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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: Campag Delta Brakes
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 22:53:49 GMT

Kev writes:

> Thomas, there is little doubt in my mind that there are some bicycle
> accidents which a helmet will do little good. However, you are
> trying to promote the idea that wearing a helmet will INCREASE the
> chances of getting hurt or killed while riding a bicycle, and you
> are quoting from statistics which mean very little in the real world
> unless a reason is given for these discrepancies. Your reasons in
> your original post make absolutely ZERO sense at all.

To investigate this concept, you should read what American insurance
companies have found ABS brakes have done for vehicle safety.  There
little doubt that ABS improves vehicle control on poor traction, by
all tests that have been done, yet this has not translated into
greater consumer safety.  In fact the reduction in insurance premiums
for cars with ABS are being canceled because their accident rate for
conditions where ABS should increase safety, has gotten marginally

I think this is the best example of a reverse psychological effect
from a safety measure.  This one can be measured, the one with the
helmet is more difficult, although keen observers have noted it, and
they did so before the ABS studies were published.

Jobst Brandt      <> 

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: Campag Delta Brakes
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 21:59:41 GMT

Peat Marwick writes:

> I have no public opinion on the helmet debate; however I don't think
> this is an appropriate analogy.  The failure of ABS in reducing
> automobile accidents has, according to my information, generally
> been attributed to operator error, unrelated to a false sense of
> security.  The problem seems to be that drivers are still "pumping"
> ABS brakes, which defeats the purpose and renders them ineffective.
> This is simply an example of lack of education in the proper use of
> the equipment, where proper instruction is critical considering that
> it is exactly the opposite of what had previously been taught to all
> drivers before the appearance of ABS.

If you have watched people spin out on slick roads, you will notice
that once the skid is initiated, no manner of pumping brakes has any
effect.  At that moment depressing the clutch pedal or selecting neutral
in an automatic is the most important maneuver to regain control.
Because this is not in most drivers' experience, it is seldom done.

ABS prevents the loss of control from braking from arising in the
first place and pumping the brakes has no effect on this.  Besides, I
don't believe that people pump brakes when they are unwittingly driving
beyond the safe limit of traction.  That is because they have little
notion of the safe limit of traction.

Once a car breaks loose, letting up the gas puts the rear wheels in an
unrecoverable slide as the wheels slow down to engine idle speed.  I
have watched enough dumps in the snowy ditch by drivers who didn't
realize that their car was out of control because they had brought
their rear wheels essentially to a stop by letting up the gas.

It is the opinion of analysts, that ABS convinces drivers that they
are immune from spin-outs.  Once sliding these drivers are done for
because they were already going too fast for the conditions.  I am not
suggesting there is any parallel to helmet use, but cite the existence
of a reverse psychological effect of a safety device.

Jobst Brandt      <> 

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