# Motorcyclist dies on ride protesting helmet law

1. Jul 4, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

There *is* a reason why you should wear a propper helmet when riding a motorcycle.

Continued...

http://news.yahoo.com/ny-motorcyclist-dies-ride-protesting-helmet-law-143217859.html

2. Jul 4, 2011

### micromass

I feel sad for his relatives But really, don't wear a helmet because there is a law, but wear one because it is common sense...

3. Jul 4, 2011

### khemist

Oh, the irony.

The second comment on the article:

4. Jul 4, 2011

I used to believe in the whole "let people do whatever they want, it's their life", but if someone kills themselves it doesn't just affect them.

What about a father? Should a father be allowed to ride without a helmet? It's easy to say "well, if he kills himself it's his own fault", but what about his children? His wife? His parents? His friends/brothers/coworkers?

What about an unemployed 20 year old? No responsibilities, but he still has friends and family. It's so selfish to ride with no helmet, because if you get killed, you're wreaking havoc and really screwing up everyone around you for no good reason...

5. Jul 4, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Even worse, IMO, is if you don't die and become a vegetable or a quadraplegic, then your family has to suffer every day knowing you are trapped inside a non-functioning body or brain, not to mention the financial devastation.

6. Jul 4, 2011

### I_am_learning

If you don't wear helmet --> direct death more likely
If you wear a helmet --> you become vegetable or quadraplegic more likely

What do you think?

7. Jul 4, 2011

### Jack21222

Still shouldn't be a law. That's FAR too slippery of a slope.

Should a father be banned from eating cheeseburgers? Should a father be forced to go to the gym thrice a week? Etc...

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is idiotic. It should also be perfectly legal, because it's a victimless crime.

8. Jul 4, 2011

### micromass

No, it's a good law. It prevents people being killed, and it's an easy thing to do. Really, what's easier than putting on an helmet??

In the same reasoning, putting on seat belts should be a law. Really, nobody is being hurt by such a law!

9. Jul 4, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

No. It protects your head, so brain injury is less likely, not more likely.

10. Jul 4, 2011

### Greg Bernhardt

unless your brain is fine, but your neck is broken. bikers should wear neck protection :D

11. Jul 4, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Victimless crime? You don't know anything about how our system is set up, do you?
It should be a law because the population as a whole pays through the nose when some idiot gets killed or disabled through their own ignorance.

In the US, if you die, Social Security pays death benefits to the spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 18 years.

If I were to die each child under the age of 18, 19 if they are in school will get $1,552 a month EACH. My spouse would get$2,070 a month. The benefits are capped at $3,620.00 a month, but that is coming out of the social security taxes that everyone pays. That is a LOT of money to pay because someone was too stupid to wear a helmet. Healthcare is a whole other discussion. So, yeah, unless there is a law that says that morons that don't wear helmets will not have death benefits paid to their family or medical care provided unless they can pay for it, then the law should be that they wear any gear that may prevent unnecessary death or injury that I have to pay for. Last edited: Jul 4, 2011 12. Jul 4, 2011 ### rhody How ironic (and moronic I might add) I am with you Evo, riders call it, All the gear all the time, (ATGATT), I always wear helmet, leather jacket, armored gloves, (even in sweltering weather). If I am going for a long twisty ride, armored boots as well. Many long distance touring guys wear full leather as well, and some have gone down, and most have escaped without serious injury. The longer you stay on a bike over great distance, the higher the probability something or someone will get in your way, and in a bad way. Rhody... 13. Jul 4, 2011 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor Yes, motorcyclists have nothing between them and the pavement, they need all of the protective gear available. Kurdt paid around$1,000 for a state of the art helmet, gloves, boots, and leather gear. You don't see race car drivers without protective gear and the protective units inside their cars. They want to be around to race again. As long as I am financially responsible for them (motorcyclists), they will wear whatever protective gear I can get made into law. I would just as quickly let dumb people go with nothing if I didn't have to support them and their family.

Seriously, why would anyone *with a brain* get on a motorcycle without a helmet? What, it's going to muss their hair?

14. Jul 5, 2011

### Ken Natton

For me, the seat-belts issue is an excellent demonstration of the point. I’ve just tried to do a little web based research on the numbers, but the simple truth is, these numbers should surprise no-one. Before seat-belt wearing became compulsory in the UK, researches showed that six out of ten people ignored the advice to wear seat-belts. I have to include myself among that number. It became law to wear front-seat belts in 1983. I’m sorry if this next point is a little difficult to absorb, but statistics then showed that a significant number of front-seat deaths were caused by the victim being struck by an unbelted back-seat passenger. It became law to wear back-seat belts in 1991. The result is that the UK now has among the best car accident statistics among industrialised nations in the world. And those ‘best’ figures are that only about 8 or 9 people are killed on the British roads every day.

This from our Office of National Statistics:

The UK has a good record for road safety compared with most other EU countries. In 2006 it had one of the lowest road death rates in the EU, at 5.4 per 100,000 population. The UK rate was also lower than the rates for other industrialised nations such as the United States (14.3 per 100,000 population), Australia (7.8 per 100,000 population) and Japan (5.7 per 100,000 population).

Now, if you asked the average Briton to ride in a car on busy roads with no seat-belt, they would look at you with horror. Not because it is law, but because it so obviously an unnecessarily dangerous thing to do. Sometimes, a little nanny state legislation can have powerful results for the good. It should not be necessary to produce any statistics to support the idea that riding a motorcycle without a crash helmet takes that same point and multiplies it several fold – not in terms of raw numbers because there are far fewer motorcyclists than there are car passengers, but in terms of the extremity and the unnecessary nature of the risk.

I do accept that the raw costs to the state and to the health service of unnecessary injuries to people not prepared to take sensible precautions are a real issue, and I understand that tax payers have a right to criticise that. But removing the benefits or the health care from those not prepared to take those sensible precautions is not the answer. I don’t want to overstate the point, but it is one small part of the broader point that societies with wide inequalities are not peaceful societies. Visiting destitution and hardship on those unfortunate enough to be dependant on someone too foolish to take sensible precautions is not a course of action likely to make a better society. Surely it is far better to introduce a little legislation to protect the foolish from their own foolishness.

15. Jul 5, 2011

### I_am_learning

Why can't we ban smoking? and Ban the cigrate company?

16. Jul 5, 2011

### turbo

According to a study by Jonathan Goldstein, PhD, Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College, wearing a full helmet actually increases the incidence of severe neck injury in a crash. Such helmets are pretty massive, and the rear edge provides a fulcrum that makes it more likely that your neck can break in a low-speed crash.

Disclaimer: as long as it was legal in Maine to ride without a helmet, I did so. Full helmets reduce peripheral vision and rob you of the binaural audio input that can alert you to the presence and direction of threats like cars and trucks. Unless it was blistering hot, my wife and I always wore heavy leather jackets and chaps on every ride. If the helmet law had been re-instated in Maine, we would probably have opted for Harley's "shorty" half helmets. Such helmets allow you to see and hear pretty normally. If I had been involved in high-speed "track days" like Rhody, I would have opted for a full helmet with a chin extension. When you're on a track, you don't need your peripheral vision as much and you don't have to worry about some car or truck running a stop-light and cleaning you out.

As of the time of Dr. Goldtsein's study, the DOT helmet standards were designed around an anvil-drop impact speed of 13.66 mph as measured on a head-form model, with no regard to possible neck injury. I don't know if that standard has changed since then, because I haven't kept up. According to his study, motorcycle fatalities are not strongly correlated with helmet use, but are actually correlated with driver age, speed, and blood-alcohol content.

Bolding mine.

http://www.bikersrights.com/statistics/goldstein/goldstein2.html

17. Jul 5, 2011

### Ken Natton

Okay turbo-1, I am going to be very wary of getting into an argument with you. I will offer this and say no more. Of course I accept your right to respond, but I shall say no more.

My feeling is that the study you refer to was set up with a prior agenda and its results are not dispassionate. I have found the following two reports which I suggest are more genuinely dispassionate about the data they present. Of course I have chosen which parts of the second one to present here on the basis of relevance to the discussion. A link is provided so that you may read all of it for yourself.

http://motorbikeclaims.org.uk/pages/Common-Motorbike-Accident-Injuries.html

http://www.motorcycle-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

18. Jul 5, 2011

### turbo

You shouldn't be. I'm not a nut about helmet laws, and I am not a member of ABATE. I think that given the extremely exposed conditions that bikers are in (WRT cars and trucks) we have to let bikers decide what is best for their own safety. It's not a cut and dried case like seat-belt use in cars. Hell, I grew up in a time when dashboards were made of steel and there were NO restraints in any US car. The first time I even saw any concession to safety was in my uncle's new Rambler, that had a padded plastic-covered dashboard. Still, no seat-belts, as I recall.

Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
19. Jul 5, 2011

### hypatia

They are getting ready to repeal the helmet law here in MI. Insurance companies are gearing up to provide coverage. My son received a letter telling him his payments would be $300.00 per riding month, if he chose not to wear a helmet, but would remain at$68.00, if he wore a helmet.

20. Jul 5, 2011

### turbo

How can they tell? About the only way that the insurance company would have any information is if the traffic-cop said in his report that the operator was not wearing a helmet. And then, they would likely refuse to pay for any damages, so a big win for them. BTW, few bikers in Maine wear helmets (young people and first-year operators are required to wear them, and some do, regardless), but every time some biker dies in a crash the newspaper reports that the biker was not wearing a helmet ONLY if the biker was not wearing a helmet. No similar disclaimer is ever made for the bikers who were actually wearing helmets when they died. Lots of the people who die in crashes are young people on sport-bikes, and lots of those are wearing helmets, but insufficient (IMO) leathers and who crash due to speed, inexperience, and/or inebriation.

Last edited: Jul 5, 2011