Many North American cities encourage the use of bicycles as a way to reduce pollution and traffic congestion. So many people now regularly use bicycles to get to work and for exercise that some jurisdictions have enacted bicycle helmet laws that specify that all bicycle riders must wear helmets to protect against head injuries. Critics of these laws complain that it is a violation of individual freedom and that helmet laws tend to discourage bicycle usage. To examine this issue, a researcher randomly sampled 50 bicycle users and asked each to record the number of miles he or she rode weekly. Several weeks later, the helmet law was enacted. The number of miles each of the 50 bicycle riders rode weekly was recorded for the week after the law was passed. Can we infer from these data that the law discourages bicycle usage?
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