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Thread: Some new helmet(less) injury stats

  1. #1
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    Some new helmet(less) injury stats

    New Study Shows Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal Caused Fatalities


    June 25, 2008 - Two University of Pittsburgh researchers have published a new study in the most recent edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It is entitled ‘«£Changes in Motorcycle-Related Head Injury Deaths, Hospitalizations, and Hospital Charges Following Repeal of Pennsylvania‘«÷s Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Law,‘«ō and it is available for a small fee from the American Journal of Public Health.

    The researchers are Kristen J. Mertz of the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health and Harold B. Weiss, University of Pittsburgh, Center for Injury Research and Control.

    The study found that after the 2003 repeal of Pennsylvania‘«÷s motorcycle helmet law, helmet use by riders involved in reportable crashes decreased from 82 percent in 2001‘«Ű2002 to 58 percent after the repeal (2004‘«Ű2005).

    Motorcycle-related head injury deaths increased 66 percent, whereas non-head injury deaths increased 25 percent. In addition, motorcycle head injury hospitalizations increased 78 percent compared with 28 percent for non-head injury hospitalizations.

    These data were obtained from Pennsylvania‘«÷s Departments of Health and Transportation. Researchers suggest that the repeal was most likely responsible for the relatively large increase in head injuries and that this study is significant for two main reasons.

    First, it used population-based hospital discharge data compiled from all acute care hospitals in the state, whereas the majority of previous studies of post-repeal changes in motorcycle-related hospitalizations include data only from selected trauma centers. Second, the researchers attempted to control for non-helmet factors by comparing changes in head injuries to non-head injuries.


    ‘«£Data alone, however, are not sufficient to reverse helmet law repeal; many states maintain repeals despite multiple studies showing increases in deaths, injuries and costs. Until life-saving mandatory helmet policies are reinstated, voluntary helmet use programs should be developed and evaluated,‘«ō the study‘«÷s authors recommended.

    Abstract: "To evaluate the 2003 repeal of Pennsylvania‘«÷s motorcycle helmet law, we assessed changes in helmet use and compared motorcycle-related head injuries with non-head injuries from 2001‘«Ű2002 to 2004‘«Ű2005.

    Helmet use among riders in crashes decreased from 82% to 58%. Head injury deaths increased 66%; non-head injury deaths increased 25%.

    Motorcycle-related head injury hospitalizations increased 78% compared with 28% for non-head injury hospitalizations. Helmet law repeals jeopardize motorcycle riders. Until repeals are reversed, states need voluntary strategies to increase helmet use."
    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  2. #2
    EXR911
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    Harry Hurt reported the same thing in his 1981 study.

    People didn't want to believe it then, either.

    PT9766

  3. #3
    STEVENK
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    Who cares?

    I guess you do, but really, why?

    If helmets were required for car use, traffic fatalities would be reduced. If the national 55 mph speed limit were reinstated and strictly enforced, traffic fatalities would be reduced.

    If all alcohol and tobacco use was prohibited, not only would traffic fatalities decrease, overall, many hundreds of thousands of lives would be saved.

    When you start advocating for the government to regulate virtually every aspect of your life, then you can get on your high horse about mandatory helmet use.

  4. #4
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    i'd like to see a nationally enacted helmet policy

    high enough for ya?

  5. #5
    STEVENK
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    You kinda missed the point, but I'm not surprised.

  6. #6
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Dispelling helmet-use myths not the only problem

    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkr View Post
    ‘«£Data alone, however, are not sufficient to reverse helmet law repeal; many states maintain repeals despite multiple studies showing increases in deaths, injuries and costs. Until life-saving mandatory helmet policies are reinstated, voluntary helmet use programs should be developed and evaluated,‘«ō the study‘«÷s authors recommended.
    What voluntary helmet-use program could foster more helmet use when death and injury statistics won't?

    Somebody on the forum once quoted a lady as saying "she doesn't wear a helmet because she doesn't want to be a vegetable." How do you argue with logic like that?

    Any voluntary helmet-use program could start with the dispelling of helmet-use myths.

    But even that has its limitations -- the "freedom" and "individualism" life-stylists have judged it "uncool" to wear protective gear -- and that has a far bigger impact on helmet use than death statistics.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

  7. #7
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    I'll wear mine, and everyone else can do as they please. I don't like seatbelts, but I feel safer with one on.

  8. #8
    I dont drink, but thats a personal choice. I think that if laws were enacted to force sobriety, another cottage industry has been born. I don't have a problem with people who drink socially, I just don't need it to reach the same place. I also think life and liberty , as we know it would be eroded a bit in America. I don't think it would work.

    Now apply that to helmet laws. I wear one. that's my choice.

  9. #9
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I think tying insurance rates to helmet use would be appropriate. Same with driving
    and yakking on a cell. They do it with life insurance and smokers. At least my rates
    wouldn't be paying for others questionable habits.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenK View Post
    Who cares?

    I guess you do, but really, why?

    If helmets were required for car use, traffic fatalities would be reduced. If the national 55 mph speed limit were reinstated and strictly enforced, traffic fatalities would be reduced.

    If all alcohol and tobacco use was prohibited, not only would traffic fatalities decrease, overall, many hundreds of thousands of lives would be saved.

    When you start advocating for the government to regulate virtually every aspect of your life, then you can get on your high horse about mandatory helmet use.

    A lot of people care. Sounds like you are a all-or-nothing type of guy.

    We all have plenty of freedoms.

    Those studies are not done by your congressman, senator or the "government". The independent studies are done by people like you and me who give the recommendations to the people that you and I elected, yes the government. The studies are demand by you and me, the people. If people would use the brains there wouldn't be a need for regulations. If they choose for themselves instead of lamenting over the fact that someone is telling him or her they have to do something, then there wouldn't be a need for regulations. But unfortunately people can be stupid and be guided by their ignorance and stubborness.

    "Oh boo-hoo, the "government" is telling me what to do". Don't blame the government. We the people are the idiots who's actions bring about regulations. Our reckless behaviour. Our greed. The "government" isn't out there riding motorcycles, or littering, or speeding, or stealing. We are. The people. The "government" didn't bring on this recession. People did. People who are CEO's or CFO's made the decision and here we are. And these people were answering to the people who demand better returns and cheap mortgages. We the people.

    And so what else can be done to protect ourselves from ourselves? Regulations. And because we can be reckless and not use or brains we can do some stupid things. So the next time you pass a speed limit sign, or a "don't litter" sign or hear about another regulation, think about who really dro ve it to this point. People like you and me. The "government" was speeding. Did you see the White House drive by at 90 mph? No. Did the "government" steal your retirement fund. No. Everything comes back to you and me and our inability or ability to control ourselves.

    Don't blame the "government". Shut-up, put your helmet on and ride.

  11. #11
    bob1100rtc
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    I'm so tired of nosey people trying to run my life. But I guess there will always be someone trying to make someone else submit to their will. Thats why there are wars.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    i'd like to see a nationally enacted helmet policy

    high enough for ya?
    +1

    I'm all for a national helmet law, as well.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob1100RTC View Post
    I'm so tired of nosey people trying to run my life. But I guess there will always be someone trying to make someone else submit to their will. Thats why there are wars.
    Nobody trying to run your life. Trying to protect my own. Put your helmet on.

  14. #14
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    I continue to wonder that the insurance companies don't put pressure on the issue by using language in their policies that would absolve them from any medical/injury payments should the rider not be wearing an approved helmet when an accident occurred.

    I suppose they might apply something similar to protective clothing as well when/if any standards are set.

  15. #15
    GREGFUESS
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    If you have no one who cares about you, go ahead and ride without a helmet. Just leave the EMT Technician some consideration in your will, since he will be the only one who cares that your brain is spread across the tarmac, because he has to pick it out of there.

    But if you have a wife or kids who love you, and you ride without a helmet, your actions only indicate a selfish disregard for their well-being. Since if you die in a crash, you will not have to see their pain and suffering at your loss. So the feel of wind in your hair (and bugs in your teeth) really worth that?

    Personal freedom is supposed to be accompanied by a proportional responsibility. But history is full of folks who exploit the first while disregarding the second. They are the ones who leave a legacy of devastation caused by selfishness instead of responsibility by example.

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