Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Who didn't see that coming?

Apparently at an ABATE rally protesting motorcycle helmet laws, one of the participants had the rear tire of his bike hit a slippery patch of irony, pitching him over the high side and onto the front page, dead of head injuries that would have been prevented by wearing a helmet.

You can't make stuff like this up. Well, you could, but people would accuse you of being formulaic and unrealistic.

Personally, I'm pretty religious about wearing a helmet, and a full-face one at that, when I'm on a motorcycle. Just like I fasten the seatbelt on the car before backing out of the driveway, and feel weird just sitting in the car without being belted in, I won't ride around a parking lot without a motorcycle helmet.

I washed out the front tire one time on a rain-slick interstate at ~60mph, and the resulting get-off netted me a busted thumb, broken rib, and a cracked shoulder blade. The helmet I was wearing, which I still have, looks like somebody hit it a good lick with an angle grinder at the spot that would have been my left cheekbone had there not been polycarbonate in the way. That would have hurt, and it would have changed an accident that got me basically some bumps and bruises and a few days off work into skin graft city.

But I don't think not wearing a helmet should be against the law. People should have the freedom to create and manage their own risks. When the state gets too worried about my health, it makes me nervous. Why do they care if I get hurt or killed, anyway? Down that train of thought, everything starts to get pretty Matrix-y...

(And yes, despite being a seatbelt and motorcycle helmet user, I never wear a bike helmet. Like I said, we should have the freedom to create and manage our own risks...)

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why do they care if I get hurt or killed, anyway?"

Because as I pay for their health care, I own them and get to tell them what they can and cannot do.

Not saying I agree, just sayin'.

Shootin' Buddy

Yu-Ain Gonnano said...

That's the entire crux isn't it: He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

That's the biggest danger in ObamaCare. Once "the public" becomes on the hook for the risk, it becomes the public's risk to manage.

Art said...

we should have the freedom to create and manage our own risks...
Hear! Hear!
Freedom of bearing risks of our own choosing, and responsibility of bearing the consequences. In all we do.

Actions have consequences. Sometimes unintended ones. Such is life.

Boat Guy said...

I'd wear a helmet or seatbelt if it were illegal to do so. That said, I don't hold that the state has any business in compelling one to do so.

perlhaqr said...

Yeah, I have my own "war helmet" like that, only on mine, the angle grinder patch is right over the occipitus, meaning that an accident (at 65, on the freeway) that I literally jumped up and ran away from (hey, it was rush hour) could have instead been permanent paralysis, brain damage, or death.

And even with that, I'd never want a law mandating it for others.

"Wear your helmet or we'll fucking kill you."

Marty said...

Guy I went to high school with was hit by a left turn in front of him. No helmet. Veg. He has been a guest of the state now since 1984. Costing the system over $100k per year.

Nanny state. Won't let him die.

Todd said...

"...I never wear a bike helmet." The distance from your head to the ground is the same on your bicycle as it is on a motorcycle. I for one enjoy your writings enough for you to stick around a little while! :) Wear your bike helmet.

Joel said...

I knew a pretty girl in High School, had an older boyfriend with a Harley. One day he spilled while she was on the back, and she ground the pavement with her face. Not so pretty after that, or probably ever after. I've been a believer in full-face helmets since then. In my own big bike wreck, when I got out of the hospital and saw my helmet, the part right at the forehead was all pushed in.

Helmets are smart. Still shouldn't be a law.

Jerry said...

I had two minor spills from my bike. Neither were life threatening, but could have been life altering. 1 - I slid a good distance losing a good bit of skin. Then, realizing the helmet could stop that, I put my head down and came to a stop after a few more yards. 2 - a Kid pulled out in front of me. Not a scratch on the helmet and only a small bone in my left thumb broken.

Yeah, I believe we should have the freedom to choose.

ToddG said...

I don't care if you wear a helmet (or seatbelt). But if you and I get in an accident -- regardless of who is at fault -- and you suffer injuries that would have been prevented by wearing that helmet/seatbelt, that should be 100% your problem.

Choosing to increase your own risk is one thing. Choosing to increase everyone's risk on your behalf is something else.

Dirk said...

I had an...encounter...with a pick-up truck that turned left in front of me. Vaulted over the handlebars, landed on my face, and slid a fair distance. Lost some skin on various body parts, but thanks to the full-face helmet, none from my face. It was a near thing, though - the poly had a few holes in it by the time I stopped.

Tam said...

ToddG,

"I don't care if you wear a helmet (or seatbelt). But if you and I get in an accident -- regardless of who is at fault -- and you suffer injuries that would have been prevented by wearing that helmet/seatbelt, that should be 100% your problem."

My knee-jerk reaction was to nod in agreement, but then I got to thinking...

That's a pretty slippery ethical slope. Suppose you and I get in a wreck, regardless of who is at fault, and I suffer injuries that would have been fully preventable by driving an F350 instead of a Z3, am I on the hook for those as well?

Tam said...

Or suppose I get in a wreck while driving a classic '67 Mustang, and it's the other driver's fault. Am I still on the hook for injuries sustained because I was driving a car with only lap belts and no airbags?

TomcatTCH said...

I hate my bicycle helmet.
I wear it some of the time, but have clips on my camel back in order to carry it when I don't.

I'm aware that it might save my ass, but I'm also aware that at the relative low speeds of a bike rider, wearing a helmet might induce a neck injury that otherwise wouldn't be a factor.

The study pointing to increased injury from bike helmet usage was real interesting.

Life is full of trade offs.

Mikael said...

I don't ride very often, though I learned on crotch rockets as a kid, I never did bother paying up for a licence(it's quite expensive here in sweden, as in, $1500+), I do ride occasionally on vacation/overseas work, and so far I've only had one minor spill as an adult(going downhill on dirt road, 5mph, front tire slipped on a rut, fell over on the side, scraped my knee). As a kid I went flying once, also going downhill, on a crotch rocket, unseen rock in dry grass, me and the bike landed 7 feet from eachother, I got up without a scratch. I was wearing a helmet.

aczarnowski said...

My thoughts exactly.

The response is always that we pay for their negligence through insurance or taxes or whatever so the state should mandate safer [everything]. The idiot giving this response is never very happy when I tell them not paying would be a better idea. The response to that is always think-of-the-children. At which point I stop talking to them in an attempt to avoid smacking them upside the head.

og said...

It may be stupid to drive without seatbelts, or ride without a helmet. it may be stupid to drive an older vehicle that does not have the safeties found in more modern cars. It may be stupid to text while driving. It may be stupid to dryfire a revolver without snapcaps (Still a firing offense inside Smith and Wesson) it may be stupid to have unprotected sex, or multiple partners. It may be stupid to live your life without a mammogram, or a prostate exam, or a colonoscopy.

Most of us pay insurance commensurate with the risks we take. If I get in a motorcycle accident and the insurance has to pay big bucks to have my face and pieces of my brain reconstructed, that is what I paid insurance FOR, nobody has the right to tell me I should die or not be treated because I didn't wear a helmet. Similarly the older car, or smaller car.

All of those things may be stupid. None of them individually, or even all of that stupidity bunched together as a big, steaming ball of stupid, can hold a candle to the awe-inspiring ignorance involved in attempting to legislate safety, or morality.

Stay the hell out of my business, you goddamned nannies.

Odysseus said...

I'd prefer things like medicaid be stopped altogether but I will get behind any repeal of helmet laws that revokes medicaid eligibility for injuries sustained in a sans-helmet wreck. I support people's right to be stupid as long as I don't have to pay for it.

og said...

"I support people's right to be stupid as long as I don't have to pay for it."

Ah, I wondered who was footing that bill.

Now that I know you're the only one paying for medicaid, I will try very hard not to use any.

Or not.

WV: Farcle. Markle Farcle and Sparkle Farcle said in unison: "What about Naiomi?"

Larry said...

"Dress for the slide, not the ride."

Here in FL I see teenies and twenties on crotch rockets wearing shorts, tank tops and flip-flops, and the older set on Harleys with do-rags.

I've ruined enough leathers and helmets racing not to understand that street asphalt will grind off just as much hide as track asphalt.

I'll agree with Tam's slippery slope argument, and I comprehend Og's position as to why he pays for insurance.

All that said, I'm very much in favor of pain avoidance, and to that end I'll wear/use whatever protective equipment I can procure to avoid said pain and incapacitation. There's not an insurance policy in the world that will restore the IQ points I lose from brain damage or eliminate the constant, nagging pain that comes years after reconstructive surgery.

YMMV, and I fully understand the libertarian position and opposition to nanny-state intervention. "Liberty" grants you the right to ride almost naked if you so desire; it also grants me the right to protect my fragile ass and head with helmet, leathers and boots, and keep fire extinguishers in my house and replace the seat and shoulder belts in my car every 8 years.

Anonymous said...

bike helmet? Oh, you mean a "Dork cap". One of those silly styrofoam thingies that tell the whole world that you are too much of a dork to ride a bicycle, but are on one anyway.

Way back when those things first came out, I looked one over and thought this might be a good idea, until I actually put my hand into the open side of the box and pinched the styrofoam side. Finger pressure crushed the thing like I was squashing a bug. No thanks.

When I ride my bike, I employ a mind set you might have heard of...situtional awareness. I've been riding since I was a wee lad, circa 1960. I smile at the thought of 'what would happen to any kid that wore one of those things back then (if they had existed). That kid would be beaten up for being a woosie, and worn the name of Dork for the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

Yeah.

Wear your leathers too.

A close friend of mine had the front wheel fall off at highway speeds. (You don't want to know) The forks dug in.

The truck behind her turned that motorcycle to confetti. She skidded down the highway in her own lane on her face, back, front etc... for a long long distance. ( As traffic came to stop)

Then she got up and walked slowly off the highway to where she could observe the accident behind her. And fainted from shock. She remembers nothing, but a passer by sent her some nice photo's.

She was wearing gloves, boots, leather and full helmet. All were shredded. She had a nose bleed.

Good gear will keep you alive.

Tam said...

Anon 10:34,

"When I ride my bike, I employ a mind set you might have heard of...situtional awareness."

I always use situational awareness, too. Too bad the guy who put me in the hospital for three weeks and a wheelchair for the summer didn't use situational awareness...

Stretch said...

RE: classic cars.
Customer drove in the Peoples Republic of Maryland received 2 tickets via mail. One for speeding in a school zone, one for no seat belt.
The time stamp showed the photo was taken on a weekend thus the "25mph when flashing" was void.
The Grand Inqu ... prosecutor doubled down on the "no seat belt" violation. When the judge saw a '60s vintage convertible he called a recess to "discuss matters with the prosecutor."
Ten minutes later the prosecutor handed my friend a handwritten apology and the judge dismissed all remaining cases on the docket involving photographs.
I love it when Nanny gets spanked.

Zendo Deb said...

On a completely (or mostly) unrelated note, you might be interested....

A crazy friend of mine is heading out on a round-trip, Tampa Bay to Prudhoe Bay and back. 14,000 miles of 2-wheeled fun.

Buzz said...

Tam, don't dismiss bicycle helmets so quickly. I was in your mindset most of my life, but trail riding convinced me to wear a helmet on my bike, whether road or dirt. (helmets are required for many of the trails I ride)
I tend to ride a bit faster than the average bear on mountain bike trails, so take it for what you will. One little miscalculation put me in a loving embrace with an Ent. My head hit first and the helmet glanced off. My shoulder then took the rest and the full energy of stopping my body was concentrated at the tangent point between a cellulose cylinder and a calcium matrix plate. The cylinder won. The ER doc and my orthopedist were both in disbelief that I broke the scapula. All it takes is the right situation. My cranium had just had a light headache. 17 mph, by the GPS. 17 mph! I'm a healthy, active 97th percentile specimen of physical superiority, but I could have quickly been reduced to driving the pace car in the Stephen Hawking 500.

Sean said...

This was a different perspective on bicycle helmets.

http://www.bicycledistrict.com/2010/12/ted-talk-on-helmet-use-and-the-culture-of-fear/

Until I was maybe 14-15 and started mountain biking I never considered wearing a bike helmet. It took a local kid splitting his head on a rock after failing to negotiate an obstacle on a local single track.

In many scenarios I know a bicycle helmet won't make a difference, but I've grown accustom to it and am prepared for that outlier scenario I suppose.

SoupOrMan said...

I wear a bike helmet. I've also got a handlebar-mounted rear-view mirror and try to stick to the best bike paths to avoid traffic. Considering how long I've been away from bicycling, I haven't gone to commuting to work via bike just yet. When it happens, I'll look like the other guys wearing bike helmets: stupid. I will, however, have a decent piece of protective headgear in case a patch of gravel, sand, or spontaneously disintegrating brick appears in front of me. I'd rather not have another concussion, thanks.

The other nice thing about bike helmets? In central Illinois, you can usually tell which bicyclists still have a drivers' license and which ones lost their license to a DUI by whether or not they're wearing a helmet. I've met two out of about fifty helmet-wearers who lost their licenses, and about seven of ten non-helmet wearers who decided to transition from motor vehicle to bicycle when travelling in an inebriated state. While the plural of anecdote isn't data, if a guy is biking through downtown Springfield without a helmet, he's likely also without a driver's license.

WV = capper. He's got a bike helmet and a gun, and he's not afraid to use either when necessary. He's a capper.

An Ordinary American said...

I wrote about something like this back in March of this year.

We don't need no steenking helmet or seatbelt laws

Man, did I get some hate mail. Not sure why. Hell, I'm advocating complete freedom of choice in the column.

Be free. Ride with no helmet, drive with no seat belt.

There is a significant difference between driving a Z3 and having a wreck that is the fault of someone else--and so long as you were wearing your seat belt and doing everything reasonably possible to ensure your safety, no issue.

Contrary to rising opinion, most Americans aren't stupid. We know the stats on seat belts and helmets and how they save lives.

When one voluntarily chooses not to wear or utilize a seat belt or helmet, then why the hell should I, the taxpayer, have to pay for their INTENTIONAL stupidity?

They were FREE to make their choice (not wear a helmet, seat belt) and I'm free to make my choice (choose not to pay/reward them for their intentional idiocy).

--AOA

Tam said...

Buzz,

"The ER doc and my orthopedist were both in disbelief that I broke the scapula."

It's apparently not a common bone to break. When I cracked mine, the guy who first looked at the X-ray got all excited and went and grabbed about half the rest of the on-duty ER staff to come ooh and ahh at the film, since none of them had seen one before.

I'm still lying there on the bed and everybody's clustered at the other end of the room pointing and shaking their heads at the picture of the insides of my shoulder mechanism... :)

Tam said...

(Re: Bike helmets. Pretty much all my cycling is on the smooth pavement of the Monon or deserted side streets. I'm probably going to be buying one for use on longer excursions that may involve using the bike lanes of roads traveled by cars.)

Laughingdog said...

Zendo,

Why on Earth would he go from Tampa to Prudhoe Bay??

If you live that close to Key West, do the extra drive down there first so you can do the Iron Butt ride in the process.

I live in VA, and plan to do the Key West to Prudhoe Bay run in a couple of years.

1911Man said...

I'm the seat belt nazi, but I don't put mine on until I'm leaving the parking lot. While in the lot, I think the bigger threat is criminals, and prefer to leave my knife and sidearm more readily accessible. Once on the road, the bigger threat is the dashboard/windscreen/airbag, and the seat belt gets clicked over the weapons.

Re bicycle helmets, the styrofoam is SUPPOSED to be that soft. Its job is to sacrifice itself absorbing energy, so your noggin doesn't have to. Just don't store 'em anywhere near gasoline vapors.

The first time I threw a sportbike down the asphalt on a racetrack, the VERY first thought through my head - while I was still sliding - was, "that was, without a doubt, the best $1600 I ever spent", refering to my Helimot leathers.

Buzz said...

In my opinion, Tam, you face greater risk of getting knocked off your bike by skaters or fellow cyclists on the Monon that you do from vehicles on the road. Side streets are highly prone to surprises. My most recent urban spill was from an oblivious young woman on a cellphone that suddenly jumped into my way during gesticular excitment toward the party separated by radio waves. (She never stopped talking and didn't even acknowledge her role in my mishap.)
I've found motorists to be quite accommodating. (exception for the gravel truck driving pricks that consistently bully their way down the road)

Anonymous said...

Bicycle helmets can save your life. Motorcycle helmets can kill you. You don't know which it will be.

Some accidents involve high G accelerations and a heavy motor cycle helmit can snap your neck. Or in a different accident it can save you from abrasion related ugliness.

In general people manage their risk. Kids forced to wear helmets will ride more aggressively to reach their risk limit. Kids free of helmets can reach that limit with less agressive riding. When you start you need full body armor!

I can write this because I was in a hurry, and hit a gravel patch on the way home when the front tire skidded out, and I whacked my head on the road hard. My nice Pendelton shirt was rags from the abrasion.

I sold my wife's Honda Silverwing to a young man, and gave him a helmet with the deal. He wore the helmet, and got into an accident. He broke both femurs!!! but survived. The helmet was smashed, but not his head.

You don't know what kind of accident you will get into. That is why they call it an accident.

WV fornesin. Abbreviation for vice as practiced in California.

DirtCrashr said...

I'm with you on helmet use and some disdain for ABATE as a helmet-focused "rights" group, but I include a bike helmet because of streets and curbs and goddam bikepaths. The most dangerous person on a bike-path is a bicyclist. I've had too many scary near-misses by retarded and arrogant and self-absorbed and spandex-clad and go-to-work-hurry-hurry other-damn-bicyclists out on the car-free bike-path...
If a "high-G acceleration" (or perhaps deceleration is a more appropriate variable) on a motorcycle might snap your neck I doubt a helmet would help either way, neck muscles are weak. Just a hard landing off a three-foot jump even with 12-inches of suspension travel can cause a lot of strain.

Anonymous said...

I never wear a bike helmet.--Tam

I did an endo recently while curb-hopping my mountain bike, sans helmet.

The pavement impact broke my nose and left my face looking like bad product from the grocer's meat case.

I remember thinking the instant before touch down that wearing a helmet would have enabled me to tuck my chin and take the impact with the protected side of my head.

In retrospect, I would rather look stupid while wearing a helmet than look very much uglier from not having worn one.

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take much of a hit to mess up your brain. I had a friend some years back who fell off her bike while all but standing still. She hit her head, got a concussion and wasn't "quite right" for years after. After that I wore a dorky bike helmet all the time. "It's my policy"

Anonymous said...

"American Bikers Aimed Toward Education"

I liked 'em better under their original name: "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments".

In the 70's these guys were the missing link between the real-deal outlaw biker gangs and the plethora of old guys with 25K for a dresser and no business on a bike.

Yeah, they were just as dead if they cracked their melon, but at least the group said what they were really about right there in their name. And that sentiment could be transferred to other of gov's nanny statisms which were catching hold in those dark Carter years.

But "education"? Eff that. Education your damn selves about the effects of speed, hard surfaces, and very sudden stops on hollow bone containers.

AT

Tam said...

1911man,

"I'm the seat belt nazi, but I don't put mine on until I'm leaving the parking lot. While in the lot, I think the bigger threat is criminals, and prefer to leave my knife and sidearm more readily accessible."

Once I've backed out of the parking space, I have access to a weapon with a LOT more energy than my 1911. The doors are locked, I've put the car in gear, and Shiva help the idjit who gets between my bumper and the exit, 'cause we're gonna play Demolition Derby with nothing but hamburger dock fenders to keep the surrounding vehicles from getting scratched... ;)

benEzra said...

@Todd,

"The distance from your head to the ground is the same on your bicycle as it is on a motorcycle."

And it's the same on both as it is walking or sitting on a barstool. Height isn't the critical parameter; energy, likelihood if a crash, and proximity to obstacles are IMO more important factors.

Last time I checked, general bicycling carries about the same risk of traumatic brain injury as walking does, on a per-mile basis. Forcing pedestrians to wear helmets to walk down the sidewalk would undoubtedly save some lives from brain injury, but would inevitably cost many more lives due to heart disease from the decrease in walking that would occur. One can look to Australia to see the bicycle version of that narrative played out in real time, though most of the deaths will occur decades from now.

I wear a bike helmet when trail riding, but bombing down a trail inches from trees carries a different risk profile than riding on a wide, quiet residential street with few cars and a 25mph speed limit.

As far as motorcycles go, the person commuting on a bike in traffic has a different risk profile, different motivations, and different priorities than the person riding for wind in their hair on a lightly traveled open highway. The zen of the latter is something nanny-staters seem inherently incapable of understanding.

Anonymous said...

"Stretch said...I love it when Nanny gets spanked."

Naughty. :)

I worked in a national spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital for several years. Speaking with the patients & their doctors about what got them into trouble made me a believer in seat belts and motorcycle helmets. I'd ride my bike with a motorcycle helmet on, just because of the lunatic drivers in my neck of the woods.

The carjackers hiding from the cop helicopter under my patio roof were the ones who convinced me to get arms of my own.

Ulises from CA

Linoge said...

Curiosity is getting the better of me - did the sticker come before the angle-grinding or after?

Regarding bicycle helmets, I can reasonably say, with a fair degree of accuracy, that I would not be sitting here writing this comment were it not for one of those "dorky" styrofoam brainbowls. At the ripe old age of about six, I took an endo on my training-wheels-equipped bicycle straight into a 90-degree curb - shattered the helmet to kingdom-come, and I had the mother of all bruises on the opposite side of my head from the impact, but I walked away from it. Hell, I had to walk to my parents' house to let them know what happened. The paramedics (they called 911), after looking at the helmet, pretty much said, "That would have been his head," and I have religiously worn a helmet from there on out.

That said, each to their own - if folks feel comfortable risking their own noggins, knock yourselves out.

Firehand said...

I started wearing full-face helmets a few years back, when I finally one my glasses would fit under(HJC Symax). Closest I've come to actually being hurt was when, at maybe 5mph on a county road(construction, approaching a bridge) my rear tire slipped in clay and snapped right so fast I was on the ground before I knew it was happening. After I got up, I found I had a slightly bloody lip: it had come around so fast that the top edge of my windshield had popped me in the face. With a standard helmet and faceshield I'd probably have had a broken cheekbone and lost a tooth or two. Weird accident.

I ALWAYS wear a helmet, but I really do not like the nannies insisting "You shall wear what we say, for your own good."

And yeah, makes my skin crawl to see somebody on a bike with shorts and flops(I once read of someone from Miami calling them 'Cuban motorcycle boots'). I've got a mesh jacket, but when it's in the upper 90's/low-mid 100's, even that's too damn hot.

Tam said...

Linoge,

"Curiosity is getting the better of me - did the sticker come before the angle-grinding or after?"

Shortly before.

Ironically, it had been twelve years since I last dumped a bike when I put that sticker on. Not a month later? *BAM!*

Odysseus said...

Og,
Now that I know you're the only one paying for medicaid, I will try very hard not to use any.

So the fact that the price of stupidity is spread over everyone makes it moral to compel money to subsidize it? As long as men with guns will eventually come for me if I fail to pay then I'm going to have an opinion on how it is spent.

perlhaqr said...

Marty: Yeah, one of my best friends when I was in high school is in that situation, which is why I religiously wear a helmet.

perlhaqr said...

Ironically, it had been twelve years since I last dumped a bike when I put that sticker on. Not a month later? *BAM!*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh yeah.

I had gone to the local Triumph dealer, and test ridden a 1050. I talked to the salesdude about my trade in, and got a quote, and (ever so ironically) said "I'll need to think about it, I presume that quote is good for the next couple weeks presuming I don't throw it down the freeway in the meantime?"

Oh yeah, I felt real stupid a few days later after I'd done just that.

Zendo Deb said...

Laughing Dog,

I think it is mostly about time off from work.

I just think it's cool that he is going. Since he is the same age as I am and also a native of Chicagoland (yes, that is actually what they call it) we've become friends. Even if we don't see eye-to-eye politically.

Still not too late to follow your dreams.

jimbob86 said...

Wear a helmet or don't.... that's (or should be) your business ..... just do me (and all the other EMT's out there )a favor: If you don't wear a skid lid, and you are not an organ donor, tatoo the letters "DNR" across your adam's apple, and save us some effort......

Anonymous said...

The key difference between helmet laws and seatbelt laws is that someone in a car without a seatbelt is not a risk only to themselves: They're a risk to everyone else trapped in that vehicle with them.

For example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcVSQh5MbTo

That dude would've seriously hurt or killed anyone else in there with him. Fortunately, he was the only occupant.

David said...

I owned and wore five bicycle helmets. The remains of the first four used to hang on my garage wall, until the local bike shop owner saw them one day and asked to hang them in his shop. The fifth one is hanging on my handlebars.

Helmet 1 - I was struck from behind at an intersection and tossed into cross traffic, I rolled up the hood of the car coming from the left, bounced off the windshield and onto the hood of a car in the next lane over who was coming from my right. Both drivers claim they saw my head hit their windshields. I suffered several broken ribs, deep tissue bruises to both thighs and hips, a dislocated shoulder, two broken fingers and a small scratch on my chin. The helmet was broken into 6 pieces.

Helmet 2 - I was broadsided by a kid running out from between two parked cars. I didn't hit him, he hit me. I flipped over the handle bars, rolled down the road several feet and came to a stop when my head slammed into the back end of a parked car. I suffered a sprained knee, dislocated shoulder and a lot of road rash. No head injuries. The helmet was smashed on one side and broken into three pieces. The kid was uninjured and didn't even fall down.

Helmet 3 - (don't laugh) I was coasting up the street, across driveway and into the garage, when my dear wife not seeing me coming, closed the garage door. I ducked under the closing door - almost. Took the base of the door directly centered on top of my head. Back and neck were stiff for a few days. Butt hurt where I landed on it. Bent the bottom panel of the garage door so badly it had to be replaced. Entire top of the helmet was crushed.

Helmet 4 - on a greenway bike path - oncoming biker, who was talking on his cell phone, swerved head on into me. I rolled off the bike onto the grass, felt my head smack the ground as I rolled. Cracked the helmet into two pieces. I walked away with grass stains on my clothes and a bent front wheel on my bike. The guy who hit me spent a week in the hospital recovering from cracking his forehead on the pavement. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

Even after all that, I still hate helmet laws. I won't ride without one, but I hate being theatened if I don't wear it.

og said...

"So the fact that the price of stupidity is spread over everyone makes it moral to compel money to subsidize it?"

So long as it exists, and everyone pays, YOU do not get to choose who it benefits. Sorry. No more than I get to decide YOU can't benefit from it because I don't like somehting YOU do.

if you want to make the case that it shouldn't exist? Maybe that case can be easily made.

Geodkyt said...

David wins the internets -- four helmets down, wears them religiously, would still wear them if not required, STILL hates helmet laws.

wv: "ovensurb"

Bad, sad jokes about German urban planning come to mind. . .

Tom said...

Years ago I got off my MC unexpectedly at around 70 mph. High sided into a mountain, bounced back into the road, and laid there unconcious for I don't know how long. The back of my full face helmet was flat as a table top. I got out of ICU 4 days later, but thanks to the helment I got out.

By the way, I thought about suing Honda. Their owners manual says ride safely, always wear a helmet, and protect the environment. Nowhere does it say to bring motorcyle to a complete stop before getting off.

TOTWTYTR said...

While I always wear my seat belt, wear a bike helmet, wear eye and hearing protection when at the range, I see no reason for laws requiring any of the above. If one chooses not to, then one should face the consequences of their decision.

Then again, I think that air bags should be replaced with spring loaded 8" spikes. That would promote seat belt use!