12NR23 - MRF News Release - The CDC and Propaganda
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 June 2012
Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs
The CDC and Propaganda
Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) presented a study on motorcycle safety. Specifically the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.
The study is nothing new, in fact it is a collection of conclusions drawn from past studies and old statistics, some of the CDC's conclusions even seem to be drawn from thin air.
CDC uses the same tired worn out examples we have seen again and again. They cite the Florida study that said fatalities increased 63.4% from 2000-2009. Which is true, but like every other instance of using this statistic they fail to mention that motorcycle registrations increased over 100% during the same time frame.
The study goes on to uses imaginary numbers to back up their position that motorcycle helmets save money. They claim that in 2008, the United States saved $3 billion because of helmet use and then claim that the US could have saved an additional $1.8 billion if mandatory helmet laws were on the books. They provide absolutely zero evidence of this supposed financial burden.
The CDC makes no mention of rider education. We know rider education to be the best way to prevent crashes. Take New Hampshire for example, according to Robert LeTourneau, New Hampshire State Official Motorcycle Education Specialist, they have had 15 fatal motorcycle accidents of riders who took the class since 1990. Thats out of over 44,000 students trained in the same time period and .034% of fatal motorcycle accidents. All with no mandatory helmet law.
Of course, the CDC uses NHTSA's 1997 base year for motorcycle fatalities, which was also the lowest point of motorcycle fatalities over the past 30 years. In 1997, there were 2,116 fatalities for 3,826,000 motorcycles registered. Or 0.055% of the motorcyclists were killed. In 2010, there were 4,502 fatalities for 8,368,000 motorcycles registered. Or 0.053% of the motorcyclists were killed.
So we have more than doubled the motorcycle population and we have actually reduced fatalities.
The study also contends that states without helmet laws have higher insurance costs. According to Insure.com, that's not true. Out of the top five most expensive states to buy insurance, only one allows for helmet free riding.
The supposed findings of this study are likely to show up in your local media. Do not let them get away with this.
The MRF encourages you to continue to use the “Fact or Fiction” pieces published by the MRF to combat the junk science in this study and all future attacks on our freedom. You can find the Fact or Fiction pieces HERE.
MRF.org - Motorcycle Riders Foundation - Ride with the Leaders
Read the CDC study HERE.
The MRF is working with Federal legislators on this report and to help redirect the priorities of the CDC on actual disease issues, not transportation.
To keep things in perspective, let me remind you that the CDC is the same organization that uses the idea of a zombie apocalypse as a way of scaring people into preparing for disaster. Seriously, read it here: CDC - Read CDC's #ZombieComic Preparedness 101 Zombie Pandemic
For a full break down of the CDC study done by MRF VA State Representative Matt Danielson click HERE
From Bill Bish:
HEALTH AGENCY PUSHES HELMETS WITH BOGUS FINDINGS
Researchers at the Centers For Disease Control are using flawed logic to promote their crusade for helmet laws, but “Garbage-In, Garbage-Out” numbers reveal helmet use is actually in indirect proportion to motorcycle fatalities.
In a newly-released CDC study of Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data, the following has been quoted recently by media outlets from coast to coast; “According to a CDC analysis of fatal crash data from 2008 to 2010, a total of 14,283 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, among whom 6,057 (42 percent) were not wearing a helmet. In the 20 states with a universal helmet law, 739 (12 percent) fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet, compared with 4,814 motorcyclists (64 percent) in the 27 states with partial helmet laws and 504 (79 percent) motorcyclists in the three states without a helmet law.”
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) looked over the CDC’s own numbers and found some serious faults in their findings: First off, if 6,057 motorcyclists were not wearing helmets of the 14,283 motorcyclists who were killed in crashes during the 3-year study period, that means that 8,226 riders (58%) WERE wearing helmets when they died, meaning that the vast majority of motorcyclist fatalities nationwide wore helmets!
Using the CDC’s twisted logic, nearly half of all motorcyclists killed were in the 20 states that required them to wear a helmet!
If the agency’s numbers are to be believed, between 64-78% of riders in the 30 partial and no-helmet law states legally chose to ride without a helmet, yet only 38% of the fatalities involved non-helmeted riders, so helmet use is astonishingly over-represented in motorcyclists’ mortality statistics!
But the CDC also touts that 12% of the biker deaths in helmet law states were not wearing a helmet. The most amazing thing about this figure is that helmet use rates approach 100% in helmet law states and virtually no one rides without one at the risk of facing hefty fines! What the government’s numbers most likely reveal, if they have any legitimacy at all, is that helmets come off in about one in ten fatal accidents. This revelation is consistent with prior estimates, and seriously skews their other helmet use/non-use data, because it would mean considerably more riders were wearing helmets up to the moment of their demise than previously anticipated, which means all the Center’s fiscal extrapolations are meaningless as well.
Another gem proffered by the CDC to bolster their helmet law push is that while motorcycles represent only 3% of registered vehicles they represent nearly 14% of traffic fatalities. But when you consider that motorcycles offer little in the way of physical protection during a collision, unlike cars with airbags, crumple zones and impact-absorbing structures, it’s easy to understand why motorcyclists seldom have fender-benders…yet auto drivers routinely walk away from high-speed impacts.
Safety programs, not mandates, work best
June 25, 2012
The following originally appeared in the June 23 edition of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that annual cost savings in states with universal motorcycle helmet laws were nearly four times greater than in states without universal helmet laws. Unfortunately, the CDC conclusions were not based on independently sourced figures but rather data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a longtime proponent of universal helmet laws), including a discredited 2010 report on the economic costs saved by motorcycle helmet use.
For many years, my organization has strongly encouraged the voluntary use by adult riders of helmets certified by their manufacturers to meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standard as part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of a motorcycle crash.
However, helmet mandates are not the solution because helmets do not prevent crashes. The American Motorcyclist Association believes that comprehensive motorcycle safety programs must promote strategies that are designed to prevent motorcycle crashes from occurring in the first place.
Helmet mandates have unintended consequences: Tragically, the enforcement of mandates siphons funds from effective crash prevention programs.
The efficacy of rider education has been documented by research, including the landmark "Hurt Study" (1981). Even NHTSA has acknowledged this in its 2005 report, "Promising Practices in Motorcycle Rider Education and Licensing."
Motorist awareness programs have become an increasingly valuable strategy in reducing motorcycle crashes. One of the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents is the violation of motorcyclists' right of way by other drivers. As traffic density and the frequency of distracted vehicle operation have increased, motorcyclists benefit when drivers are regularly reminded to watch for motorcyclists. Many states do not dedicate enough funding for these kinds of programs.
Recent reports calling for helmet mandates have failed to note that the rate of motorcycle fatalities has been decreasing. NHTSA reported in October 2011 that the motorcycle fatality rate from 2000-'09 declined 15.59% per 100,000 registered vehicles and 22.48% per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
The wisdom of helmet mandates is questionable. The Governor's Highway Safety Association reported in May 2012 that 11 states that do not have universal helmet requirements reported fewer motorcycle fatalities in 2011, and seven states that have universal helmet laws reported greater fatalities in 2011.
Clearly, there is a need for additional research to better understand the causes of crashes, which is why the AMA supports the comprehensive motorcycle crash causation study underway at Oklahoma State University. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the study is being conducted under a $2.8 million Federal Highway Administration grant approved by Congress, along with more than $125,000 committed by the AMA and a total of $750,000 from six state safety programs, including Wisconsin.
In closing, we'd like to thank U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who for years has taken on powerful anti-motorcycling interest groups and worked to support the motorcycling lifestyle.
Wayne Allard is vice president for government relations of the American Motorcyclist Association.