"How to read statistics"

Every time a state makes riding motorcycles without a helmet illegal, the number of ER patients seriously injured in motorcycle accidents skyrockets. Every single time.

When you phrase it just right, it makes it sound like it's more dangerous to ride a motorcycle with a helmet than without one.

Of course, the reality is that before those laws, those patients were going to the morgue, not the ER.

@fribbledom CN „death, injuries“ it, and i'll boost it :)


Argh, I should have, sorry ☹️️

Feel free to repost it yourself with that CN though. I feel like deleting & retooting now that people reacted to it is a bit annoying.

@fribbledom well, really, it sounds like a bunch of idiots stopped wearing their helmets because it became illegal and were full 'fuck the man' to me


Sorry, no, that's not what's happening when you're looking at the bigger picture.

@fribbledom Almost, but still not quite right. There's more of an increase than can be explained that way; the most likely explanation for the rest is people taking more risks because they feel safer.

@fribbledom @onan IIRC, mandatory motorcycle helmets did have one adverse consequence: a shortage of organ donors

@fribbledom Too bad there's no statistics about bicycle and 'kick'-scooter accidents, since everything with wheels and their grandmother gets an electric motor and two pounds of lithium batteries these days. It seems to me like it's enabling cyclist road-hogishness. Not that licensed drivers don't make it look like half of them got their licenses from a cereal box anyways. And I'm speaking both as a car driver and a cyclist.

@CarbonCatalyst @fribbledom

You could try some hypothesis testing between e-bikes and regular bikes with the proportion that are salmoning vs riding in the right direction. Although I think it has less to do with e-bike vs non e-bike and more with bike/scooter share users being inexperienced and less likely to know traffic laws and stats compared to someone who regularly rides a bike.

tbh the state of drivers ed is pretty atrocious and most people just assume that their uninformed opinions are what the law is.

@JoeyWah @fribbledom The hyothesis came about, beacuse people who weren't on the road before (both young and old), by not having a license (and arguably without education regarding traffic law) or not wanting or being able to use a regular bike, suddenly got into road trafic mostly by virtue of having e-bikes. This would be anything from driving on the wrong side of the road, generally hazardous behaviour to not knowing which side of the intersection has priority (as I'm not in North America).

@fribbledom lol it does sound that way a little. but to each their ow, let em go with or without a helmet.

@jordan31 @fribbledom a good default position, but like most things, there's more to it. Eg part of the rationale for helmet requirements is to protect you from operating injuries that could *cause* an accident (like getting hit by an object thrown up from the road), which means it isn't just about your own personal safety.

@PeteBleackley @fribbledom For those not familiar with this story, it comes from an analysis of WWII bombers coming home by Abraham Wald:

Bonus fact in that section about helmets that very much aligns with the original post, as it happens!

@fribbledom In a former life I was a data analyst and oftentimes a forgone conclusion was highly favored by senior management. It was my job to make the data fit the desired information. I could pretty much make a chart or survey say anything they wanted. Once the lie is perfectly portrayed graphically the desired "truth" emerges in the viewers brain like magic.

Sure, helmets protect, no question about it. But I still think it should be anyone's free decision whether they want to be protected or not. Since not wearing a helmet doesn't cause anyone else any damage. Mandating it is just another whip that the state can use to make people more used to blindly follow directions.

@chebra it causes mental damage to onlookers having to see this. Or people giving first aid..

injury / traffic accidents 

@Drezil @chebra

I strongly suspect that biker getting hit in the face with a pebble or rock thrown up by a car tyre and being injured, etc, could very easily cause vehicles and cyclists behind them to crash or get hurt.

Citation: I once panicked and stopped suddenly on my bicycle and caused bicycle crashes behind me.

@celesteh @Drezil
I really hope both of you are just joking, but I'm not very sure about it

@chebra @celesteh

we are not joking .. we are just decent human beings trying to minimize harm. The world is shitty enough..

@fribbledom is that the opposite of survivorship bias?

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