycling has halved, crashes and injuries involving cyclists has not reduced by the same amount. Have a look at the New Zealand Medical Association site, they have serious concerns.

I have had a bit of experience in transport analysing this data, not involving cycling or cycling safety. I'd like to know if there is conflicting evidence, the sooner the better. .

To me if we can first answer the question of does the Cycle Helmet Law increase or decrease brain injury and death we can then move on to the other impacts with that knowledge. the onus has been on the cyclists to disprove the concept that helmets reduce brain injury, now we have enough to start shouting we need a review.

One of the really annoying things about transport is the willingness of organisations to use secondary data and make spurious claims because they do not have the funding, the time or motivation to properly investigate important issues such as cycle safety properly.

The solution is for all locations, especially those who have helmet laws to collect consistent systematic data 

Its becoming clearer to me that fundamental information is missing in many areas, and because we have had this law for 20 years, we only now have enough evidence to recommend a review.   A review is all we want.  If we had a clear transparent analysis for all to see, that is where I want the answer to come from.

Type of data required.

Quantitative data

Is there an organisation in your area which records quantitative data regarding

1, the number of cycling trips per year.

2, a record of cyclist head injuries and deaths  ideally including some information about cause etc

Is there an organisation that measures qualitative data including driving attitudes and behaviour involving cyclists and vice versa and do they have resources to improve it.

This information cyclists , planners, politicians etc should be able to find easily if we want to keep an eye on cycling safety

i though by starting this thread we could take away some of that heat, and to me I was impressed and enjoying the logical reasoning being used, alas we've gone off target

On this thread can we return to why motorists don't wear helmets please

peace, love and cycling forever.




« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 02:37:02 PM by Systematic »

marty998

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 02:33:24 PM »

On this thread can we return to why motorists don't wear helmets please


Because any politician who introduces it would be laughed out of office. Surely we don't need peer reviewed scientific analysis to work that out?

GuitarStv

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 02:39:16 PM »
Helmets sure . . . but you could introduce better seatbelt laws pretty easily.  Are those multi-point seatbelts that race car drivers wear safer?

jefffff

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 04:12:09 PM »
You can do any number of things to reduce death/injury and this is one suggestion.  There were 32,367 road deaths in the USA in 2011.  Wearing helmets may cut this by a small but significant percentage (optimistically, let's say 50%).

In comparison in the USA:
- If you outlawed guns you would reduce the number of firearm related deaths by 30,000 a year.
- If you outlawed tobacco sales, you would reduce tobacco related deaths (over time) by 440,000 a year.
- If we made people wear helmets all the time with only a tiny slot so they couldn't eat much food (or more realistically, put higher taxes on certain types of food, or found some other way to discourage excessive eating), we could cut significantly the estimated 400,000 deaths a year estimated to be caused by obesity.
- If you outlawed alcohol you would reduce the 40,000 alcohol related deaths each year.
There would be lots of other similar examples in relation to things with high rates of death/injury. 

Making everyone in cars wear helmets seems a bit excessive, when there are so many other things that could be done more easily to reduce injury/death. 

(That said, I am not in favour of any of the suggestions above.  Well, given I'm in Australia, I don't really under the fascination people in the US seem to have with guns ...)
While I don't know if helmets actually make driving safer, this is a pretty poor way of reasoning. If we can take actions that cause people to not die and are shown to be in the common interest, we should do them, full stop. It doesn't matter if there are other things we could also do which are completely independent and save more lives(we should just do them too).

BlueMR2

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Re: Motorists helmet law yes!
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2013, 05:35:11 PM »
Helmets sure . . . but you could introduce better seatbelt laws pretty easily.  Are those multi-point seatbelts that race car drivers wear safer?

Yes/no.  Do they do a much better job of protecting the human body during a crash, yes.  However, they do it by sacrificing your ability to move at all if the body structure crushes in (like a rollover which is very common for SUVs).  That means it requires a VERY strong cage structure.  Those are heavy, hurting fuel economy.  A real good solid one also eats up space (and makes it hard to have decent sized entry points as a GOOD side impact protection system does NOT remove easily (like the built in door beams)).  Retrofitting old/small cars means cage intrusion inside the cockpit, which means you'll need a helmet too for when your head contacts the cage.

The ease of use issue is often brought up, but that seems to be mostly solved.  I've got some rallye belts in my daily driven car.  Full shoulder harness, but 1 click seatbelt.  Real easy to get in/out of *IF* you've already got it adjusted for size.  If not, it's a lot of work.  The racecar has an old 5 point (7 point is becoming the new standard).  I can get in/out pretty quick, but it's from years of practice.  Average Joes that go for ride alongs have a horrible time of it.