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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ivan Barry Pless, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Y2V2; barry.pless{at}mcgill.ca

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Mozambique free of landmines

The last landmine in Mozambique was recently destroyed, thanks largely to the Halo Trust. Mozambique is now set to declare itself as the first heavily mined country to be fully cleared. This was accomplished in less than 30 years, thanks to good planning and generous donors. The antipersonnel mines were planted in the 1960s, causing thousands of casualties. The Mine Ban Treaty (1999) virtually stopped their use and production, and now, 27 other countries are mine free, but nearly 4000 people in 60 countries are still killed by mines each year. Comment: thanks to Deborah Girasek for bringing this item to my attention.

Retracted bike injury paper: stats error

Two Canadian researchers have retracted a paper published in the J Transport & Health. The findings initially reported were that slippery road surfaces, night-time biking and higher speed limits increased the probability of a bicycle injury. Despite these logical conclusions, the authors discovered a statistical error that ‘would significantly change the discussion’. The reference category for the logistic regression was inadvertently reversed, affecting the interpretation of the regression coefficients. The conclusions were reversed. Comment: I am puzzled because it seems this would prompt the conclusion that these risk factors were actually protective!

Drowsy driving

Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, but even just being sleepy also affects driving. Drowsiness makes drivers less attentive, slows reaction time and impairs decision-making. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes involve drowsy drivers. Commercial drivers, shift workers and those with untreated sleep disorders or who use sedating medications are most affected. About 4% of drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the last month. Apart from getting more sleep, reducing alcohol intake also minimises drowsy driving.

Adult bike injuries increasing

A paper in JAMA notes that cycling is becoming more dangerous. The rate of …

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