Countering the risks is wonderful. I bet I could save 10 times the lives by limiting horsepower to 50hp and top speed to 95. Putting leg shields on all bikes would save leg injuries, blow up vests for chest injuries, and possibly air bags on the bike for front end collisions. It IS simplistic to say it's safer not to be riding at all. It's also 100% true. I like simple. The degree of risk riding a motorcycle with 100% protective gear vs. driving a car compared to a biker with gear vs. without gear is not even close. Just the decision to ride the bike is MUCH greater risk to EVERY PART of your body and not just your head. My point is, if you were REALLY worried for your safety, you wouldn't ride.
Re: Mandatory Health Insurance for Helmetless Riders
What a novel concept by those Arkies! We in TX have been under this legislation ($10,000 health) for a number of years. How many flavors of insurance must you have to go for an afternoon ride? Our only saving grace here in TX is that you cannot be stopped by police SOLELY because you're not helmeted. Let's see, what else could I be stopped for? I wear a helmet, but I will defend to the death your choice not to.
Well, I guess since good old Arkinsaw is behind the country in most other things (literacy, oral hygiene, civil rights) we shouldn't be too surprised that the honorable Ms. Bledsoe has introduced legislation for an scheme that has already been proven to be a complete red-herring in several other states.
Ok, do I have your attention now? As several readers have pointed out, there are other "risk groups" who's "cost to society" far outweigh that of motorcyclists yet we see no special legislation being introduced to curtail their liberties. In addition, legislation like this unfairly singles out a group for reduction of liberties based on assumptions that have been proven, time and time again, to be spurious.
Another interesting point in the article that most seem to have missed is that the supposed loss over 6 years is 1 million dollars. But nowhere do we see a mention of how much this "study" cost the taxpayers. And more importantly, how is it that Ms. Bledsoe's son happened to be directly involved in the study? I smell nepotism (smells a little like teen spirit).
So, let's call it like we see it shall we? Ms. Bledsoe introduces legislation based upon a study done by a publicly funded university. The study is duplicating work already undertaken in several other studies. One of the participants in the study is her son. The study comes up with results that are skewed in the same inflammatory way that were already discredited in the other studies.
So, how much money did the Bledsoe family personally receive as part of this boondoggle, and how much of the taxpayers money did she waste? But most importantly... is anyone going to do anything about it? Ethics committee anyone?
I am worried about my safety, thats why I choose to wear my leathers, boots, gloves and helmet 99% of the times I ride, that allows me to enjoy whats one of my few interest outside of my family, secure in the knowledge that I've done the best I can to protect myself from idjits. Speaking ONLY for myself, I'd rather tilt the scales as much as I can in my favor even if it means sweating a little, than being comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. You don't get to pick when some numb-nut does something stupid. best you can hope for is avoiding the impact or dressing to mitigate it as much as possible.
she knows it won't fly, she's just getting political mileage by suggesting it anyway.
She's not the first political hack to propose legislation that they know will never get passed and she won't be the last.
...it's inflamatory so people will argue vociferously about it, and even though it wastes everyone else's time, it also gets her name indelibly lodged in the half-minds of the ultra-conservative voters.
At the end of the day, it'll never happen, but she's pimped her career for cheap. It shouldn't be allowed, but it happens all the time.
You like the feeling without it, there ya go. I assume the wind rushing through your hair and possibly the added rush of taking a greater risk far outweighs a feeling of security gear may provide for you. Fine by me. I just had a hard time understanding what people get out of it, now you explained it.
Personally my gear enhances my ride by adding to my comfort level, physically and emotionally. The wind isnt deafing, my eyes arent watering, my hair isnt tangled in knots and I dont have to scrape bugs off my face or out of the hairs on my arms like I do when I am out on a long mountain bike ride in the evening. I also do not get sun or wind burnt. Then there is the added peace of mind that comes with the protection. I have 4 helmets to protect my melon. A full face street, full face dirt, mountain bike and one for the snow. They all have came in handy one time or another. I never play without them, law or no law. Add in my aerostich making me cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and its win win for me. Hence my confusion about going without it on purpose. But if that is your thing, I wish you and your family luck.
I wonder if you'd participate in a little experiment for Longride and me. Put on a wetsuit, including mask, fins, gloves, and twelve gauge condom. Now go and make love to your wife (or significant other). Tomorrow, repeat the experience, only this time, do it buck nekkid. Then write back and tell us which was the more pleasurable experience.
The day Illinois passes a helmet law, is the day my bike goes up for sale. And I don't give a fukk WHAT Johhny B's opinion on the matter is. In fact, his little diatribe a while back may just be the reason I don't re-subscribe here. Like Longride (and the other fellow) pointed out, there are many more people who consider you an idiot for swinging your leg over a bike even while wearing gear than there are people who think that riding with gear is fine, but riding helmetless is idiotic.
Perhaps the majority should get THEIR way, and ban you and Johnny B. from riding any Honda more dangerous than a Civic.
Re: Mandatory Health Insurance for Helmetless Riders
Man, is that ever the truth. I ate at a BBQ joint tonight with a couple of buddies. At the table next to us, was Mom (about 55 years old and at least 300 pounds), oldest daughter (about thirty five years old and 250 pounds), and youngest daughter (about 25 years old and 200 pounds). Mom's knees were visibly buckling as she slowly walked out of the restaurant. I didn't see whether any of the three lit up a *** on the way out, but I wouldn't have been surprised. Mind if I choose my own poison as others are given the freedom to choose theirs?
Nobody gets out of this world alive, and going out at age 45 would save the gub'mint hundreds of thousands in unpaid social security that my employer and I have paid in over the years. Been riding almost 25 years, and if I had to make the choice, would much prefer Death by Suzuki to Death by Hostess.
We've discussed this topic in recent threads at great length. As I stated there, as long as there is a tether to the headrest (as in all race-cars), helmets in cars WOULD save many lives. Also, modern airbags virtually replace the need for a tether.
Longride's assertion is correct. The brain is the most delicate organ in the body, and is most effected by the 'sudden deceleration' of a crash. Most damage is done as the brain smashes against the inside of the skull on impact.
The vast majority of car-crash fatalities are from *belt-less* drivers smashing the head against something (not neck or spinal injuries). Hence the importance of wearing a seatbelt and the usefulness of airbags.
I disagree with seat belt or helmet laws for adults, even though I choose to always wear both. Every adult makes decisions effecting their own safety thousands of times a day. Belts and helmets should be no exception. As long as their decision does not greatly effect another's safety it is their choice they make. Note I said safety, not insurance rates or taxes, ect.
As many have only recenctly come to realize, freedom isn't free. Many others still have not, and never will. This is but one cost (and a comparatively small one) that we must pay in order to retain the freedom we so cherish!
*An important note: Even while paying certain costs for freedoms, we have the highest stadard of living in the world. In fact it is >because< we bear these costs that it is so. The costs associated with a 'nanny state' are far greater. History has born this out time and again.
Let us remember this the next time someone proposes a law that curtails the freedoms of one group for another's (perceived) benefit. When societal 'gains' are bought using FREEDOM as currency everyone loses, and THAT cost is more than I am willing to pay!
I also agree that both sides of the helmet issue have valid points. The post by rsheidler is excellent and my use of helmets and safety equipment pretty much mirrors his. My only beef with my riding buds that chose not to use safety gear is that the rest of us should not be left to pay for their decision. If your insurance is paid up, do what you like. But don't expect me or anyone else to foot the med bills or feel sorry for you when you realize the fact that when your skull slides down the pavement - you lose. So, no matter what you ride, or how you ride, let's keep it safe and stick together, there are too many people out there that want to take away our scoots! Fighting over personal choice issues won't help the positive promotion of motorcycling in general.
BTW - Don't bring a bike (any bike) that was built after 1 April 2001 to Japan! You will have to pay over $2000.00 to get a "fuel homologation" and brake test. Japan is very slick when it comes to closing their doors to outsiders. They won't tell you that you can't bring something here, they'll just make it so restrictive that you won't/can't. Tricky folks. Maybe their tune would change if we pulled the same BS on all Japanese imports.... Great riding here though! Enough rambling.
Back in the 70's there was a study of automobile injuries that placed the rate of death by head injury in Calif at 74%. At the same time the death rate for head injury on bikes was listed as 73%. Most of the data I've seen off and on since then shows similar patterns. Side impacts cause a huge proportion of head injury deaths in cars.
Also, without the use of seat belts, airbags become nearly worthless and many hundreds of heads contact glass.
Longride is absolutely correct. There is as much justification to force helmet use in cars as there is on bikes.
I am amazed at how many people buy the argument that someone engaging in "risky" behavior that might cost themsleves an extra buck or two in taxes justifies the govt being able to regulate that behavior.
On that basis the govt can regulate or ban a huge list of activities like:
-Riding a motorcycle.
-Owning a gun.
-Driving a car.
-Taking a shower.
-Who you sleep with.
-What you read. (Might get unapproved ideas and do something not approved.)
Actually that cost argument can be used to regulate any behavior. Well, any behavior has risks. Even getting out of bed or getting into bed can kill you (especially if you are over 80 and you're getting into bed with Anna Nicole Smith. Or if you're only over 50 and are getting into bed with Kirsten Dunst, but I digress.)
Remember that everyone engages in risky behavior. Too many people are willing to suppress the other guy's activities while demanding a free license to do whatever they want.
Guess we'd better just set up a federal agency that has total arbitrary power to order anything. Then the facistsi who are worried about spending a buck on someone else's "risky" behavior will be able to sleep better.