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Thread: Helmets won't save you in 30+ MPH crashes

  1. #31
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Pismo Beach, CA
    If the stars align wrong, you're gonna die or least be injured.
    Hey, when your number's up, it's up.

    That's why I change my number every morning...
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  2. #32
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    There is another good reason for ATGATT besides mortality. My buddy crashed on the street at around 45 mph. He slid at least 50 feet. It even abraded a hole in his leather riding boots.

    He was wearing jeans. His knee lost skin right down to the bone, and will never be the same.

    His helmet took a nasty abrasive slide that, had it been his face, he'd likely wish to be dead.

    All his motorcycle specific gear did its job and protected his skin. If he'd worn his riding pants, he'd have walked away with bruises.

    Last edited by RoboRider; 11-19-2012 at 05:02 AM.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  3. #33
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Quote Originally Posted by Acejones View Post
    This begs the question; at what speed do most motorcycle accidents happen ?
    Statistically, most accidents are less than 30mph. The really high speed stuff is an outlier. Most fatalities are also alcohol

    A couple of Trauma Docs I know, who also ride, make the point that helmets save lives in given situations. Of course having a helmet on or not, when the head and body get separated, doesn't work too well at any speed.

    Going "splat" with or without a helmet also ruins your day at fairly low speeds due to the kinetic energy that is involved that must be dissipated. (Ek = Mass x Velocity Squared / 2). The energy climbs to huge numbers at normal highway speeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
    Seriously, it would seem that helmet issues aren't exactly a political discussion.
    Politicians never lie. Just ask them ...
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 11-19-2012 at 01:07 AM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350, Instructor, Louisiana Dept of Public Safety
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  4. #34
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Nov 2011
    Mississauga, ON
    Very dramatic. Thanks for the photos.
    2015 R1200RT; 2011 R1200RT RIP; 2000 Triumph 900 (sold)

  5. #35
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Southern Tier of New York
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Here in Wisconsin, the percentage of "running off the road in a curve" incidents is even higher than 40%, with a frequent dose of alcohol mixed in as well. We have our own 'demons' to work on reducing here in the Badger State.
    From what I recall from studying motorcycle accident studies, fully half of motorcycle fatalities in rural areas are single-vehicle accidents. It's less than half in urban areas. Those Wisconsin findings make sense.

    Another big finding of MAIDS, Hurt Report, and others is that "obstructed vision" plays a major role in motorcycle accidents.

    Don't just look for obvious hazards, ie other vehicles, look even more closely for accident-producing scenarios: other vehicles whose drivers can't see you because of obstructions like other vehicles. While you would never pull out onto the road if you couldn't see because your vision is blocked, there are plenty of idiots who will.

    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  6. #36
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Jacksonville, FL

    Thumbs up

    I remember rolling down the street sans motorcycle and thinking (Ihope the cage following me stops before running over me). This accident taught me all I needed to know about ATGATT. I was wearing Levi's, HD boots, gloves, long sleeve shirt, and a 3/4 helmet. I suffered abrasions to both knees and both elbows, the palm of one glove was almost worn through, and broken toes (big & small on the left foot). I never thought my head touched the road but deep scrape marks on the back of my helmet told another story. I now wear a suitable riding jacket with shoulder, back, and elbow padding plus steel toed boots. A modular helmet in warm weather and a full face model in the cold. Kevlar lined jeans or padded riding pants are also part of my riding gear. I have no doubt that a full on impact with a solid object can/will cause significant injury or death but, now firmly beleive that sliding/rolling injuries can greatly reduced just by wearing decent gear. Being alert to impending problems is the first and most important step in avoiding accidents, the proper gear is needed to minimize damage to yourself if things just go wrong. Murphy's Law is a constant in all accidents. RIDE SAFE
    Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI
    Ride Safe

  7. #37
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    GPS (Greater Puget Sound)
    Hmm, a helmet won't save you at 30+?

    Guess somebody forgot to tell me 15 years ago when a cage driver knocked me off of my Ducati at 55+.

    PS. After an exam at an ER, I went home under my own power 2 hours later.
    Bill Johnston

  8. #38
    Left Coast Rider
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Subject-illiterate coroner making ill-informed statements.

    Anyone who would cite his comments as validation to not wear a helmet should, in the event of an accident, expect unwelcome consequences.

  9. #39
    Lyell Cook is on Facebook if anyone wants to tell him that he's a bit off base. I think I will send him a note and direct him to this thread.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Acejones View Post
    I would suggest there is no "guaranteed" safety at any speed.. If the stars align wrong, you're gonna die or least be injured.

    I have known a couple of folks that slipped and fell at a stoplight, and got run over by the tractor trailer next to them. Can also think of more that one person who got serious injuries or killed when they fell in a parking lot or fell from a stationary bike.

    By the same token I have known (and been one of) those folks that took an impressive tumble and got up and walked away from it.

    The worst accident that I ever had on two wheels was during a bicycle race. Given a choice of hitting the highway at 30mph wearing lycra shorts or 60mph wearing Kevlar boots and a protective jacket, I will go with Option #2.

  11. #41
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Murrells Inlet, S. C.
    Large trees, bridge pilings & concrete walls for example are very unforgiving to run into. Some years ago our friends in the government recognized this and decreed the Jersey barriers and break away poles etc that are along most interstate highways. Unfortunately these protections are not often seen off the interstate.

    It's the "quick Stop" that occurs when a rider strikes an immovable object that really does people in.

    Not much is heard about those "cable fences" often seen in grassy medians on divided highways to prevent vehicles crossing over & causing head-on collisions. Give a thought or two about you & your motorcycle rubbing against one of these for a distance if you somehow go into the median.

  12. #42
    Registered User
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    Sep 2006
    Diamondhead, MS
    As we have some of the cable barriers on the interstate around here, I have concluded that they are not motorcycle friendly. I'd much rather take my chances running off into the median than the cable and all its supporting poles.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  13. #43
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    Here in the Appleton/Green Bay Wisconsin area the DOT has put up miles of the cable style median barrier. I for one would not want to encounter it.

    As to cycle crashes, crash data has shown that most cycle crashes occur at about 35 mph.

    A helmet is effective to protect the brain in a crash. But other major body injuries also commonly kill, aside from head injuries. But that still should not discount the injury reduction capabilities of helmets. As many of us know, the only real safety device any of us have, is the grey matter between our ears, our street strategies and our riding skills.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  14. #44
    I remember during the Great Debates prior to the Clinton firearms bans, the L.A. county coroner stated, during a news conference, that a bullet fired from a Glock handgun was somehow deadlier than one fired from a "normal" handgun. Yeah, he was a real expert......

  15. #45
    Registered User
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    Sep 2006
    Diamondhead, MS
    I suspect most county coroners are non- physicians. I also suspect that a lot of them are lucky they aren't bagging groceries.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

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