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University leaders raise awareness about the importance of bike helmets

University leaders raise awareness about the importance of bike helmets

Every year, bicycle-related injuries send more than 500,000 people in the United States to the emergency department and cause more than 700 deaths, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But recent research shows that wearing a helmet can prevent bike injuries from being fatal. A study published earlier this month, for example, found that cyclists who don’t wear a helmet have a three times greater risk of dying from head injuries than those who do.

Earlier this week, School of Medicine Dean Philip Pizzo, MD, joined Stanford Provost John Etchemendy, PhD, at the heart of the Stanford campus to pass out helmet vouchers to students and encourage them to wear protective head gear when riding. The Dish reports:

Passing out the coupons, which allow students to purchase helmets that normally cost more than $40 for $10.64, has become something of a passion for public safety officers, as well as administrators. Even [Pizzo] made an impromptu appearance with the provost.

At least in the short term, the coupons seemed to have an effect on people, including first-year graduate student Alexander Hsu. Did he have a helmet now? No. Would he get one? “I might,” he said, “if they’re $10.”

Previously: Health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks
Photo by Linda Cicero

One Response to “ University leaders raise awareness about the importance of bike helmets ”

  1. Avery Burdett, Ontario, Canada Says:

    Claim, “… cyclists who don’t wear a helmet have a three times greater risk of dying from head injuries than those who do.” This is not only ridiculous but it shows the authors and those quoting it to lack an understanding of statistical analysis.

    For example, the study’s data source, a Coroner’s report, showed that over half of cyclists died either while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, subject to distraction, or carrying unsafe loads on their bikes. It doesn’t say how many of these victims were wearing helmets but is reasonable to assume based on previous research that these factors were associated with non-helmet use. Such factors (and possibly others not identified) are confounders that skew results.

    This set of victims were unlikely to have been representative of the non-helmeted population of cyclists (me for instance) and thus the original claim is rendered nonsensical.

    Whatever happened to independent reasoning?

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