There is a group of highway users in America who are under extreme risk of head injuries related to motor vehicle traffic crashes. Fully 47.7% of this groups visits to emergency rooms after a motor vehicle traffic crash are due to head injuries, and 66.9% of hospitalizations from these same crashes are due to head injuries. To add emphasis to their risk, 46.2% of their fatalities are due to head injuries. This data comes from a highly respected and reliable source, the Centers for Disease Control's "Blue Book", Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States. These figures can be found on pages; 30, 36, and 41 respectively.
If you would mandate that motorcyclists must wear helmets for head injury prevention, would it also be acceptable to mandate a segment of highway users who after being involved in a crash, almost half of them are admitted to the ER for head injuries?
If not, why not? This group of highway users, according to the CDC, is roughly ten times more likely to end up in the ER for head injuries than motorcyclists, and six times more likely to be hospitalized than motorcyclists.
I keep hearing from people who tell me they think all motorcyclists should have to wear helmets on their heads for safety to protect against head injury. They do not seem to want to consider that I may believe the helmet to be a significant factor in causing injury, or that the majority of motorcyclists who are killed in crashes die from injuries other than their head. Nor have most that I have spoken to ever worn a motorcycle helmet for any extended time, if at all. They have no comprehension of the effects of that three to five pounds of extra weight attached to your chin are when experiencing the multiple G-Force stresses of a crash, or of the effects within your skull that a helmet can do little or nothing to prevent.
Even when confronted with the question I posed at the start of this blog entry, the thought of being mandated to wear helmets is shockingly absurd to them. It would seem to not even cross their mind to research the data on their own head injury risks, while they vigorously search to prove why motorcyclists should be required to wear helmets. It is as if they live in denial of their own need for head injury prevention. Some are even in the medical field themselves, and are completely unaware of the reality of the situation as they hypocritically attempt to force motorcyclists to wear helmets for our own protection.
As you may have guessed, that group of highway users that have such high percentages of head injuries are automobile occupants. Even with seat belts and air bags as mandatory safety equipment, they still have much higher rates of head injury. So tell me, who really needs head injury protection the most?
Catch ya on the road sometime...