Re: costs of non-helmet use
Well, since the people previously referred to as "retards" are now safely and tongue-twistingly labeled as "developmentally disabled", allow me to re-purpose the coarse yet illuminating term. But first let me tell a story.
I've racked up 29,000 miles on the two-wheeled odometer in the last 12 months alone. Partly because I love to do it, and partly because half of that time has been spent on the unemployment line.
During that time I've been off the saddle once, but "nearly killed" six times. Three of those near death experiences came as a result of another person's illegal and incredibly stupid driving/riding decisions.
Of the three, the last was the only one I was unable to avoid, and it cost me my bike and, for a while here, my health.
Yes, those three people who drove and rode like morons are dumb, but the other three occurrences came as a result of an even dumber living being. Yes, deer. The last incident had an adult doe, completely hidden in the roadside brush, jumping out in front of me while I was going 60mph, with oncoming traffic. Instead of T-boning the hooved animal, however, she stopped short and whacked her head, mightily, against the unprotected portion of my leg, between the knee padding of my riding pants and the upper calf armor of my A-stars boot. Now that hurt like nothing I've ever felt in my life, believe me.
But that's not the point of this exercise, just supporting commentary. The point is, invariably at some point people who ride motorcycles will have an "incident" that will or could see them separated from their bike and quickly introduced to a hard surface. This is not high science, it's common sense. Something anyone with even negligible intelligence can see.
People who ride their motorcycles on the highways and who do not use appropriate safety gear are in my opinion very slow learners. They see that the machine on which they ride offers no protection from a fall. They know how fast they will travel at highway speeds. And they know how hard, abrasive, and unforgiving asphalt, concrete, ARMCO, trees, signs, and tractor-trailers are. Yet they decide to ride in a T-shirt and jeans w/ no helmet, gloves, etc.
In my opinion these people exemplify a group that should be referred to as the "new retard", someone who sees the danger, has the ability to mitigate the danger, yet in the end decides that they will not benefit from safety gear.
To me the only thing that's worse than the "new retard" is the "new retard" who convinces another human to do the same thing.