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“I assumed this was a joke; it’s not” – study claims unvaxxed involved in more accidents

This is actually part of the JAMA study: Directed Acyclic Graph of possible causal pathways relevant to vaccine hesitancy and traffic risks. The diagram displays measured factors (white), unmeasured ancestors of vaccine hesitancy (green), unmeasured ancestors of traffic risks (blue), and unmeasured ancestors to both vaccine hesitancy and traffic risks (pink). Causal pathways denoted as closed (black lines) or open (magenta lines). Specific causal pathways based on literature review, direct clinical experience (Canada’s largest trauma center), and expert consultation (International Traffic Medicine Association). Image: JAMA

When I first saw articles covering the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study this week linking vaccine status with vehicle accidents rates, I thought I was reading a satirical parody from the Beaverton or the Babylon Bee.

But no – these were genuine articles, published by serious players like Sunnybrook Hospital and CTV. It’s really hard to view the straight-up news coverage without laughing, or vomiting.

The gist of all the words boils down to the idea that unvaccinated people cause more traffic accidents, likely because people who ignore government demands to get vaccinated are likely to ignore the rules of road, too.

“According to new research in The American Journal of Medicine, individuals who neglect health recommendations for vaccination against coronaviruses may also neglect road safety,” notes Newswise. This site makes clear it is not vaccination status that impacts risk: it is the driver’s ATTITUDE toward vaccination. The headline reads “Attitudes around COVID-19 vaccination are linked to increased traffic risks.”

Actually, in this case reading the humourous parodies makes a lot more sense: mathematician Igor Chudov read the study and notes that despite all the points of data the scientists looked at, they did not look at the actual number of miles driven by the vaccinated people versus miles driven by unvaccinated people.

They also forgot to break out categories of people who drive for a living and have no choice NOT to drive if they want to do any work or earn any money. Chudov’s photo comparison says it all: a snow plow driver on the left, a fellow working in bed on his laptop on the right.

Mathematician Igor Chudov asks if vaccinated people have fewer vehicle accidents because they spend less time driving vehicles. Photo: Igor’s Newsletter

“Which of these two persons was more likely to…

  • Be called an “essential worker” in 2021?
  • Be unvaccinated?
  • Drive MORE miles per day?
  • End up in a serious crash?”

Looking for a truly expert opinion on this latest round of incredible bullshit, I contacted Taxi News’ own Certified BS Detective and Climate Scientist Hans Wienhold to ask his views on the JAMA study.

“Well,” Wienhold noted dryly, “they certainly are getting more confident in the bullshit they spout. Actually, this study might be more of a test, to see how far you can push people and what they will believe. Because apparently, most Canadians have believed everything public health has told them up until now. Why not test to see how far they can go?”

Now, that makes a certain amount of sense – more sense than asking people to believe that someone who questions the safety and efficacy of a vaccine developed at “warp speed” is more likely to disobey traffic rules.

“Are they really saying that your political identity influences your likelihood of being involved in a road traffic accident?

Is that really what they’re purporting here? And this is in the published medical literature, it really is quite incredible.”

–Dr. John Campell

By happy coincidence, Dr. John Campbell featured the JAMA study on his program this morning and it’s worth watching if only for the number of times he has to struggle to keep a straight face in order to say something polite about the study and its conclusions.

“I’d been reading about this article in the popular press and on various social media places about a study which purported to show that people that were unvaccinated against COVID-19 was 72 per cent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. Now, I just assumed that this was a joke. But it actually turns out, it’s not,” he begins.

“This is not a joke, this is actually purported to be a genuine scientific paper. I really feel that these authors and the American Journal of Medicine have done themselves no favor at all with this.”

Campbell took a moment to view one of the graphs authors used to illustrate their information flow. It’s hilarious: “Now, they do claim, of course, that the study is a correlation. They’re not saying it’s causal. They actually put forward this diagram, where they actually point out potential causal mechanism that and I’m not going through this at all, it’s quite…weak,” he notes at one point, adding “Talking about peer review, it really makes me wonder what the peer reviewers were thinking when they looked at this article.

“The authors suggested that distrust in government might be a factor. In other words, people that distrust the government were more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents, as well as more or less likely to be vaccinated. Some people might think that’s offensive.

“Belief in freedom might be a factor. This awful thing, this belief in freedom, deary me, mentioned believing in freedom, but that might be a factor that makes people less likely to be vaccinated and more likely so people that believe in freedom and more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents.

“Are they really saying that your political identity influences your likelihood of being involved in a road traffic accident? Is that really what they’re purporting here? And this is in the published medical literature, it really is quite incredible.

 “So, all you stupid people out there who have got low health literacy, it appears that you’re more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents, because you don’t realize that when a ton and a half of metal hits your body, it can do some damage. It’s just incredible that this has made the medical literature as a health guideline.

Campbell goes in to interpret the study dryly: “Primary care physicians who wish to help patients to avoid traffic accidents could take this opportunity to stress standard reminders such as wearing seatbelts, obeying speed, not drinking alcohol.

“If you’re going to drive Iet me give you some advice: wear a seatbelt. Don’t exceed the speed limit. Oh, and don’t drink and drive.

Groundbreaking stuff.”