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Thread: The Hassles of Protective Gear

  1. #46
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by carockwell View Post
    After racing bicycles for a few years, where you fall down a lot, no way would I risk the road rash at 3X the speed. IMHO motorcyclists have NO IDEA what is going to happen to them skidding along the pavement at 75 mph. That is why there will always be debate.
    Personally I think there will always be debate on this because there are those who don't want to wear helmets and will look for any reasons (valid or not) why they are bad/should not be required/etc. Nothing to do with real safety issues but rather just justifications for a personal view.

    (hopefully thats not Too blunt!) :

    Yeah, its a pain some days in the heat, and yes when I first started riding back in another age I didn't and was pissed when DC passed its law in 70. Now thou...I tired it once when in Ohio for a 5 mile ride, couldn't wait to get back and get my helmet!

    RM

  2. #47
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Fascinating chart. Thanks for posting it.

    I've always thought that the most likely places to be injured were the extremities: head, hands, and feet. This chart shows just that. Its the reason that I always wear a full face helmet, motorcycle specific gloves, and motorcycle specific boots: The Big Three. In the hot Texas summers I'll be in a t-shirt, jeans, but I'll always be wearing The Big Three. I know the roadrash risks personally, as I've been down on gravel at 50 MPH. But I just won't ride in 105 degrees and 80% humidity with anything draped on me.

    And, BTW, here's another nice chart for those who choose to wear 3/4 helmets instead of full face. It shows impact areas on crash-involved motorcycle helmets (source: bmwdean.com website, and Dietmar Otte, Hannover Medical University, Dept. of Traffic Accident Research, Germany). Notice that bar around the chin and mouth area amount to more than a third of all impacts. And the front of the helmet amounts to 2/3 of impacts. A beanie helmet is relatively worthless as it covers is well under 10% of imacts.

    Last edited by mistercindy; 05-25-2010 at 07:55 PM.
    Grant
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  3. #48
    cbck1200s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    ...and at the end of the day, and if the helmet law went away tomorrow, I'd wear my helmet 95% of the time...maybe more...every now and then...on Tepesque Canyon Road...
    The helmet debate has festered for years. Libertarians on one side of the debate and health and safety groups on the other.

    Sadly, I think the only resolution will be is when the States that don't have helmet legislation get sued by wives, parents and the children of the deceased and collect big bucks by proving that the State is negligent by not legislating helmet use.

    Frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet given the litigious nature of the American judicial system.

    cbcK1200S - Colin

    ///////////// =o&o>

  4. #49
    Yarddog
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbcK1200S View Post
    The helmet debate has festered for years. Libertarians on one side of the debate and health and safety groups on the other.

    Sadly, I think the only resolution will be is when the States that don't have helmet legislation get sued by wives, parents and the children of the deceased and collect big bucks by proving that the State is negligent by not legislating helmet use.

    Frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet given the litigious nature of the American judicial system.

    cbcK1200S - Colin

    ///////////// =o&o>
    The reason that states haven't been sued is that there is immunity from this sort of thing built into the system...to me, it's not a matter of whether or not a helmet is good or bad...the majority of the time, it is good...but the issue to me is just how much should government interfere with my own choices...that's the thing, and in this thread, as with all debates regarding this issue, most people begin debating whether or not helmets are an advantage, and forget the basic issue... choice.

    I wonder if, ten years from now, the political will shifted the other way, and helmets were banned by the states...sounds outrageous, will probably never happen...but I wonder what the pro-helmet zealots would cry then? They'd probably see the basic issue very clearly, then...

    In today's world, I've really gotten tired of government in my hip pocket... and, by nature, I'm pro-government, but it's gone over the top, in my opinion... It comes around to bite us all, at some point...

  5. #50
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    I certainly understand the merits and drawbacks found on both sides of legislating the safety issue. But IMHO, life (and its termination) is a reality that transcends other points in this discussion. The philosophical problems of being forced to wear a helmet or the enjoyment of the freedom not to are only relevant to one if s/he is alive.

    I have, and always will, do whatever it takes to lessen the chance of my early demise on a motorcycle; I am not guided by a helmet law...I will always choose to protect my mellon as much as possible.

    Perhaps we should just the the process of "natural selection" play out...

    YMMV
    Theo

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  6. #51
    Yarddog
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    I certainly understand the merits and drawbacks found on both sides of legislating the safety issue. But IMHO, life (and its termination) is a reality that transcends other points in this discussion. The philosophical problems of being forced to wear a helmet or the enjoyment of the freedom not to are only relevant to one if s/he is alive.

    I have, and always will, do whatever it takes to lessen the chance of my early demise on a motorcycle; I am not guided by a helmet law...I will always choose to protect my mellon as much as possible.

    Perhaps we should just the the process of "natural selection" play out...

    YMMV
    Then under that frame of reference, I reckon the government should outlaw smoking...drinking...and any other dangerous activity, since the same arguements apply for those? Is that what we really want?

    I think not...I think that motorcyclists have been singled out for this, and those of us who justify no choice in this matter are walking along in lock-step without regard to the bigger issues...Just my opinion...

    But Theo, again, you have avoided MY question...what if tomorrow helmets were outlawed? What then? Would you follow the law willingly and without complaint? Or would you feel as I feel? Because if you think about it, prohibiting motorcyclists from wearing helmets would solve some other societal issues! Over-population, and as you yourself said...the process of natural selection...only those motorcyclists who were good enough to avoid head trauma would survive?

    Flip it around...nobody's doin' that so far...if the shoe were on the other foot, what would you do and what would you think? Forget the logic of wearing a helmet...focus ONLY on the choices that we all have!

    Believe me, I'm not a fanatic about this...I obey the law...but each time any of us go over the speed limit, go over the yellow line, any of this stuff, somebody, usually ourselves, are at risk...so if you're obeying the law, wearing the helmet, but going 2 MPH over the speed limit, because it's a choice you're making...hmmm.

  7. #52
    On the Road
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    Is there a position possible between the freedom to take risks
    and the societal/maternal urge to protect children (and those
    who take risks like children) from harm? I think the debate
    over helmets will go on without progress or value until we look
    for something other than those two simplistic choices. Paul
    Glaves' signature quote says something about the value of
    genius being in stating the question in a way that allows
    an answer.
    mXa

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post

    I think not...I think that motorcyclists have been singled out for this, and those of us who justify no choice in this matter are walking along in lock-step without regard to the bigger issues...Just my opinion...
    Not my desire to be confrontational, so I'll try to tread lightly.

    IMO, it seems to me like you may not have considered the larger picture. The libertarian argument doesn't hold up. There is no constitutional right to ride a motorcycle. There is a real financial and social cost to society when some activity produces a significant number of injuries that government entities are required to respond to. In some states, a majority of the legislative representatives, the very ones we elected, have determined the financial and social cost of riding without a helmet is too high. Those states have helmet laws. In some states they haven't reached that point and don't have helmet laws. It's really that simple and it happens in lots of other areas besides helmet laws. If you don't like the law, you just need to convince the people you elected to change it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    But Theo, again, you have avoided MY question...what if tomorrow helmets were outlawed? What then? Would you follow the law willingly and without complaint? Or would you feel as I feel? Because if you think about it, prohibiting motorcyclists from wearing helmets would solve some other societal issues! Over-population, and as you yourself said...the process of natural selection...only those motorcyclists who were good enough to avoid head trauma would survive?
    ..
    If not wearing a helmet was mandated like you suggest and wearing one was critical to Theo, he doesn't have to break the law. He could also choose to just not ride.

    Same applies to you. If being able to ride without a helmet is really that important to you, why not move to a state that doesn't have a helmet law?

    Seems to me that's the big picture.

  9. #54
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    [long-winded personal opinion]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    Then under that frame of reference, I reckon the government should outlaw smoking...drinking...and any other dangerous activity, since the same arguements apply for those? Is that what we really want?
    I am voicing a personal choice, not suggesting that one extrapolate anything from my words. I just don't think the helmet issue matters much to those who aren't alive. For those of us who are, I strongly suggest that they voice their opinion either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    I think not...I think that motorcyclists have been singled out for this, and those of us who justify no choice in this matter are walking along in lock-step without regard to the bigger issues...Just my opinion...

    But Theo, again, you have avoided MY question...what if tomorrow helmets were outlawed? What then? Would you follow the law willingly and without complaint? Or would you feel as I feel? Because if you think about it, prohibiting motorcyclists from wearing helmets would solve some other societal issues! Over-population, and as you yourself said...the process of natural selection...only those motorcyclists who were good enough to avoid head trauma would survive?
    I would look beyond principle and focus on the REALISTIC pros and cons of the situation. To me, your hypothetical example is not based on logic or reality. It exists solely as a vehicle to frame an argument. Thus, an actual response on-point does little to advance understanding as the entire premise is suspect. IMHO, legislating against helmets is merely a rhetorical question searching for an answer of little consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    Flip it around...nobody's doin' that so far...if the shoe were on the other foot, what would you do and what would you think? Forget the logic of wearing a helmet...focus ONLY on the choices that we all have!
    And there is the crux of the debate...CHOICE. The problem is when the issue of "choice" gets put into particular contexts that inherently engender reactionary and emotional responses, the "choice" issue typically gets completely obfuscated. Those who would rail against helmet laws may not embrace a pro-choice stance on abortion or conscientious objection, yet all of those contexts are, at their core, about life and choice.

    I, personally, have accepted that to live in today's world, I will not be able to do whatever I please. However, that does not mean I can't responsibly advocate for change in a constructive manner. I spent much energy advocating for civil rights in my years. I also was of an age when, under penalty of federal law, I was forced to submit to conscription and be put into harm's way, but was not allowed to vote in any election. Thankfully, the second issue was overcome, but we are still working on the first. In my time, these were two REALLY IMPORTANT issues that fostered debate.

    I respect and appreciate that we are in a society that allows us to debate and voice disparate opinion...that we can do this in public and not be spirited-away in the dark of night. I also praise you for your conviction and your ability to speak your words without regard to consequences brought upon you by Federal Ninjas.

    So, pardon me if I don't enter into the context of your argument. I support your efforts because the principle of free speech is so dear. One of my best friends died near the DMZ in Vietnam for this principle. It happened on Election Day in 1968. He was 19 and was not allowed to vote in that election. In fact, it wasn't until three years later that the 26th amendment was adopted. I survived those years to vote in 1972 and have always voted ever since.

    [/long-winded personal opinion]
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  10. #55
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    TX has no law for anyone over 18...has gone back & forth twice I recall since the 70's...I also went back & forth in my younger years...now it's on my head 99.9% of the time when I am off my property and I am riding on any bike. I am not told by law to wear it, but I do as a personal choice.


    see... I made a choice
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  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    I certainly understand the merits and drawbacks found on both sides of legislating the safety issue. But IMHO, life (and its termination) is a reality that transcends other points in this discussion. The philosophical problems of being forced to wear a helmet or the enjoyment of the freedom not to are only relevant to one if s/he is alive.

    I have, and always will, do whatever it takes to lessen the chance of my early demise on a motorcycle; I am not guided by a helmet law...I will always choose to protect my mellon as much as possible.

    Perhaps we should just the the process of "natural selection" play out...

    YMMV
    We all owe a death.

    But, like you, I will do what seems logical to delay satisfying that earthly debt for as long as possible.

    In the end, Darwin will win.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    We all owe a death.

    But, like you, I will do what seems logical to delay satisfying that earthly debt for as long as possible.

    In the end, Darwin will win.
    There are things I have seen in my practice which, IMHO, are clearly worse than death. Does a helmet make those things more, or less likely to happen? Depends on the circumstances of the individual and his/her accident, and effective arguments can be made on either side, theoretically. Most valid data, however, supports the concept that a helmet offers significant protection. I cannot imagine any of the racers I follow (auto, bike or speedboat) not wearing a helmet....no matter the reason. Sometimes principle must give way to common sense. It is nice, in Texas, to have a choice. However, my common sense says there is no choice. YMMV.

  13. #58
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    I wish taxpayers had an equal choice in not paying for some vegetable to be kept alive indefinitely after sustaining a serious headinjury because of not wearing a helmet...

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderR1150GSAdv View Post
    I wish taxpayers had an equal choice in not paying for some vegetable to be kept alive indefinitely after sustaining a serious headinjury because of not wearing a helmet...
    Actually, most insurance companies already carve out what they perceive as 'risk' behaviors, such as racing, sky diving, scuba and smoking.

    I choose to scuba dive - but I also pay DAN (Divers Alert Network) a special premium for insurance coverage; not passed on to mainstream customers.

    We can debate until the cows come home (sorry - from Wisconsin, after all) the merits of such underwriting, but if you feel strongly about what you have stated, consider this: Each time my motorcycle insurance premium comes due, I enclose a note with the payment, suggesting that long-term care for a preventable head injury (arguably another debate) from a non-helmeted motorcyclist was his/her choice and having had no part in it, I should not have to suffer financially for their decision and its consequences.

    It took decades for separate rates to be commonplace for smokers vs. non-smokers.

    Patience.

  15. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Actually, most insurance companies already carve out what they perceive as 'risk' behaviors, such as racing, sky diving, scuba and smoking.

    I choose to scuba dive - but I also pay DAN (Divers Alert Network) a special premium for insurance coverage; not passed on to mainstream customers.

    We can debate until the cows come home (sorry - from Wisconsin, after all) the merits of such underwriting, but if you feel strongly about what you have stated, consider this: Each time my motorcycle insurance premium comes due, I enclose a note with the payment, suggesting that long-term care for a preventable head injury (arguably another debate) from a non-helmeted motorcyclist was his/her choice and having had no part in it, I should not have to suffer financially for their decision and its consequences.

    It took decades for separate rates to be commonplace for smokers vs. non-smokers.

    Patience.
    If it was covered by private insurance and figured into their underwriting, no problem. Around here, when someone requires long-term care due to an accident, at some point they're typically going on Medicaid. I don't have a philosophical interest if someone wears a helmet, but when Medicaid picks up the bill, I have a financial interest in how to reduce that bill.

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