8 Ball In The Wind

Friday, July 3, 2015


There are those who think that if you oppose mandatory helmet laws it means that you are; ignorant, reckless, foolish, or a combination of all three.  But when you introduce facts about the law and the motorcycle helmet standard, many of those same people turn to denigration of your information without really looking at it.  Or try to change the discussion into a personal attack.  Either you attacking their position, or vice versa.

I will offer up a few questions here regarding mandatory helmet laws, and motorcycle helmets.  Think for yourself, do your own research into what I say, then answer for yourself the questions I ask.  If more people start asking the questions, then perhaps more people will come to understand why the majority of states in the US allow riders the choice whether to wear helmets or not.

1.  If motorcycle helmets are the safety panacea many pro-helmet law supporters claim, why is it the number of fatalities have dropped significantly in Michigan since repeal of the mandatory helmet law there in 2012?

2.  As motorcycle helmets "break-in" and begin to better conform more to your head, why do manufacturers suggest they be replaced every 3 to 5 years?

3.  Can law enforcement tell by looking at a motorcycle helmet if it will meet the federal standard?

4.  Why is it laughable to suggest that occupants in automobiles be mandated to wear helmets when studies show significantly more people, both in real numbers and percentages, suffer head injuries during accidents in those types of vehicles?

5.  Why is it that Washington State mandates motorcyclists to wear
helmets that are rated to attenuate an impact of 13.4 mph, but doesn't require bicyclists to wear helmets as well?

6.  Why is it that the "Social Burden" argument is often raised to support mandatory motorcycle helmet use, yet other activities that are repeatedly shown to have much more of a "Social Burden" than motorcycling are condoned (smoking and alcohol use are just two examples)?  

There are more questions to be sure.  These few are enough to make a good start.  This is just skimming the surface, and much more data exists for those who wish to look.  Here is a fact you may find interesting, especially since Washington States helmet use fluctuates between 90 to 100 percentile.  81% of all helmeted motorcycle fatalities die from non-head related injuries.  

Think it over, and decide for yourself where you stand on whether or not individuals should be allowed to make the choice for themselves whether to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Catch you on the road sometime...

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