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Well, maybe here is a good one to start with. Because Illinois does not have a helmet law states can be gathered on deaths with helmets and death without helmets.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look at the motorcycle death stats (three links at the top of the page will give you numbers for 2000, 2001, and 2002):

Illinois helmet and non helmet motorcycle deaths 2000-2002

I don't know what happened in 2002 but riders seemed to learn something. An anomaly maybe? Kind of strange.

I for one can tell you I am in the overwhelming minority in this state wearing a helmet. I'm not even going to get in to the number of people I see riding in flip-flops. I just think about my little piggys getting caught in the spokes, having 500 lbs of motorcycle fall and slide on them, or slipping off the peg and grinding on the asphalt and I literally cringe.
 

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Even with those numbers it is difficult to prove anything. Out of 126 deaths, 14 were helmeted riders and 96 were un-helmeted (and 16 unknown). That would seem clearly prove that helmets saved lives. But, as you pointed out, most riders in your state do not wear helmets. So even that statistic is skewed. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to argue that helmets don't save lives, I'm just pointing out the difficulty of drawing any solid conclusion from any data set with regard to this issue.)



BikerVince

 

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I generally agree with all of us supporting freedom of choice as to whether to wear a helmet or not.



Recently, however, I've had to rethink my views because logic would dictate that if we should have the freedom to chose whether to wear a helmet or not, then motorist should also have the freedom to chose whether to wear seat belts or not.



None of us likes to be told what to do, but even though I don't wear a seat belt all the time, I couldn't, in good concience, support doing away with seat belt laws for automobiles.



Using this analogy, it pains me to agree that helmet laws should not be repealed. If my reasoning is wrong please let me know. I'd like to have a good reason to abandon this PC position.(Other than saying 'Yea, seat belt laws ought out to be repealed too' cause it ain't gonna happen.)



Allen
 

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I was just going to resort to the same analogy - and then saw your post. No one seems to be arguing about seatbelts, but the helmet laws spark vivid discussions every time. It is not true, by the way (commenting on another post) that non-helmet accidents do not have an impact on the society. Working in a large hospital, I can testify that severe brain injuries have profound impact - both economical and psychological - on the families and the society in general. At the time when millions of americans do not have health insurance every smashed head drains hundreds of thousands through the hospital costs, disability payments, nursing homes (if the victim is unlucky enough to make it there) and so on. And who is paying for all of this? Directly or indirectly - all of us. I support the freedom of smashing one's head on the payment only if I have a freedom of not paying for the aftermath.
 

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The only hard numbers I can come up with are that people die every day, every way imaginable. My lifetime of firefighting and ambulance work will tell you that. They die protected and unprotected. They die happy and sad. They die young and old. They die at weddings and funerals. If I really looked to be safe on the roads, I guess I would get a 5 star safety rated car with side airbags, wear my seatbelt, have a helmet on in the car with full armored protective gear, and never drive 1 mile an hour over the speed limit. Now that's safety. All of you will do the same, right? No? We need laws then. I would also limit my travel to and from work to limit the exposure to danger. We need laws for that too. Anyone that does any less than that is risking injury or death unnecessarily, and that cannot be tolerated in any way. Oh, about the firefighter thing. I shouldn't have done that job either because of the risk of death or injury. Should have taken a desk job so the closest I could get to a real injury is a paper cut. Is a helmet safer? Sure. How much? Nobody knows. Is a car safer than a motorcycle? Absolutely. Why are we riding these things then? Because we love it. If you love riding without a helmet, do it. If you like riding with one. Do that. Let's not pretend that one is not going to die and the other is.
 

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Screw 'em!

I live in a state where you have to wear a helmet on a damned bicycle!

This is what happens when women gain real power people! They use the government to outlaw unpleasantness.

A little girl gets hit by a car, and now we all have to wear helmets. never mind that the helmet wouldn't have saved the girl, or even lessened the damage.

But it makes them feel better. They did something! They saved someone!

We can't smoke, we can't ride a bicycle without a helmet, and we can't have more than 3 gallons of water in our toilets.

Welcome to Liberal Hell. Ain't it funny how the folks who call themselves Liberals are the ones who want to outlaw everything?
 

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What's the old saying? Statistics lie and liers use statistics? Anyone with enough sence to put his or her pants on in the morning before going out the door knows that you're safer wearing a helmet than not. I live in the "Feel free to Die" state and the vast amjority of riders choose to go w/o helmet. The first accident I had, over the handlebars, through the faring onto the pavement head first. Thankfully I had a lid on. Unfortunately governments are forced to try and legislate common sence, it doesn't work. More and more I see young women (who's looking) riding sport bikes in halter tops (looking?), shorts and hair blowin in the wind. Good luck to them and all the others who choose to go helmetless, I hope they never need one.
 

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Seatbelts

I wouldn't be suprised to find out that many of the seat belt laws are modivated by the fact that liability insurance / health insurance costs have dictated them. In a car it's been shown that even a minor accident can have fatal results without a seatbelt, and people can walk away from major accidents if they did wear one. Ofcourse every accident is different, but I think that the odds are in your favor with a seatbelt. Also keep in mind that cars/trucks carry more passengers, so we are talking about a lot of liability money in play.

With motorcycles being in the minority there is likely less pressure from insurance companies to have these laws. I would guess that most of the laws are created by people who haven't ridden, and just want to protect us from ourselves. I for one wear a full face helmet, and anyone who is a passenger wears one as well. I wouldn't think about riding without one. But I wouldn't force anyone else (riding their own bike) to wear one.
 

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Well said longtime arch nemesis. I spoke to this gentleman at Gold's a few days ago and he claims to investigate motorcycle accidents here in Nebraska. Drinking, inexperience, and group riding all have high correlation to bike accidents according to him. First time inexperienced riders let down their guard after their first 6 to 8 weeks of riding, riders try to keep up with group that is riding too fast for their skill level, and booze needs no explanation. I personally wear a so-called novelty helmet to keep the cops off my case and it keeps the sun out of my eyes and is lighter on my stiff neck. Nebraska has a helmet law but when I go over to Iowa I sometimes will take my helmet off. Depends on the sun. My son, who rides behind me wears a full face helmet always and never complains, not that it would do any good. My wife always wears her helmet and pilots her own 600cc Yamaha. I grew up in Iowa and we never wore helmets because we didn't have to. I say, if you want to wear one then do and if you don't, then you shouldn't be forced. Freedom is in the details. George Bush would understand that if for one, he had a brain, and secondly if it wasn't just something that he reads in front of him along with the rest of his bullshyte.
 
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