19 FEBRUARY 2011
Australian Helmet Science – For Motorists
It’s taken a while but I finally recieved the study done in 2000 at the Road Accident Research Unit at the U of Adelaide, called CR 193: The development of a protective headband for car occupants (Andersen, White, McLean 2000).
A chap at Road Safety Policy, Department of Infrastructure & Transport in Australia was kind enough to send a link to the Australian Government website wherein the study is presented.
I don’t think cyclists should be bullied with helmet promotion and threatened with legislation when there exists a very real and present danger to car occupants. I think that the car lobby as well as the general population should be presented with more data and facts about the dangers of driving.
It’s only fair and logical.
From the Australian report we can read about the background for the study:
“Car crashes remain a significant source of head injury in the community. Car occupants have an annual hospital admission rate of around 90 per 100,000 population. Of drivers who are admitted to hospital, the most serious injury is usually to the head (O’Conner and Trembath, 1994).
In a previous study, McLean et al. (1997) estimated the benefits that are likely to accrue to Australia from the use of padding of the upper interior of the passenger compartment. This study specifically examined the effects of the ammendment to the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 201 (FMVSS 201) in which passenger cars have to pass head impact tests with the upper interior. That report estimated the total annual reduction in harm to the Australian community to be around $123 million.
But more impressive were the estimates of introducing protective headwear for car occupants. The authors of the report estimated that the annual reduction in harm would be in the order of $380 million. The benefit of padding the head is that the head is protected from strikes with unpadded automotive components, exterior objects and in vehicles that predate any eventual introduction of padded interiors.”
These are Australian numbers so the numbers for annual reduction in harm would be even higher in the EU or US.