News Three cheers for New Hampshire

Hurkyl

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Most people would find it unethical to make life more dangerous for other people just to save a buck or two. Personally, I think it's just as unethical to start taking people's liberties away just to save a buck or two.
Every dollar that's not spent on one thing is spent on something else.
 
Let's debunk some claims being made here that safety equipment increases health care costs because those who use them don't die. If you think this, give yourself a slap on the side of the head, with or without your helmet on.

[PLAIN said:
http://www.ahip.org/links/NHTSA_Site/motorcycle.html][/PLAIN] [Broken]
In studies comparing hospital costs for helmeted and non-helmeted motorcyclists involved in traffic crashes, unhelmeted riders are more likely to have higher hospital costs than helmeted riders involved in similar crashes.
[...]
On average, approximately $15,000 of inpatient costs would be saved during the first 12 months for every injured motorcycle rider not sustaining a brain injury. In one Wisconsin study, the average hospital charges for unhelmeted motorcyclists with brain injuries were $24,7045 compared with $19,624 for helmeted motorcyclists with brain injuries.

And about seat belts:

[PLAIN said:
http://www.nsc.org/public/impactseatbeltonvamedicaid.pdf][/PLAIN] [Broken]

The estimates reported here are minimum savings associated with implementation of a primary safety belt law. In this study we do not explore the peripheral costs (loss of wages and tax revenues, productivity, loss of life, etc.). [...] unemployment is much higher among disabled persons and family members frequently need to defer employment to become care takers. [...] We also do not address the savings to private business and citizens of the state. Lastly, we do not attempt to place a price on human life, pain
and suffering. [...] In sum, the state of Virginia could expect to save at least $21.5 million dollars over the next 10 years on its annual budget in medical costs alone by implementing a primary safety belt law in 2004.
Safety equipment is designed to save people, not only their lives but also their health. Big DUH on that one. Wearing it saves hospital bills, plain and simple. It saves all sorts of other expenses as well as listed above and it's good for the society that makes it possible for you to drive or ride in the first place. Not wearing safety equipment that manufacturers are legally obligated to provide is negligent, irresponsible, and it should be illegal.
 
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daveb said:
My point is that allowing an opt out clause will increase costs to society based on the assumption that those who exercise the opt-out will have more serious injuries, should an accident occur. These increased costs are borne not by the person, but by society. Thus, opt-out should not be available.
The opt-out clause would be covered by an increased insurance rate for those who decide to use it. The money for treating these injuries would come from the collective group of motorists that decide to take advantage of the clause. It would basically seperate the insurance money into two groups, those who choose to use their seat belts and those who do not. One group would not be financially responsible for the other.
 
In sum, the state of Virginia could expect to save at least $21.5 million dollars over the next 10 years on its annual budget in medical costs alone by implementing a primary safety belt law in 2004.
Actually, that's not out of whack's quote, he was quoting someone else. The population of Virginia is 7 million, this savings amounts to 30 cents per year per person.
 
D

drankin

Actually, that's not out of whack's quote, he was quoting someone else. The population of Virginia is 7 million, this savings amounts to 30 cents per year per person.
Small price to pay for a personal liberty, IMO.
 

Evo

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The opt-out clause would be covered by an increased insurance rate for those who decide to use it. The money for treating these injuries would come from the collective group of motorists that decide to take advantage of the clause. It would basically seperate the insurance money into two groups, those who choose to use their seat belts and those who do not. One group would not be financially responsible for the other.
Car insurance doesn't cover much in medical costs, your personal medical insurance is expected to pay, so again, society is stuck with the bill. Then are are also Social Security disability payments that haven't been brought up.
 
this savings amounts to 30 cents per year per person
True, it doesn't seem expensive, but this was just to correct wrong ideas voiced here. Since thirty cents hardly covers the cost of a seat belt, there must be more to it, and of course there is. A quick search to find other estimates readily finds that for Minnesota and Missouri, savings would be around $1.70 per year per resident. I would also expect a buck or two for other states as well so it still looks affordable. But these savings are strictly for medical costs. They do not include the cost of families caring for their cripples and their lack of employability during this time, nor does it include the cost of additional deaths with productivity reductions, nor the impact on families and friends.

Also note that the reported costs are not for seat belts versus no seat belts, it is just to make the remaining minority start using them like everyone else, and only a minimum estimate of a single factor. If we calculated all savings per driver with and without seat belts, we would have a better idea of their financial value.

Here is a relevant article:

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070416/REPOSITORY/704160352 [Broken]

"Nationwide, the failure to buckle up cost an estimated $26 billion in 2002, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency." That's $86 for each citizen, whether they drive or not. It becomes even more significant considering that this cost is caused by a much smaller number of people who drive and who do not buckle up. Those are the target of a mandatory seat belt law.


EDIT:

To price this even better, if 80% of Americans are licensed to drive and all of them actually do (which they don't) and if a conservative 3/4 of drivers already buckle up, then no more than 1 out of 5 American actually drives without a seat belt to account for the $26 billion in question. For them, the individual share of this annual bill is $430 which really should be paid in additional insurance if not in fine. I don't know how many people value this particular freedom enough to justify its cost.
 
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turbo

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Here is a page on helmet laws.

http://www.msabate.com/facts.html

Helmets can reduce the incidence of head/facial injuries, but at a speed of around 13 mph, these are traded off with an increased risk of neck fractures/death. Guess which person the insurance companies would rather have : someone with medical bills/rehabilitation to pay for, or someone dead of a broken neck? Insurance companies are all about the bottom line, and when they pressure state governments to pass helmet laws, it is a bit naive to believe that they have bikers' best interests at heart. I have been riding for 35+ years with two self-inflicted accidents (wheelied over backward on my Yamaha RD350) with no injuries. The day Maine enacts a helmet law is the day my Softail goes up for sale.
 
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