A somewhat obvious new study suggests that the majority of injured bicyclists who wind up at Bellevue's emergency room aren't wearing helmets. Researchers at NYU Medical Center examined the victims of 143 bicycle accidents between December 2008 and December 2009, concluding that 76 percent had not been wearing helmets. 13 percent had consumed alcohol and 5 percent had been listening to music. The report's author tells the Post, which got exclusive access to the study, that he's "surprised" at how many people bike under the influence in this town. And who knows what else these inebriates were on?
"We're not getting into the whole other issue that the [cyclists might have been] taking other substances we're not looking for," NYU associate professor George Foltin tells the tabloid. The study also finds that eighty-seven percent of the cyclists injured were men, and 96 percent were over age 18. Two cyclists out of the 143 cases died; neither were wearing helmets.
Of course, correlation does not imply causation, and the neither the Post nor the researchers looked at other contributing factors to the accidents, like, say, reckless drunk drivers listening to loud music without helmets. Or babies blocking bike lanes.