From: Tom Crispin on
On Mon, 24 May 2010 12:48:09 +0100, Tony Raven <traven(a)>

>They also show that helmets cut leg injuries by 75%.

Is that a direct quote or an extrapolation?
From: pk on
"Peter Clinch" <p.j.clinch(a)> wrote in message
> either the basic methodology in the original paper (and consequently the
> result) is utterly duff, or helmets really give significant protection to
> legs.

I have not looked at the original paper, but it would seems reasonable to
expect that if helmets protect the user's head as expected, then then number
of hospital records of leg injuries would also fall.


IIRC, the data referred to hospital admissions/casualty visits of persons
involved in cycle accidents.

Now, most of us would not rock up at casualty with leg injures of road rash,
bruising, sprains and strains etc

Thus, if we assume helmets work, then:

- without a helmet, a knock on the head = sensible to visit casualty = leg
injuries also recorded
- with a helmet, head is protected = much less likely to visit casualty =
reduced number of leg injuries recorded

Ergo, if helmets work, fewer cycling related leg injuries will be recorded
at hospital emergency rooms.

Plus, I would actually place little credence on much of the recorded injury
data, my recent Smidsy saw me carted off to hospital in the big white bus
with a suspected fractured (turned out to be strained) thumb and badly
twisted back. I was logged in (I saw the sheet) as knee injury, as that was
the bit I was bleeding from.


From: Peter Clinch on
pk wrote:

> I have not looked at the original paper

You should. It has far better glaring holes than the protection of

Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net p.j.clinch(a)
From: pk on
"Peter Clinch" <p.j.clinch(a)> wrote in message
> pk wrote:
>> I have not looked at the original paper
> You should. It has far better glaring holes than the protection of legs.

that may well be so, but the rest of my post addressed directly your
rebuttal of the paper on grounds of leg injury data..

care to comment on that point?


From: JMS jmsmith2010 on
On Mon, 24 May 2010 13:30:17 +0100, Peter Clinch
<p.j.clinch(a)> wrote:

>Derek C wrote:
>> I have already pointed out that data may be skewed by just looking at
>> hospital admissions and reported accidents, which is why I suggested a
>> truly randomised study. Then the lying whatsits at ''
>> will have no confounding factors to hide behind.
>If it was /really/ that easy, why do you think it hasn't been done yet?
>I think BHRF would /love/ clear-cut evidence. If it turns out that
>cyclists can genuinely be much, much safer, why wouldn't all the
>cyclists that make up BHRF's editorial board be happy that they high
>quality evidence they could save their own skins?

That will be because it was originally formed with the following

"The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation (BHRF) is an independent body
with the message: Helmets are not beneficial to cyclists - unless the
evidence forces them to a dramatically different conclusion."

There was never, ever any intention to be a balanced source of

The BMA (British Medical Association) urges legislation to make the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory for both adults and children.

The evidence from those countries where compulsory cycle helmet use has already been introduced is that such legislation has a beneficial effect on cycle-related deaths and head injuries.
This strongly supports the case for introducing legislation in the UK. Such legislation should result in a reduction in the morbidity and mortality associated with cycling accidents.