I got into an argument the other day with a fellow rider about helmet safety. He doesn’t ride in our group but we see each other around and online. Anyway, he was bitching and moaning about getting a ticket for riding his bike w/no helmet. I was sort of shocked.
He tried to argue there wasn’t any real difference in riding w/o a helmet. It boggles my mind that anyone in this day and age would even argue that not wearing a helmet is a good idea. Naturally, the biggest blowhards always rant about ‘big government interfering with my rights, blah blah blah.’ Bullshit! When you actually press someone it usually comes out that they don’t like wearing helmets for one of two reasons, style or comfort. True to my theory, he finally admitted he didn’t like wearing a helmet because it didn’t “look cool.” And my reply, “well, if you think looking cool is more important than saving your skull then you’re a prime candidate for natural selection.” We agreed to disagree at that point. lol Virtually every agency I checked showed that wearing a helmet decreases the fatality factor by 35-38% That’s pretty damn significant!
I grew up riding dirt bikes and three-wheelers. Back then, I never wore a helmet because no one told me and I was too young to really think about it. Looking back on it, I’m lucky I didn’t end up dead or a quadriplegic. We used to do some crazy shit , jumping blocks, donuts, wheelies, jumping over gullies, etc. lol Of course, as an adult, I do know better.
Sadly, some states still only recommend helmets vs requiring them. In my old stopping grounds of Texas, a law requiring helmet use was actually repealed!1 California law requires a helmet for any 2-wheeled vehicle 50cc’s and above.
On a side note, I learned an interesting statistic while researching the stats for my little rant today. Almost half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol! I couldn’t imagine driving my bike while intoxicated. One, my balance is screwed up enough just walking much less driving a 400+ lb piece of machinery that requires me to execute balance maneuvers as a matter of course. Two, I’ve been the victim of a drunk driver and I’d never forgive myself if I injured (or worse, killed) someone because of my drinking and driving.
The moral of my little rant? Don’t be an idiot. If you ride, ride safely. That includes wearing PPE (personal protective equipment).
- I’m not surprised. [↩]