Seat Belt Laws


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DoveArrow wrote:
I love it when people quote wikipedia to me as if it's a reputable source.

I'd agree with you normally, except for two things.

The part I was referencing is properly cited, and all the stats that people are using for the proof that seat belts save lives (which, for the record, isn't the proper counter to my stance that the seat belt law is improper - and doesn't have enough justification) are usually thrown around without any citation what so ever.

For example, where did your site link to James Madison University get it's stats? (I'll grant you, at least they provide an address to contact for sources.)

And here are the sources of the Wikipedia section I referenced:

John Adams (1982) (PDF). The Efficacy of Seat Belt Legislation. The Society of Automotive Engineers

An experimental test of risk compensation: between-subject versus within-subject analyses Streff FM and Geller ES, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Aug;20(4):277-87. 1988

anssen, W. Seat belt wearing and driving behaviour: An instrumented-vehicle study. Accident Analysis and Prevention.1994 Apr; Vol 26(2): 249-2

Wilde, Target Risk

Seat belt savings: wrong implications of European statistics. Isles JE, STG Division, Department of Transport, UK. Dated but not published April 1981. "The Isles Report"

Davis, R (1993). Death on the Streets: Cars and the Mythology of Road Safety. Leading Edge Books. ISBN 0-948135-46-8.

I guess my stance is just as legitimate as yours now?

Dark Archive

Zombieneighbours wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

The reason the government shows them is so that it can use a lowering of deaths on the roads as a, a way to score political brownie points to improve their chances of retaining power at the next election...

This is a pretty cynical attitude. I see a flaw with it, at least here in the U.S. I see those commerials all the time, but I have neverseen one which says, I am so and so and I approved this message. In fact I have never seen it endorsed by one political party or another. The ads ran just as much when the current minority party was the majority as they do now. The only way it could be a ploy for the current government to retain power is if we were having an election where we were voting to keep our current constitutional system or to install James Jacobs as dictator for life.

Cynical? Really?

How is it any more cynical than thinking that government is some how attacking liberty for its own ends by making people wear a seat belt?

Which, if you will look back over the thread, is not some thing I have said. In fact I advocated for seat belt laws, so I don't know what your point is, unless you are just trying to be disagreeable.

Sovereign Court

Okay, I'm not weighing in at all as to whether their should be a law or not as I'm undecided (I do wear my seatbelt, I also wear a helmet on motorcycles, and I do both even if not required by law).

What I have a problem with is that the arguement keeps going back to debating whether or not seat belts save lives.

I concede and believe that seatbelts save lives. That is not an issue for me, nor really should it be debated here.

The question is, does that represent a lower cost to healthcare, insurance, individuals, or the state. Can anyone link to a study as to whether or not it saves money?

If a study says yes this is the money saved after seatbelt laws were instituted, then I'd say theres a case for mandatory laws.

If there aren't such studies, then I'd say the debate as to whether or not a person can choose to ignore the fact that they are safer wearing their seat belt is perfectly apt.

If there is no way to prove that it saves money in some way, then I actually am in favor of making it an option and wearing mine anyways, as the stupider in the population refuse and get themselves killed. and if it can be proven that we save money in some way by having these laws then I'm for keeping them.

Scarab Sages

Hmm well I do have this personal narrative to relate.

I have a friend from High School who was wearing his seat belt, it just happened to fail...

He had been run off the road on a large grade, the vehicle rolled several times down the cliff.

The people who's seatbelts did not fail, were not seriously injured, he has been a quadriplegic for the last 20 years. He was a millionaire from the settlement, but I'm not sure that was adequate compensation.

I believe in an individual's right to choose what's right for them...mandatory laws are draconian...


lastknightleft wrote:

The question is, does that represent a lower cost to healthcare, insurance, individuals, or the state. Can anyone link to a study as to whether or not it saves money?

If a study says yes this is the money saved after seatbelt laws were instituted, then I'd say theres a case for mandatory laws.

It is only me being anecdotal, but from my on again/off again surfing for something - anything - definitive on the subject, the best I have found is projections, estimations, and probabilities. And like I have said, most of those don't even cite the source. (For example, pro seat belt sites estimate seat belts save [or will save] from 4,700 lives a year up to 20,000+ lives a year depending on the site.)

Sovereign Court

Disenchanter wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:

The question is, does that represent a lower cost to healthcare, insurance, individuals, or the state. Can anyone link to a study as to whether or not it saves money?

If a study says yes this is the money saved after seatbelt laws were instituted, then I'd say theres a case for mandatory laws.

It is only me being anecdotal, but from my on again/off again surfing for something - anything - definitive on the subject, the best I have found is projections, estimations, and probabilities. And like I have said, most of those don't even cite the source. (For example, pro seat belt sites estimate seat belts save [or will save] from 4,700 lives a year up to 20,000+ lives a year depending on the site.)

right, but this is where you keep causing issues, I never asked if it saves lives, I don't give a rat's ass if it saves lives, I think debating whether or not it saves lives is the equivalent of jerking off to Phillis Diller you can do it, but is it really worth it? My question is does it save money to people other than the idiot who thought it wouldn't save his life. My question is, can the mandatory seatbelt laws save other people (people other than the individual risking his life by not wearing them)money. If so they should stay, if not then they should go and any jackass dumb enough to get himself killed while not wearing one should have more power to himself.


lastknightleft wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:

The question is, does that represent a lower cost to healthcare, insurance, individuals, or the state. Can anyone link to a study as to whether or not it saves money?

If a study says yes this is the money saved after seatbelt laws were instituted, then I'd say theres a case for mandatory laws.

It is only me being anecdotal, but from my on again/off again surfing for something - anything - definitive on the subject, the best I have found is projections, estimations, and probabilities. And like I have said, most of those don't even cite the source. (For example, pro seat belt sites estimate seat belts save [or will save] from 4,700 lives a year up to 20,000+ lives a year depending on the site.)
right, but this is where you keep causing issues, I never asked if it saves lives, I don't give a rat's ass if it saves lives, I think debating whether or not it saves lives is the equivalent of jerking off to Phillis Diller you can do it, but is it really worth it? My question is does it save money to people other than the idiot who thought it wouldn't save his life. My question is, can the mandatory seatbelt laws save other people (people other than the individual risking his life by not wearing them)money. If so they should stay, if not then they should go and any jackass dumb enough to get himself killed while not wearing one should have more power to himself.

I see. I didn't follow through.

Since the effect of seat belts are estimated, the cost numbers are estimated too.

That was my point.


David Fryer wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

The reason the government shows them is so that it can use a lowering of deaths on the roads as a, a way to score political brownie points to improve their chances of retaining power at the next election...

This is a pretty cynical attitude. I see a flaw with it, at least here in the U.S. I see those commerials all the time, but I have neverseen one which says, I am so and so and I approved this message. In fact I have never seen it endorsed by one political party or another. The ads ran just as much when the current minority party was the majority as they do now. The only way it could be a ploy for the current government to retain power is if we were having an election where we were voting to keep our current constitutional system or to install James Jacobs as dictator for life.

Cynical? Really?

How is it any more cynical than thinking that government is some how attacking liberty for its own ends by making people wear a seat belt?

Which, if you will look back over the thread, is not some thing I have said. In fact I advocated for seat belt laws, so I don't know what your point is, unless you are just trying to be disagreeable.

Sorry, i wasn't aiming that at you. It was at the general comment on one of the trends within the thread rather than anything else..


Why I don't trust the statistics people use, WARNING: This is a direct link to a PDF file.

As a nice added bonus, it helps my argument that if seat belts are so important school buses should have them too.

EDIT:: A MSN article that supports the claim the school bus accident reports are misleading at best.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Disenchanter wrote:

Why I don't trust the statistics people use, WARNING: This is a direct link to a PDF file.

As a nice added bonus, it helps my argument that if seat belts are so important school buses should have them too.

EDIT:: A MSN article that supports the claim the school bus accident reports are misleading at best.

There are good arguments for putting seat belts in buses, both public transportation and school. I don't think there's any doubt of that.

But in both cases, particularly with school buses, there's this penumbra of other protections that help to make it a relatively safe form of transportation even without seat belts. There's more regulation of the drivers, regulations about how other drivers have to deal with buses, easy to spot colors, etc. Those do help to ameliorate the risk of accidents by preventing them.

As I said before, it's a balancing act of cost vs benefit. The state cannot afford to regulate all drivers to the same degree as bus drivers, they elect to not require the same safety colors and lights, and so on. It's easier and probably significantly cheaper to require seat belts in cars and mandate their use than any of those hoops school buses need to jump through.


And the possibility that accident statistics were misreported doesn't bother you at all? (I just reread the MSNBC article, and it didn't say what I thought it said. I thought it said that the new study revealed more than twice the number of accident results... It details that more than 8000 injuries & fatalities happen outside of accidents.)

And that the cost versus cost of life analysis occurs on these misreported statistics?

Not to mention the motivation behind misreporting statistics?

From the PDF, page 5:

Presentation 2005 wrote:

Carol Fast 1987 ...

An example of how bad the reporting system is in this
country is the fact that California claims that there
were only 5 deaths in the last 10 years in Calif.. What
about the 29 who died at Martinez, Calif. in 1976 in
one bad accident? I guess because they were on their
way to sing in another school they are not REAL
school children. They didn't even make California's
statistics for deaths related to school bus accidents.

One year in NJ in the very early 70's the Senate
Education Dept. claimed there were 13 minor injuries
for the year and said, "why worry - only scraped
knees... Physicians For Automotive Safety found that
in one accident alone there had been 48 children taken
to the hospital - 6 with fractures. It had been a roll-
over. When PAS members went to the State Ed Dept.
they were told that those children didn't count - they
were on a field trip.

Dark Archive

Disenchanter wrote:

And the possibility that accident statistics were misreported doesn't bother you at all? (I just reread the MSNBC article, and it didn't say what I thought it said. I thought it said that the new study revealed more than twice the number of accident results... It details that more than 8000 injuries & fatalities happen outside of accidents.)

And that the cost versus cost of life analysis occurs on these misreported statistics?

Not to mention the motivation behind misreporting statistics?

From the PDF, page 5:

Presentation 2005 wrote:

Carol Fast 1987 ...

An example of how bad the reporting system is in this
country is the fact that California claims that there
were only 5 deaths in the last 10 years in Calif.. What
about the 29 who died at Martinez, Calif. in 1976 in
one bad accident?

Okay, this is too easy. They weren't included because 1976 is 11 years from 1987, not ten. This is not a mis reporting of the facts, it is an intellectually dishonest sophic argument. And as Bill said, this is an argument for extending seat belt laws to include school buses, not an argument against seat belt laws.


David Fryer wrote:
And as Bill said, this is an argument for extending seat belt laws to include school buses, not an argument against seat belt laws.

No, this is an argument that the statistics that seat belt laws are based on can't be easily verified by the public.

That the statistics are presented in such a way as to use social engineering to get the majority of the populous to accept them.

(But yes, the quote about California can be easily dismissed - I didn't check the years myself, but about New Jersey? Field trip accidents don't count?)

Liberty's Edge

Well, you've convinced me.
Wearing seatbelts is for morons and sheeple.
Plus, I always wanted to try out a ventilator.
HEAD TRAUMA FTW!!!!!


Heathansson wrote:

Well, you've convinced me.

Wearing seatbelts is for morons and sheeple.
Plus, I always wanted to try out a ventilator.
HEAD TRAUMA FTW!!!!!

It's funny you would draw that conclusion...

Oh yeah. That's right. Every one thinks when some one objects to the seat belt laws they are advocating removal of seat belts from cars.

Carry on with the irrational reaction.

Dark Archive

Disenchanter wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
And as Bill said, this is an argument for extending seat belt laws to include school buses, not an argument against seat belt laws.

No, this is an argument that the statistics that seat belt laws are based on can't be easily verified by the public.

I would go back and reread the presentation. The argument being made by that group is that the number of deaths and injuries that occur on school buses are being under reported to prevent laws that would mandate seat belts on them. This is in direct conflict with your argument that there is no direct corrolation between injuries in accidents and seat belt use.

I'll give you another statistic, from an Air Force internal report that was prepared when the Air Force was debating whether to require seat belt use on their bases. All information was taken directly from incident reports filed by Security Police through out the Air Force.

88% of people who were involved in an accident involving speeds of 40 mph or more in a ten year period survived the accident without serious injury. Of that 12% that did not, 745 of those injuries or fatalities were attributable to causes other than the seat belt. That means that less than 9% were injured due to seat belt wear, and the majority of those cases were attributible to improper seat belt wear.

However, in 82% of cases where someone was involved in an accident involving speeds of 40 mph or over and were not wearing their seat belt, the driver or a passanger recieved injuries serious enough to require emergency room attention and at least an overnight hospital stay. The disparity between the injuries sustained by seat belt wearers and none seat belt wearers was staggering. Once the report was presented, the Air Force leadership quickly issued an order requiring seat belt use at all Air Force facilities.

These numbers were not cooked, the were not twisted, and they were not manipulated in any way. How do I know? Because I was part of the team that put that report together. We looked at nothing but the raw data and presented a report based entirely on that raw data. You can distrust statistics all you want, 89% of people do statisticly, but I know what I know. And what I know is that, except in bizarrely exceptional circumstances, seat belts do save lives.

Liberty's Edge

Disenchanter wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

Well, you've convinced me.

Wearing seatbelts is for morons and sheeple.
Plus, I always wanted to try out a ventilator.
HEAD TRAUMA FTW!!!!!

It's funny you would draw that conclusion...

Oh yeah. That's right. Every one thinks when some one objects to the seat belt laws they are advocating removal of seat belts from cars.

Carry on with the irrational reaction.

Oh, yeah.

I'm the goof here.


David Fryer wrote:
These numbers were not cooked, the were not twisted, and they were not manipulated in any way. How do I know? Because I was part of the team that put that report together. We looked at nothing but the raw data and presented a report based entirely on that raw data. You can distrust statistics all you want, 89% of people do statisticly, but I know what I know. And what I know is that, except in bizarrely exceptional circumstances, seat belts do save lives.

So let me see if I can sum up:

Presenting statistics without actual data to back it up is wrong if it goes against conventional wisdom. But it is alright if it supports conventional wisdom. (I'm not even claiming your presented statistics are wrong here.)

Opposing the seat belt law as improper restriction of personal freedoms is met with:
a) Seat belt's save lives, and there for all should use them - unless that costs money (e.g. school buses).
b) Not using them costs individuals other than the person making that choice - but there are only projections and estimations available, and studies that suggest that mandatory seat belt laws encourage worse drivers and that increases costs for all involved.
c) Seat belt are full of win - except when they aren't, but those times are frequently ignored.
d) Removing personal choice in the best interest of a person is acceptable - and yet isn't used unless removal of that choice nets the government more income than leaving it (tobacco, alcohol, and to some extent most of the processed foods in America).
e) That anyone who opposes the law must want seat belts removed from vehicles.

Does that about sum it up?

I have tried to play the games those that oppose me are making. I have tried to counter the points presented rather than saying "that has nothing to do with my stance against the law."

And yet I have been accused of being the one who is out only to argue, and as "the goof."

Have I been entertaining enough in the games of others?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Disenchanter,
To clarify two points that you don't seem to understand yet:
1) Why is there no evidence, just probabilities? Because you can't get direct evidence for this unless you actually conduct a test and ram two cars together, one wearing seatbelts and one without. Fancy volunteering for that experiment?

Alternatively, you could rerun last year and abolish the seat belt laws and see if the accident rates change. What's that? You're not a Gallifrean? Oops. Guess you can't do that, either then.

What does that leave? Oh, right, it leaves looking at the data from before the seat belt laws and afterwards and extrapolating the effects. It leaves looking at the fatality rates between seat belts and non seatbelts and projecting what would happen if everyone was in the non-category. In short, extrapollation and projection are the best evidence you can get in this circumstance!

2) A statistical illustration using the figures as I remember them from earlier:
Seatbelt usage: 98%. % fatal accidents involving seatbelt wearers: 68%

This means that, if we make an assumption (unavoidable) that the accidents occur regardless of seatbelt use, we would expect 98% of fatal accidents to involve people wearing seatbelts. In fact, it's 30% less than that. That's evidence. Comparatively, the non-seatbelt crowd have 30 times the level of fatalities we'd expect if there was no relationship between fatality and seatbelt use. That's pushing the bounds of chance likelihood past breaking point.

So, there's your evidence. Questions will be answered if necessary.


Disenchanter wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
And as Bill said, this is an argument for extending seat belt laws to include school buses, not an argument against seat belt laws.

No, this is an argument that the statistics that seat belt laws are based on can't be easily verified by the public.

That the statistics are presented in such a way as to use social engineering to get the majority of the populous to accept them.

(But yes, the quote about California can be easily dismissed - I didn't check the years myself, but about New Jersey? Field trip accidents don't count?)

Actually if you are really interested in the subject, you get an Athens, pub-med or similar journal access account and you do actual research amongst the journals, because that is where the data is. It costs a relatively small amount and it is hardly difficult if you put in the time needed to make a study of the subject with the depth it deserves. However, you are not giving it that depth.

Personally, road safety is not my area of study. I do not have the inclination to trawl through several hundred engineering and medical journals. Therefore, I am willing to trust the experts. I can trust them because I know and trust the system that they must go through to publish their finding.

The consensus amongst them is that I am safer with a seat belt on; I will damned well wear one thank you.

The Exchange

Disenchanter wrote:

Every one thinks when some one objects to the seat belt laws they are advocating removal of seat belts from cars.

Carry on with the irrational reaction.

That's somewhat disingenuous, if you don't mind me saying. Since you have spent the whole of this thread saying that seatbelts don't work, the obvious thing to do would be to remove them, unless they simply please you aesthetically. In fact, you made a comment above about a two friends in a car crash, and the one who was worse injured was wearing the belt, suggesting you consider them to be postively dangerous (though, of course, with no more detail about the actual nature of the crash).

It is also misleading as Heathy didn't suggest that you were advocating the removal of seatbelts. He was simply suggesting that the potential results of not wearing one could be unpleasant (in case you don't know, Heathy is a radiographer and has probably scanned the odd smashed-up head in his time).

And don't turn into the Seatbelt Sam Weiss. You are no victim here - you volunteered your views and a lot of people disagree with them. Maybe you are right (I doubt it) but turning defensive doesn't really help your argument. And, in case you haven't noticed, what you are suggesting could, in many people's views, kill people who might otherwise live (and some posters have scraped other people off the road). That annoys a lot of people (rightly or wrongly) so if you want to discuss an emotive subject, this will happen.

Personally, I think your stance is irresponsible, and that unless it can be proven that seatbelts are a hindrance or useless in crashes, then people should wear them. Moreover, I have no problem with the law coercing them to do so. If the stats back you up, I'll change my mind, but as far as I have seen from reputable sources (such as ROSPA) this isn't the case.


Okay, let's clarify.

Paul Watson wrote:

Disenchanter,

To clarify two points that you don't seem to understand yet:
1)Why is there no evidence, just probabilities? Because you can't get direct evidence for this unless you actually conduct a test and ram two cars together, one wearing seatbelts and one without. Fancy volunteering for that experiment?

Yes actually. I'll even volunteer to be the one not wearing the seat belt.

Paul Watson wrote:
What does that leave? Oh, right, it leaves looking at the data from before the seat belt laws and afterwards and extrapolating the effects. It leaves looking at the fatality rates between seat belts and non seatbelts and projecting what would happen if everyone was in the non-category. In short, extrapollation and projection are the best evidence you can get in this circumstance!

And yet, when I presented the information from Professor John Adams that did that very thing that pointed out that mandatory seat belt laws did nothing, and on occasion made things worse that held no weight whatsoever.

Zombieneighbours wrote:

The consensus amongst them is that I am safer with a seat belt on; I will damned well wear one thank you.

Guess what? No one is saying you can't or shouldn't. How 'bout that?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Since you have spent the whole of this thread saying that seatbelts don't work, the obvious thing to do would be to remove them, unless they simply please you aesthetically.

I can see why it came across as such. But the most I did was try to illustrate that seat belts aren't as useful as a safety device as every one believes. They aren't miracle workers. And simply requiring use doesn't help as much as everyone believes.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
In fact, you made a comment above about a two friends in a car crash, and the one who was worse injured was wearing the belt, suggesting you consider them to be postively dangerous (though, of course, with no more detail about the actual nature of the crash).

Yes. My cousin suffered irreversible brain damage from a head on collision by a drunk driver when the shoulder strap caused his head to whip to the side and hit the driver's side window. His girlfriend on the other hand, suffered only mild abrasions, from the broken glass.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

You are no victim here - you volunteered your views and a lot of people disagree with them. Maybe you are right (I doubt it) but turning defensive doesn't really help your argument. And, in case you haven't noticed, what you are suggesting could, in many people's views, kill people who might otherwise live (and some posters have scraped other people off the road). That annoys a lot of people (rightly or wrongly) so if you want to discuss an emotive subject, this will happen.

Personally, I think your stance is irresponsible, and that unless it can be proven that seatbelts are a hindrance or useless in crashes, then people should wear them. Moreover, I have no problem with the law coercing them to do so. If the stats back you up, I'll change my mind, but as far as I have seen from reputable sources (such as ROSPA) this isn't the case.

Yes I volunteered my views. Others challenged them. I attempted to defend them. And from some posters, I was wrong for even trying.

And let me check, for clarity, what is it you think I am suggesting?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

In fact, you made a comment above about a two friends in a car crash, and the one who was worse injured was wearing the belt, suggesting you consider them to be postively dangerous (though, of course, with no more detail about the actual nature of the crash).

Yes. My cousin suffered irreversible brain damage from a head on collision by a drunk driver when the shoulder strap caused his head to whip to the side and hit the driver's side window. His girlfriend on the other hand, suffered only mild abrasions, from the broken glass.

And what were his injuries if he hadn't had a seat belt? The same? Betterr? Wrose? You have no idea, and neither do I. That's kind of the point. If he hadn't been wearing a seatbelt would his injuries have been better or worse? All evidence points to it being more likely that he would have suffered worse injuries or died. That's more likely, not certain. That's thew thing about statistics, they do not give 100% guarantees.

You appear to be saying that if something doesn't prevent all accidents it's useless. That's why people are pissed at you, because even though you keep saying you don't mean that, you keep saying things that give the exact same impression. If you don't mean something, don't say it. Is that really that hard to do?


Paul Watson wrote:
And what were his injuries if he hadn't had a seat belt? The same? Betterr? Wrose? You have no idea, and neither do I.

It was a head on collision. The seat belt was directly responsible for the injury and damage.

The person next to him, suffering the same forces, suffered no irreversible injuries and wasn't wearing any seat belt.

What, exactly, are you suggesting I take away from that? That seat belts saved the day?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
And what were his injuries if he hadn't had a seat belt? The same? Betterr? Wrose? You have no idea, and neither do I.

It was a head on collision. The seat belt was directly responsible for the injury and damage.

The person next to him, suffering the same forces, suffered no irreversible injuries and wasn't wearing any seat belt.

What, exactly, are you suggesting I take away from that? That seat belts saved the day?

No. What I am suggesting is that extrapolating from one incident and ignoring the hundreds of thousands of crashes where seatbelts didn't injure people is idiotic.

No one has ever said seat belts will never cause injury (although the rate appears incredibly small), nor that they will prevent all fatalities (although they do prevent a lot, according to the evidence, which you don't accept), yet that is the windmill you seem to be tilting against.

As to why his girlfriend wasn't injured? No idea. Who was driving? Were there airbags? Was the collision completely head on or did it crash into one side of the front more heavily? Answer: I don't know. There is insufficient evidence (I don't expect you to be able to produce everything about the accident, btw, I'm just saying that I can't give a firm answer on the details I have) and I'm not a car crash expert in the first place.


A conspiracy of genius, in sweat stained waistcoats and powdered wigs wrote:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I am pretty sure that is grounds for putting into law, rules that say you should do what is best for your own welfare and the welfare of others...

The Exchange

Disenchanter wrote:
And let me check, for clarity, what is it you think I am suggesting?

I actually am not entirely sure. There seem to be two strands: the civil liberties strand (which is much more a matter of opinion) and the physical safety element. I disagree with the civil liberties strand as I don't see the issue as black-and-white, but more a cost-benefit thing - if the cost is not outweighed by the benefits - but accept that some people may feel differently and draw the line elsewhere.

The safety issue is more fact-based. I accept your direct experience of your cousin's accident but that is only one accident, and I would hesitate to draw a statistical trend from that or make any firm conclusions about the efficacy of seatbelts to the general population. That is what the statistics are there to do and while I also accept that statistics can be misleading this cuts both ways (i.e. you seem inclined to accept the statistics from anti-seat belt pressure groups because they accord with your views, but then seem very reluctant to accept any other statistical analysis that goes against that - I agree with Zombieneighbours that if you are really fired up on this subject you should consider spending some money on it to get access to the proper studies online and not the skewed views in Wikipedia or wherever). Now, I am not an expert in these areas either but I don't believe that the government in the UK would have implemented seat belts laws if they didn't have good evidence (though I can't swear it, obviously - I suggest you look up the Dangerous Dogs Act for an example of really dire legislation in the UK, but that was a knee-jerk reaction and I don't get the impression the seat belt law was).

I also find that the two strands tend to get a bit conflated in your arguments, which occasionally makes it difficult to really see what you are saying or getting at. I guess if you think they don't work then why should legislation be enacted forcing you to wear them that sort of makes sense, but that seem more like an a priori assumption looking for support than anything you have really assessed by looking at the evidence.


I think seatbelts prevent a lot more injury than they cause.

I'm all for making all kinds of safety precautions like this mandatory. If we were talking about something no one but you is involved in, I'd say go ahead: Climb mountains without safety, and if bungee jumping where you hold the rope with your hands is your idea of real fun, go ahead.

But there are a huge number of people involved here. Others can get injured if you neglect. Others can get in distress.

Imagine someone ramming you - by accident - and you die because you didn't wear your seatbelt and never bothered to get the airbag fixed and all that. That poor bastard is messed up for life. Might not even have been all his fault. Maybe it was even you who was responsible for the accident.

It's not unlikely he'll think that he has killed you, anyway.


Paul Watson wrote:
No one has ever said seat belts will never cause injury (although the rate appears incredibly small), nor that they will prevent all fatalities (although they do prevent a lot, according to the evidence, which you don't accept), yet that is the windmill you seem to be tilting against.

Okay, now to continue clarifying, where have I said that I don't accept the evidence that seat belts are useful? As I said to Aubrey, I can see why it came off as such, but I was trying to dispel the conventional wisdom that seat belts cause no harm. If you notice, very few have even acknowledged that seat belts can cause injuries, let alone worse injuries than not wearing them. I'm considered a goof for even thinking it.

Paul Watson wrote:
As to why his girlfriend wasn't injured? No idea. Who was driving? Were there airbags? Was the collision completely head on or did it crash into one side of the front more heavily? Answer: I don't know. There is insufficient evidence (I don't expect you to be able to produce everything about the accident, btw, I'm just saying that I can't give a firm answer on the details I have) and I'm not a car crash expert in the first place.

I can clarify many of the details. It has been too many years for me to recall them all - such as the exact make and models of the car involved.

It was a full head on collision. The engine compartment crumpled nearly evenly. Secondary impacts broke out the passenger side windows causing the aforementioned abrasions. My cousin was driving. He was arguing with his girlfriend, which is why he didn't notice the drunk driver that crossed the line into my cousin's lane. The head on collision was powerful enough to bend the passenger compartment enough, that the response crew had to use the jaws of life to open the driver's side door.

EDIT:: Forgot to add, no air bags. And forgot that the windshield cracked, but did not break at all. No one contacted the windshield./EDIT::

It seems pretty conclusive to me. Much like Quint from Jaws, I have no interest in wearing a life preserver after I see what they might cause. I'd much rather take my chances at dying rather than end up like my cousin.

But I can't make that decision, at least not legally. And everyone that buys that seat belts are a miracle cure of sorts consider me an a*%*~!% for even thinking I should be allowed to make the choice. And several think that I am out to be only argumentative on the subject.

Am I mistaken on that?


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
I suggest you look up the Dangerous Dogs Act for an example of really dire legislation in the UK, but that was a knee-jerk reaction and I don't get the impression the seat belt law was

The Dangerous dogs act is actually a really good example of why I trust seat belt law. The dangerous dogs act is amazingly shoddy legislation and the reaction to it by those in the know highlights the fact that it is shoddy.

I studied Animal Welfare, and the dangerous dogs act is seen as terrible legislation by the vast majority of people in the field, and they make a fair old stink about it.

In contrast, everyone whom I am aware of involved with studying road safety supports enforces seatbelt usage.

The Exchange

Disenchanter wrote:

It seems pretty conclusive to me. Much like Quint from Jaws, I have no interest in wearing a life preserver after I see what they might cause. I'd much rather take my chances at dying rather than end up like my cousin.

But I can't make that decision, at least not legally. And everyone that buys that seat belts are a miracle cure of sorts consider me an a#!**!% for even thinking I should be allowed to make the choice. And several think that I am out to be only argumentative on the subject.

Am I mistaken on that?

This clarifies your position well. It also makes it clear that it is an emotional reaction to your cousin's accident rather than a studied response to the broader evidence on the efficacy of seat belts. While that is not necessarily invalid as such, governments have a duty to balance the greater good of the populace at large against the liberties of individuals, and the assess the relative costs.

I personally believe that the evidence is sufficient, and the cost sufficiently small, that legislative compulsion to wear a seatbelt is reasonable. Your cousin's situation is clearly tragic, but it is an individual situation and individual situations make very bad laws (like the Dangerous Dogs Act). The true question a government must answer is whether a seat belt law would save more lives than it takes, and not whether you want to die cleanly on the roads irrespective of the cost to the rest of society (and in any case I suspect you are probably more likely to be badly injured, like your cousin, by not wearing a seatbelt than by doing so - death is not a given).


I'm glad you see my side now Aubrey. (I am not suggesting you agree with it, but you at least understand it.)

But to try and continue this illumination of my stance, I never meant to suggest that seat belts were evil. Nor was I trying to suggest that people shouldn't use them. I firmly believe that people should be able to make the choice of what kind of injuries they are willing to receive.

And I am not suggesting that an individual situation make a law.

On top of that, it isn't individual. There are other cases, but oddly enough data on them can't be found. THIS IS NOT TO SUGGEST THEY ARE FREQUENT ENOUGH TO WARRANT THE REMOVAL OF SEAT BELTS.

But the reality is that seat belts cause more harm than most people understand, or are even allowed to know about. Even if they do find out about it, they aren't allowed to make their own choice on the matter.

I'd much rather there be some thing to reduce accidents. But it seems that many people feel it is okay to have accidents, as long as a device that might cause more damage that it prevents is in use.

Such as a law that bans significant others in the car at all. I estimate my cousin has a 50% better chance that all injuries could have been avoided if he wasn't arguing with his girlfriend.

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Disenchanter wrote:

I'm glad you see my side now Aubrey. (I am not suggesting you agree with it, but you at least understand it.)

But to try and continue this illumination of my stance, I never meant to suggest that seat belts were evil. Nor was I trying to suggest that people shouldn't use them. I firmly believe that people should be able to make the choice of what kind of injuries they are willing to receive.

And I am not suggesting that an individual situation make a law.

On top of that, it isn't individual. There are other cases, but oddly enough data on them can't be found. THIS IS NOT TO SUGGEST THEY ARE FREQUENT ENOUGH TO WARRANT THE REMOVAL OF SEAT BELTS.

But the reality is that seat belts cause more harm than most people understand, or are even allowed to know about. Even if they do find out about it, they aren't allowed to make their own choice on the matter.

I'd much rather there be some thing to reduce accidents. But it seems that many people feel it is okay to have accidents, as long as a device that might cause more damage that it prevents is in use.

Such as a law that bans significant others in the car at all. I estimate my cousin has a 50% better chance that all injuries could have been avoided if he wasn't arguing with his girlfriend.

You've done it again! You specifically say you're not saying seatbelts cause more damage and then turn around and say they "might", thus suggesting that they do, even though you said they didn't. Will you please stop doing this!

I give up. You don't even realise you're doing this. So I'll save my blood pressure and stop arguing with people who don't understand statistics and refuse to understand.


Paul Watson wrote:
You've done it again! You specifically say you're not saying seatbelts cause more damage and then turn around and say they "might", thus suggesting that they do, even though you said they didn't. Will you please stop doing this!

Doing what?

Respecting other peoples opinions while holding my own?

I can see why that might annoy some...

Less snarky: I don't have a problem with people thinking that seat belts are God's gift to man. I'm not out to crush that belief, even if I could find any data that confirms it - like I said though, it can't be found by me. But I disagree with it, and won't accept seat belts as the answer to everything. But I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am right. So I allow the possibility thet I am wrong, whie still holding fast to my beliefs.

Paul Watson wrote:
I give up. You don't even realise you're doing this. So I'll save my blood pressure and stop arguing with people who don't understand statistics and refuse to understand.

You do that.

But I do understand statistics.

I understand that they can easily be adjusted to provide the exact result you are looking for, even without witholding some data points.
And if you "conveniently" leave out data points it can be even easier to produce the results you want.

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
You've done it again! You specifically say you're not saying seatbelts cause more damage and then turn around and say they "might", thus suggesting that they do, even though you said they didn't. Will you please stop doing this!

Doing what?

Respecting other peoples opinions while holding my own?

I can see why that might annoy some...

Less snarky: I don't have a problem with people thinking that seat belts are God's gift to man. I'm not out to crush that belief, even if I could find any data that confirms it - like I said though, it can't be found by me. But I disagree with it, and won't accept seat belts as the answer to everything. But I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am right. So I allow the possibility thet I am wrong, whie still holding fast to my beliefs.

Paul Watson wrote:
I give up. You don't even realise you're doing this. So I'll save my blood pressure and stop arguing with people who don't understand statistics and refuse to understand.

You do that.

But I do understand statistics.

I understand that they can easily be adjusted to provide the exact result you are looking for, even without witholding some data points.
And if you "conveniently" leave out data points it can be even easier to produce the results you want.

Stop saying "I've no proof and so won't say it" then later saying "it might be true". You are using implication to get around the fact that you can't prove it. I've no proof you're being mind-controlled by aliens to kill off more humans before their invasion, but you might be. See what it is now? It's dishonest and disingenuous. You can't prove your case, so you imply the other side is wrong but you can't be called on it because you included a 'might'.

And then you go and accuse people on the other side of lying by manipulating the statistics. Except you didn't. Once again, you implied it was happening without directly stating it.

And you wonder why people are getting mad at you? Sheesh!


Paul Watson wrote:
Stop saying "I've no proof and so won't say it" then later saying "it might be true". You are using implication to get around the fact that you can't prove it. I've no proof you're being mind-controlled by aliens to kill off more humans before their invasion, but you might be. See what it is now? It's dishonest and disingenuous. You can't prove your case, so you imply the other side is wrong but you can't be called on it because you included a 'might'.

I can't prove it, because the data either isn't collected, isn't collected properly, or isn't released. I'd love to be able to snap my fingers and have all the data freely available to all.

Paul Watson wrote:
And then you go and accuse people on the other side of lying by manipulating the statistics. Except you didn't. Once again, you implied it was happening without directly stating it.

I accused the other side of possibly manipulating the statistics. Can you honestly tell me if "they" (the government, auto industry, whoever) did manipulate the statistics we would know?

Now, I know what you are going to say, "you're doing it again!"

But let me go a little more in depth on statistics. The generally accepted margin of error is about 5%. That means that if this margin of error is used, there is a 5% chance that something will happen outside of the projected statistics. But it requires you to include more data points. If you increase the margin of error to, say 30%, you reduce the number of data points you use, but at a greater margin of error.

(Picture a bell curve, that represents nearly all statistics. The margin of error is "taken away" from the outside edges of the bell curve. The curve represents the level of injury, all points on the curve below a certain point represent death. And the higher data points, in the middle, represent living.)

The kicker is, no one has to reveal the margin of error used in the calculations.

So, if the statistics claim that seat belt use will decrease the number of fatalities in an accident... What margin of error is being used? If it is 5%, this is a generally accepted accurate statistic. If it is 30% margin for error, 30% of the data - at the extremes of the results - are ignored for the purpose of the study.

Add on top of that, if no effort is used to calculate the effect of injuries caused by seat belts, it is even easier to prove their value.

Can I prove that this is being done? No. Because the data isn't available to all. At the same time, the "other side" hasn't even blessed us enough to tell us the margin of error used.


Sploooorrrtch


Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Stop saying "I've no proof and so won't say it" then later saying "it might be true". You are using implication to get around the fact that you can't prove it. I've no proof you're being mind-controlled by aliens to kill off more humans before their invasion, but you might be. See what it is now? It's dishonest and disingenuous. You can't prove your case, so you imply the other side is wrong but you can't be called on it because you included a 'might'.

I can't prove it, because the data either isn't collected, isn't collected properly, or isn't released. I'd love to be able to snap my fingers and have all the data freely available to all.

Paul Watson wrote:
And then you go and accuse people on the other side of lying by manipulating the statistics. Except you didn't. Once again, you implied it was happening without directly stating it.

I accused the other side of possibly manipulating the statistics. Can you honestly tell me if "they" (the government, auto industry, whoever) did manipulate the statistics we would know?

Now, I know what you are going to say, "you're doing it again!"

But let me go a little more in depth on statistics. The generally accepted margin of error is about 5%. That means that if this margin of error is used, there is a 5% chance that something will happen outside of the projected statistics. But it requires you to include more data points. If you increase the margin of error to, say 30%, you reduce the number of data points you use, but at a greater margin of error.

(Picture a bell curve, that represents nearly all statistics. The margin of error is "taken away" from the outside edges of the bell curve. The curve represents the level of injury, all points on the curve below a certain point represent death. And the higher data points, in the middle, represent living.)

The kicker is, no one has to reveal the margin of error used in the calculations.

So, if the statistics claim that seat belt use will...

As i have pointed out before, the evidence for seatbelt use does exist. If you want to access it to critique it, you can sign up for the appropreate journal services and write a meta-study on it. But your not providing a metastudy, your providing a couple of dubious bits of data and some anacdote, that is all.

Paul is pissed off because you are trying to side step your lack of evidence, in a display of interlectual dishonesty that would shock most creationists, by saying 'I don't have the evidence, so it could be true, so you have to take my opinion seriously.'

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Stop saying "I've no proof and so won't say it" then later saying "it might be true". You are using implication to get around the fact that you can't prove it. I've no proof you're being mind-controlled by aliens to kill off more humans before their invasion, but you might be. See what it is now? It's dishonest and disingenuous. You can't prove your case, so you imply the other side is wrong but you can't be called on it because you included a 'might'.

I can't prove it, because the data either isn't collected, isn't collected properly, or isn't released. I'd love to be able to snap my fingers and have all the data freely available to all.

Paul Watson wrote:
And then you go and accuse people on the other side of lying by manipulating the statistics. Except you didn't. Once again, you implied it was happening without directly stating it.

I accused the other side of possibly manipulating the statistics. Can you honestly tell me if "they" (the government, auto industry, whoever) did manipulate the statistics we would know?

Now, I know what you are going to say, "you're doing it again!"

But let me go a little more in depth on statistics. The generally accepted margin of error is about 5%. That means that if this margin of error is used, there is a 5% chance that something will happen outside of the projected statistics. But it requires you to include more data points. If you increase the margin of error to, say 30%, you reduce the number of data points you use, but at a greater margin of error.

(Picture a bell curve, that represents nearly all statistics. The margin of error is "taken away" from the outside edges of the bell curve. The curve represents the level of injury, all points on the curve below a certain point represent death. And the higher data points, in the middle, represent living.)

The kicker is, no one has to reveal the margin of error used in the calculations.

So, if the statistics claim that seat belt use will...

So "Guilty until proven innocent" is popular where you come from, is it? You assume that they're doing this with nothing to back it up. As has been pointed out those statistics ARE there. It just costs money to access them from the dedicated journals.

And yes, you are doing it again. As long as you continue to say "Well, I think it's wrong so maybe they're lying,. I can't prove it, but maybe..." why should we continue to give you evidence? Unless we can provide every detail on the study you'll just imply it's wrong because you don't like the results.

Also, that's not what the margin of error is. What you're describing is the confidence limit, more or less which is a very different thing. The margin of error applies to prediction and shows the range of values that the 95% confidence limit will allow.

Confidence limit is what you're talking about. The confidence limit is the probability a result was obtained by chance alone. So a 5% confidence limit says there is a 95% chance that this is a real thing. Incidentally, it's 5% total so 2.5% at each end. It is 5%, in general (1-in-20 likelihood by chance alone), or for medical tests sometimes 1%, which is then noted. This is so standard people don't put it in because it's not needed. Once again, you imply corruption because you don't like the results.

EDIT: And thank you to Zombieneighbours for stating my position more succinctly, even if a little more bluntly, than I would.


Okay, I will try one more time.

Any one who has studied statistics (formulating them, not just looking at the result) can confirm that they are essentially b&!$%!*!. They are a tool used to convince people of a "truth," by manipulating data. And that statistics don't have to be honest, in any way.

Statistics != evidence.

The fact that statistics are available doesn't mean anything.

The data has to be available.

And margin of error (second entry).

And I don't know about "guilty until proven innocent," but I am a firm believer in "question authority."

I'm aware that seat belts have caused injuries, and even deaths. Yet all the "evidence" to their blessedness doesn't seem to include that data at all.

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Disenchanter wrote:

Okay, I will try one more time.

Any one who has studied statistics (formulating them, not just looking at the result) can confirm that they are essentially b%!!@~&&. They are a tool used to convince people of a "truth," by manipulating data. And that statistics don't have to be honest, in any way.

Statistics != evidence.

The fact that statistics are available doesn't mean anything.

The data has to be available.

And margin of error (second entry).

And I don't know about "guilty until proven innocent," but I am a firm believer in "question authority."

I'm aware that seat belts have caused injuries, and even deaths. Yet all the "evidence" to their blessedness doesn't seem to include that data at all.

Disenchanter,

If they're not evidence, then why are you using statistics to back up your case? Clearly the report you cited isn't evidence either, yet you brought it up. I call b!!#&#&+ on your argument. Apparently it's evidence when it backs you and not when it doesn't.

EDIT: I looked at that link. It says exactly what I said. You were using it for the confidence limit, not margin of error. But what do I know, I only have a Masters Degree in Statistics and work as an analyst. Clearly you know more than me after looking at an on-line dictionary.


Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Okay, I will try one more time.

Any one who has studied statistics (formulating them, not just looking at the result) can confirm that they are essentially b%!!@~&&. They are a tool used to convince people of a "truth," by manipulating data. And that statistics don't have to be honest, in any way.

Statistics != evidence.

The fact that statistics are available doesn't mean anything.

The data has to be available.

And margin of error (second entry).

And I don't know about "guilty until proven innocent," but I am a firm believer in "question authority."

I'm aware that seat belts have caused injuries, and even deaths. Yet all the "evidence" to their blessedness doesn't seem to include that data at all.

Disenchanter,

If they're not evidence, then why are you using statistics to back up your case? Clearly the report you cited isn't evidence either, yet you brought it up. I call b*&~!#&@ on your argument. Apparently it's evidence when it backs you and not when it doesn't.

Where have I presented statistics as evidence - after you called me on not having the data to back it up?

Liberty's Edge

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Okay, I will try one more time.

Any one who has studied statistics (formulating them, not just looking at the result) can confirm that they are essentially b%!!@~&&. They are a tool used to convince people of a "truth," by manipulating data. And that statistics don't have to be honest, in any way.

Statistics != evidence.

The fact that statistics are available doesn't mean anything.

The data has to be available.

And margin of error (second entry).

And I don't know about "guilty until proven innocent," but I am a firm believer in "question authority."

I'm aware that seat belts have caused injuries, and even deaths. Yet all the "evidence" to their blessedness doesn't seem to include that data at all.

Disenchanter,

If they're not evidence, then why are you using statistics to back up your case? Clearly the report you cited isn't evidence either, yet you brought it up. I call b*&~!#&@ on your argument. Apparently it's evidence when it backs you and not when it doesn't.
Where have I presented statistics as evidence - after you called me on not having the data to back it up?

Every time you mention that blasted report that says seat belts have not reduced accidents. You remember that one don't you? The one that says seat belts may have increased the number of accidents?

EDIT: The one by Professor John Adams. You've referred to it many times as supporting evidence or countering the other evidence.

The Exchange

Arguably, then this is the wrong place to debate this, since the data simply isn't available here. If that is what you feel, again I would suggest you access the stuff you need to assess the risk. It is true that all we are looking at is quoted statistics from different sources of debatable credibility. Unless that data is access and you decide to actually do a study on this, all you are making are unsupportable assertions (to some extent, as are those disagreeing with you). So it's really angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff until then - arguably, your assertions have no more power than anyone else's, so whey are we bothering?

However, consider this. Most of the statistics will address accident and death rates and compare those who were injured or killed wearing a seatbelt and those that weren't. If it demonstrates (which it seems to) that wearing a safety belt increases your chance of survival or of avoinding serious injury, arguably that is the end of the matter. Even if people can be injured by seat belts, arguably this is outweighed by the benefits of wearing them, since incidents where people have been injured should still be included in the stats and still demonstrate you are better off wearing one. In other words, the risk of not wearing one is greater than the risk of wearing one, in general circumstances. So that is suggestive that separate analysis of injuries caused by seat belts is not going to be a big area for study, at least in general studies of accident data. Seat belt safely (and injuries caused thereof) stuff might be more likey to be found in studies of crashes under controlled conditions (i.e. crash test dummies and so on) where the actual dynamics and forces can be properly studied, since they will be very difficult to infer from data arising from accidents in the street. Those are engineering challenges, and may be intellectual property of the car makers.


Paul Watson wrote:
Every time you mention that blasted report that says seat belts have not reduced accidents. You remember that one don't you? The one that says seat belts may have increased the number of accidents?

You mean the one that I only claim suggests that mandatory seat belt laws haven't improved the overall results any? The one that neither I say, nor the results say, that seat belts increase the number of accidents - but that the mere existence of the law might have?

That one?

And as far as margin of error, and confidence level, they actually can be used interchangeably for most purposes. But you know, what do I know? It's not like I ever said you were wrong with using confidence levels...

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
So it's really angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff until then - arguably, your assertions have no more power than anyone else's, so whey are we bothering?

I have no idea. Others seem content on proving me wrong, while all I assert is that I am not. I don't even claim others are wrong, in fact I go out of my way to avoid that.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
However, consider this. Most of the statistics will address accident and death rates and compare those who were injured or killed wearing a seatbelt and those that weren't. If it demonstrates (which it seems to) that wearing a safety belt increases your chance of survival or of avoinding serious injury, arguably that is the end of the matter. Even if people can be injured by seat belts, arguably this is outweighed by the benefits of wearing them, since incidents where people have been injured should still be included in the stats and still demonstrate you are better off wearing one. In other words, the risk of not wearing one is greater than the risk of wearing one, in general circumstances. So that is suggestive that separate analysis of injuries caused by seat belts is not going to be a big area for study, at least in general studies of accident data. Seat belt safely (and injuries caused thereof) stuff might be more likey to be found in studies of crashes under controlled conditions (i.e. crash test dummies and so on) where the actual dynamics and forces can be properly studied, since they will be very difficult to infer from data arising from accidents in the street. Those are engineering challenges, and may be intellectual property of the car makers.

I do consider that Aubrey. That is why I only stand for the removal of mandatory laws. Not seat belts. I've not disputed that seat belts can be better for you. I've only asserted that they can be bad for you as well.

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Every time you mention that blasted report that says seat belts have not reduced accidents. You remember that one don't you? The one that says seat belts may have increased the number of accidents?

You mean the one that I only claim suggests that mandatory seat belt laws haven't improved the overall results any? The one that neither I say, nor the results say, that seat belts increase the number of accidents - but that the mere existence of the law might have?

That one?

That's the one. The one you are using as EVIDENCE that you are right and that seat belts laws are a problem. If all statistics are irrelevant, as you suggest, then this report is irrelevant as it's conclusions are based on evil statistics.

And margin of error and confidence limit can't be used interchangeably. Each has a very specific meaning when used in statistics. But that's not important. I was trying to correct a presumably innocent mistake, not use it as part of the argument. Apparently, I shouldn't bother.


Paul Watson wrote:
That's the one. The one you are using as EVIDENCE that you are right and that seat belts laws are a problem. If all statistics are irrelevant, as you suggest, then this report is irrelevant as it's conclusions are based on evil statistics.

The one I am using against the statistics presented to me?

The one I am not waving around as proof that the laws should be repealed? But the one I point those that claim the statistics show that seat belt laws are only good?

I would agree that the conclusions are invalid without the data being available. But if someone presents statistics as evidence, I shouldn't use statistics as counter evidence?

That is pretty rich.

If I didn't know better, I'd say you were deliberately trying to stack the deck against me rather than approach the discussion with an open mind.

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
That's the one. The one you are using as EVIDENCE that you are right and that seat belts laws are a problem. If all statistics are irrelevant, as you suggest, then this report is irrelevant as it's conclusions are based on evil statistics.

The one I am using against the statistics presented to me?

The one I am not waving around as proof that the laws should be repealed? But the one I point those that claim the statistics show that seat belt laws are only good?

I would agree that the conclusions are invalid without the data being available. But if someone presents statistics as evidence, I shouldn't use statistics as counter evidence?

That is pretty rich.

If I didn't know better, I'd say you were deliberately trying to stack the deck against me rather than approach the discussion with an open mind.

If you thought the statistics weren't relevant, you should have argued that from the start. You didn't. You decided that your statistics should be acceptable for the argument. Now you're saying no one's should. If I didn't know better, I'd suggest that you know you can't win the argument and so are changing the rules to suit yourself.

EDIT: I don't need to stack the deck against you. The evidence, sorry, statistics are on my side. ;-)

EDIT 2: And that "If I didn't know better..." is another great example of using innuendo and implication to attack people while hiding behind "I didn't say it".


Paul Watson wrote:
If you thought the statistics weren't relevant, you should have argued that from the start. You didn't. You decided that your statistics should be acceptable for the argument. Now you're saying no one's should. If I didn't know better, I'd suggest that you know you can't win the argument and so are changing the rules to suit yourself.

So let me see if I understand you correctly.

The thread should have follwed this outline:
I presented an expanded explanation of my stance, using the statistics that we are inundated with.
You called me on not having the data to back it up. I agree with that actually.
While I was proceeding to look for data to support either stance, several people stated I was wrong because the statistics say so.
I should have told them to go stuff themselves, because the standards of the thread have been elevated above that - essentially it had.

Then what?

What I did, was try to explain that no data was available, and that if the statistics are good enough, there is a study that claims the mandatory seat belt law doesn't help the overall statistics.

Am I to believe I shouldn't have been that respectful?

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