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What do you think about helmet laws?

  • Helmet Laws are good. They keep people safer & lower insurance costs.

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  • Helmet Laws are bad. They reduce personal freedom & forces you to spend money of safety gear.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Helmet Laws are okay when applied riders under the age of 18.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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The issue of helemt laws has always perplexed me. We have laws that mandate that we wear seatbelts. The Feds threaten the States that if they don't pass seatbelt laws they will cut off highway funding.

No one says that the issue of seatbelt useage is a question of freedom and the right to choose.

Helmet useage invokes the freedom issues.

I have always worn a helmet. I have one head and the responsibility to others.

I now wear a fullface helmet.

Eddie
 

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I think it makes sense to have laws regarding wearing a helmet.

Ontario law says that you (and your passenger if there is one) must wear an approved helmet with the chinstrap securely fastened every time you drive.

A full-faced helmet offers the best protection and comfort when riding.

The laws aren't there to make riding a two-wheeled vehicle not fun, they are there to protect you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I personally don't object to helmet laws, as I would never ride without one on my head. There is no question that helmets save lives and reduce injury. Yet, in the United States this issue envokes a lot of passion about freedom of choice. Several well funded motorcycle based groups that make the elimination of helmet laws a cornerstone of their mission.

Being in Minnesota, I live in a state that once required helmets for all motorcycle riders. Through effective lobbying the law was changed and now it is only required while you are learning or if you are under the age of 18.
 

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Helmet laws

I would also wear a helmet regardless of the law. I've been riding for almost 40 years, so you know I've been down a couple of times. It happens. I'm fairly certain that I wouldn't have survived one of those mishaps if I wasn't wearing a helmet. My gloves, boots and jacket saved me from some road burn, but the helmet probably saved my life.

Even if you never crash, I've heard some pretty loud thwacks as giant beetles, or road debris kicked up by cars/trucks bounced off of my helmet.

I buy a new one every 2-3 years, and I always wear it when riding.
 

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Full grown dragonflys will make my ears ring when they hit the face shield
not to mention the after-effect of streaming bug goo, so of course I'll wear a helmet.
The digestive acid goo of even small crushed bugs should never be near
or be allowed into our eyelids.
Making succesive day-rides across a continent can produce small bug debris
previously injested into the air vents that dries out and circulates into your
eyes days later.
I tape the vents over and depend on chin area leakage plus I wear a white
helmet because its cooler.

It's not all about ourselves when we strap on a helmet because we need to
think of the police and ambulance folks that have to pick up the pieces after
a collision. Without the brain bucket we may not be conscious until much
later after our clothing has been cut off near an O.R.
If you haven't read your insurance policy lately, look for coverage that
pays for a possible $2,600 ambulance ride. Does it cover that?

Having an accident alone presents problems about where we land and who
will notice us and how long that will take.
A helmet prevents loss of consciousness in many situations
and it is cheap insurance compared to years of therapy, job loss,
income loss and relationship loss.
The Brady gun bill for example is not only about guns but about lost brains. Lost permanently.

Forget about clean underwear because if we go into shock or die, they'll
get quite cruddy anyway.
 

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Always wear it

I have also been riding for over thirty years. Having spent nearly four hours getting gravel picked out of my face and hands when I was fourteen, I took a good hard look at the helmet I was wearing, There was a 6 inch crack in it where my head hit a steel fence post. I only wish it was a full faced helmet which would have saved me a lot of pain & a nasty scar (I have worn a mustache since I was old enough to grow one. I was wearing a helmet on each subsequent occasion when I had to lay my bike down (4 to be exact...twice on the street because of other drivers). Even though I like the idea of having the choice to leave my helmet under my seat for a short trip to the Qwik-Mart, I wouldn't squawk if Arizona passed a helmet law. One of the times I went down I was only a couple hundred yards from my own driveway.

Ride safe & ride smart. Don't ever forget that you're invisible to most everyone else on the road.
 

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The Burgman is my 17th M/C since 1958. Back then, the dealer had three helmets, one of each size, S, M and L, and we had to special order the one that fit.

Three of my bikes have carried me inexcess of 100K miles each, and I'd guess that I don't have a total of 50 miles without a helmet. I think you should have the right to not wear one. But, I won't ride with you if you don't. Same with alcohol. I like beer. I don't ride (or drive) if I have had a beer. I sure won't ride with anyone who thinks a ride consists of bar-hopping. Now, coffee..... That's another story.
 

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Here in Florida, USA, you can choose not to wear a helmet. I wear one for safety, and a face shield also. Here in Tallahassee we have lots of cement trucks, concrete trucks, sand and gravel trucks on the main road. Many times I have been as far as 4-5 or more cars back from one of these trucks and had gravel and sand fly off and hit my small honda scooter and heard the pings on my helmet and face shield. These trucks have tarps covering the load but still debri will fly off. I would hate to not be wearing a helmet and loose an eye or get hit by a small stone on my noggin and loose control and hurt myself or cause an accident and hurt someone else.
 

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I'm against helmet laws for anyone over 18. I, however, always wear a helmet. I also refuse to ride with anyone who isn't wearing a helmet. My current lid set me back $600 and it's money well spent. I've wrecked on the track at over 160 mph and walked away. I always wear boots that cover the ankles, gloves and a body armor jacket. But, like I said, I believe that if someone wants to splatter their brain all over the street, more power to 'em. I'm just glad I'm not the one who has to notify the family.

BTW, for some reason, I can't vote. Is the poll closed?
 

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I have always worn a helmet, even while in Italy on a rented vespa or Piaggio X9. I have been looking at the "flip up" helmets and wonder about their safety. I wear glasses and it would be easier putting the helmet on.
Any thoughts ??

Rob in So Cal
Prospective Bergie rider
 

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helmet laws

I belive in wearing a helmet & other protection.I don't go down the street unless i wear my helmet.I think anyone who thinks they don't need a helmet is out of their mind.But this country was founded on freedom of choice.In these days when freedom's are being striped one by one,i have to side with free choice.Even though i may not agree with them.I'm getting a little tired of being told what i can & can not do at turn.That won't stop me from telling my freinds or anyone else who dosen't wear a helmet.Just how crazy they are. :) Ride safe & live longer.
Doug Collins
Springdale,Arkansas
 

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Weighing in albeit late

Three two-wheel experiences re: wearing helmets.

1. In a parking lot on my bicycle several years back, I didn't pull my foot out of the toe-clip soon enough and went head-first over the handlebars. I heard the helmet crunch off the pavement. I somersaulted up right, with a minor knee scrap and nothing else. The helmet was nicked--but that could have been my forehead.

2. Starting up from a traffic light (at a traffic circle) on my Honda Elite (50cc) 20 years ago, I must have hit gravel or South Jersey sand and tipped over. Was probably going no more than 5-10 mph at the time. Wound up with a hairline fracture (undetected for years) of the R checkbone, a torn knee ligament but no concussion or other head injury.

3. My brother bicycles a lot (racing bike) in NYC. He took a header off his bike at about 15-20 mph. Banged up his knee, broke a couple of teeth but suffered no other head injuries.

We all swear by our helmets, whether for bicycles or motorized machines. We bought full-face, DOT- and Snell-approved helmets for our Burgman 400. There are enough risks out there--why take another?

Cheers,

Bryna
 

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Arizona used to have a helmet law. It was repealed several decades ago, after intense lobbying by Harley groups.

Freedom of choice is an interesting argument, but in my opinion fails to get to the heart of the matter.

I believe the real passion behind the desire to ride helmetless has to do with ego and image. I mean, what's the use of me spending 20K for a Harley if I ride it and no one knows who I am because I'm wearing a helmet?

A Harley rider doesn't want to be anonymous, he or she wants to be seen.
I must admit, I too would like to be seen, especially in a smaller town where I know most of the residents and we could wave at each other, but not at the expense of a major skull fracture. It should follow that riding without a helmet in a large city, where you are essentially anonymous anyway, makes even less sense.

The cruiser crowd plays an image game. It also plays a ride slow game. As if that could justify riding without a helmet. Hitting a curb with your
head at 15 mph ends the game.

It's like spending $1000 for a new dress and then wearing a veil, as a woman friend of mine put it, adding, but there's no risk in a dress.
 

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Personally, I've only ridden my Burgman about 200 feet without wearing a 'brain bucket'. That was around the dealership parking lot into the back of my pickup truck when I picked it up. As an adult I have never been on the road without a helmet on. (No comment on as a kid riding a borrowed honda 50 on the Tennessee dirt roads. ;) ) I do disagree with the law that requires me to wear one.

If an adult wishes to risk the injury riding without the proper safety equipment, is he risking the health and welfare of anyone else? Do we create laws that restrict people from doing things that are dangerous (ie - rock climbing, skydiving, bungie jumping)? In my humble opinion, you cannot legislate 'common sense'. If some fool wants to risk his own life by not wearing a helmet, that is his right. If the same fool lets a child get on back of his bike without a helmet, he's endangering someone else, which I DO have a problem with. In my book that's reckless endangerment of a child. I feel the same about seatbelt laws. Think the decision should be up to the (adult) individual. Not the insurance companies....urrrmmm....states.
 

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Helmet Laws

I think most people miss the important point when discussing helmet laws. I don't think anyone except your family and maybe your boss really cares if you ride without a helmet and get killed.

But what if you have a severe head injury that requires thousands or in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, and perhaps years or a lifetime of long term care. Who pays? If you are insured, and very few except the very wealthy or those with a company with a strong union are insured to this kind of level, then you are being supported by all those other wiser people who pay into your insurance plan and who either don't ride or are smart enough to wear a helmet.

What if you don't have insurance? Since our western world culture doesn't allow you to be taken out with the garbage, then the general public has to pay.

In either case you take money and resources away from other, maybe more deserving cases. All because you are too stupid, self centred, or just careless (because you didn't wear protection) to get yourself in this situation in the first place.

I recently was in a rather bad accident just two weeks to the day after getting my first bike. (Oncoming van made left less than 20 meters in front of me in bright sunlight without signalling or even noticably breaking for the turn.) Based on the damage to my helmet, I think I would have a broken neck if I had not been wearing it. That, if I lived, would mean I would be a quadraplegic the rest of my life.

Think of the cost of supporting me for the next 25 years (my current life expectancy based on family history). Why should society have to support that?

Instead I wore a good helmet - and have replaced it with an even better one. I also bought a better jacket - the paramedics cut the sleeve of my other one to put a blood pressure cuff on - and from now on I will always wear my boots when riding. I wasn't wearing them because I was coming back from a charity walk and had my walking shoes on.

It is entirely possible that due to no fault of your own you will be in an accident that does put you in the situation described above even with good gear on, but if you are wearing that good gear, you are demonstrating that both your life and your responsibility to society are important and you have done everything possible to protect both.

Richard
 

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I don't like being told I have to wear a helmet, I would wear one anyway.

But in this case I think it's a mute point because driving is a privilege not a right.
You are granted this privilege with the understanding you will obey the rules (laws).
I don't ever remember voting for the way it's set up but we are stuck with it now. :(
 

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Even thought I always wear a helmet, I am against the helmet laws. We don't have one in Indiana anymore. But I feel sorry for the people that don't wear them. If you would rather sacrifice your life just to be seen, then go for it. My life is alot more important that being seen.
 

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Me, I'll always wear a helmet - it's only common sense. But the mandatory helmet laws, like the mandatory seatbelt laws, I regard as an unwarranted intrusion of government on personal freedom of choice. The "medical cost" argument strikes me as specious. If that's what worries you, pass a law saying that anyone injured riding without a helmet (or seatbelt) is de facto ineligible for public funds to treat a resulting injury. Harsh, but not unreasonable. Now think: what will you do when the legislature becomes persuaded that eating (say) chocolate leads to weight problems, which lead to health problems, which lead to dependence on government health programs - and ban chocolate! Don't say it couldn't happen; the food police are a powerful force in legislative circles, and they are just ONE of the groups who believe that all (their) good ideas should be enshrined in the law and imposed on everyone else. I'll wear the helmet because I like my brains the way they are, but the law that mandates it is the nose of the camel coming into the tent, and I think it is a VERY bad idea/precedent. Alas, we are stuck with it.
 
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