The Unvaccinated Had More Car Crashes... Because they Were the Ones Driving!
The Dumbest "Scientific Study" of the Month
The authors are not mincing words: they found that UNvaccinated people are MORE likely to have car crashes. Based on this statistical finding, they urge people to vaccinate to avoid car crashes!
These data suggest that COVID vaccine hesitancy is associated with significant increased risks of a traffic crash. An awareness of these risks might help to encourage more COVID vaccination.
As a fan of science, I was ashamed of my unvaccinated self for a minute: even though I have never had the kind of crash discussed in the study, I was exposing people to a heightened risk of a collision due to my refusal to take the vaccine. How selfish!
The authors highlight the extreme irresponsibility of the unvaccinated:
we theorized that individual adults who tend to resist public health recommendations might also neglect basic road safety guidelines
Then I started thinking…. How is this possible? Can a shot of mRNA make me less likely to be hurt in a crash? Are we THAT careless if we are willing to be penalized for trying to stay healthy? Is thoughtfully “doing our own research” akin to reckless and inattentive driving?
Let’s think together!
The Study Setup
The study looked at Ontario residents for whom records of vaccination, as well as records of ER visits, were available. It looked at people with known vaccination status who ended up in ER due to car crashes. It turned out that the share of people seriously hurt in crashes was higher in the unvaccinated group!
A total of 11,270,763 individuals were included, of whom 16% had not received a COVID vaccine and 84% had received a COVID vaccine. The cohort accounted for 6682 traffic crashes during follow-up. Unvaccinated individuals accounted for 1682 traffic crashes (25%), equal to a 72% increased relative risk compared with those vaccinated (95% confidence interval, 63-82; P < 0.001).
After reading the study, I realized that it does NOT account for “driven miles”! What if the UNvaccinated people drive more due to NOT having a “remote job”?
Take a look at this picture:
Which of these two persons was more likely to…
Be called an “essential worker” in 2021?
Drive MORE miles per day?
End up in a serious crash?
It turns out that this was indeed the case in Canada:
That article explains that neighborhoods with “essential workers” had LOWER vaccination coverage. This confirms my experience with people I know: those who work in person (and drive to work) were least likely to want to get vaccinated.
Guess who is more likely to get into a car crash? That’s right, the person who drives to work daily, as opposed to a remote worker.
How many remote workers were hurt in this particular 8 am morning commute pileup in Ottawa? (it is a 2009 story, but you get the idea)
The Unvaccinated Could not Take Trains or Fly in Canada
So they had to drive more.
Retired People are the “Internal Control Group” - and Blow Up all Conclusions!
Is there an “internal control group”? Is there a group of people in which being an “essential worker” and having to commute more due to work cannot possibly influence the likelihood of being involved in a car crash?
The Canadian crash study, fortunately, provides us with a group of people who cannot work: those over 65 years of age. Those people are retired, are NOT essential workers, and tend to avoid morning commutes. (my dream)
How did these retired people compare in terms of vaccinated vs. UNvaccinated car crashes?
The study provides us with a table! Turns out that people over 65, who do NOT drive to work, are the ONLY group where vaccination leads to a slightly higher chance of car crashes for the vaccinated (without reaching statistical significance).
This outcome is the OPPOSITE of what happened to employed people:
So we can see that the conclusion that “unvaccinated people are more likely to be hurt in crashes” is explained by the fact that “essential workers” who drive to work were the ones choosing not to get vaccinated!
So… It is not the COVID vaccine that reduces the chances of having a crash. It is a fact that staying home with warm coffee and a laptop is safer than commuting to work or driving a truck. The effect does NOT exist in old people who do not work.
Thomas V’s Take
Our astute reader, “Thomas V,” offered another take on the study in the pinned comment. He did a fantastic job finding MORE issues.
Such is the state of “Covid science” nowadays, and not just in Canada.
Why did the Canada study authors choose not to address “miles driven?”