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[The Deceased] Was Not Wearing a Helmet


Mike

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I know a woman who recently was the first on the scene of an accident that involved two motorcycles and an SUV. One of the motorcyclists, a Ms. Aden. died of her injuries. Here's one of the articles describing the crash.[

 

In part, it reads:

 

"Aden, who was wearing eye protection but no helmet, was flown to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, where she was pronounced dead. . . Clark, who was wearing a helmet, also was flown to UW Hospital for treatment of his injuries."

 

I think that the average person would assume, based on this article, that the lack of a helmet was a factor in the woman's death. However, according to my acquaintance, the woman who died had no apparent head injuries and was briefly conscious, but died quickly as the result of the amputation of both of her legs.

 

I feel terrible for the victim and her family, and bad for my friend, who's pretty traumatized by the event. But the thing that struck me after the fact was that the reporting (and this was not the only source), was irresponsible and misleading. My guess is that this happens quite often, but that we seldom have access to the real facts, which reveal how bad the reporting really is.

 

Maybe this is something to bear in mind the next time you read about a motorcycle accident. frown.gif

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wrestleantares

I always thought that was:

 

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument"

 

It is my personal motto.

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My guess is that this happens quite often, but that we seldom have access to the real facts, which reveal how bad the reporting really is.

 

I agree that the reporting sucks quite often, but if you meant quite often helmetless riders are killed due to injuries not involving their melons, I do not agree.

 

I strongly suspect that most helmetless riders killed die from head injuries, which is a shame because if they were just left in a vegetative state, they could be reporters.

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I think it's another public service announcment that we don't need.

 

Edit: I take that back. There's a lot of folks out there that need it. One was the poor gal without the helmet.

 

 

 

ISYHTRAH

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I agree that the reporting sucks quite often, but if you meant quite often helmetless riders are killed due to injuries not involving their melons, I do not agree.

 

You might be right. I have no idea how the statistics shake out.

 

I wasn't trying to suggest anything about the stats, just pointing out one more motorcycling story that was reported poorly.

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Agent_Orange

"Green Bay travelers hit by motorcycle" Well I don't know about the rest of y'all, but this just reached out and grabbed me. frown.gif

 

It is FAR more misleading, and in fact, not true. tongue.gif

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I always thought that was:

 

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument"

 

It is my personal motto.

 

Maybe it was both . . . I dunno.

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wrestleantares
"Green Bay travelers hit by motorcycle" Well I don't know about the rest of y'all, but this just reached out and grabbed me. frown.gif

 

It is FAR more misleading, and in fact, not true. tongue.gif

 

From the article:

 

According to the Rockford Register Star, the driver of the westbound motorcycle, Connie Aden, 54, of Lena, Ill., crossed the center line and sideswiped the SUV driven by Stephen Seeholzer, 51, of Green Bay.

 

What are the other reports? I know a lot of time articles say a vehicle was struck by a motorcycle when in actuality the other motor vehicle pulled in front of them. But unless they are just wrong in the article - this does not appear to be such a case.

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Agent_Orange

Are you really serious? confused.gif Maybe you are seeing a different headline. Just where in the story did the repoter state which " travelers " were hit? I dunno about you, but I read it as motorcycle vs SUV vs another motorcycle. blush.gif

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wrestleantares
Are you really serious? confused.gif Maybe you are seeing a different headline. Just where in the story did the repoter state which " travelers " were hit? I dunno about you, but I read it as motorcycle vs SUV vs another motorcycle. blush.gif

 

 

 

What I wrote above:

 

According to the Rockford Register Star, the driver of the westbound motorcycle, Connie Aden, 54, of Lena, Ill., crossed the center line and sideswiped the SUV driven by Stephen Seeholzer, 51, of Green Bay.

 

Was an exact quote from the article linked to in the original post.

 

That is why I was asking you if you were reading a different article. Because this does not seem (at this point and using ONLY this article) to be a case of SUV hitting motorcycle.

 

With all due respect - if you are reading the same article then you did not really read it well at all.

 

It says the motorcycle caused the accident in more than one place, and the motorcycle that caused the initial crash was then pushed so that it caused the other motorcycle to crash.

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You might be right. I have no idea how the statistics shake out.

 

I wasn't trying to suggest anything about the stats, just pointing out one more motorcycling story that was reported poorly.

 

Gotcha- wasn't sure initially which you meant.

 

I did some checking:

 

Web Bike World compiled some NHTSA conclusions here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/crash.htm

 

# Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

# In 1998, 46% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

# NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 29% in a crash.

 

 

 

I have to admit that I think if the reporters are going to screw up (like they usually do) I find it a little less annoying if they screw up in a way that encourages helmet use.

 

If the story was "Motorcyclist killed, helmet would not have prevented it" it sounds like for this specific case it would have been accurate. I'm not sure the set of people who think you're safer being thrown seat belt-less from a car in an accident, and that you'll break your neck if you wear a helmet on your bike need anything else to cloud their already hazy vision, however. Not that it's the reporter's job to try and influence such things, but I admit such a headline would make me cringe a little at the image of it going up on an ABATE corkboard somewhere as (false) support of riding helmetless.

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Paul Mihalka

I have the impression that nowadays whenever they report a motocycle accident, they state if the rider was wearing a helmet or not. Doesn't matter that he only broke a leg...

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Agent_Orange

"Green Bay travelers hit by motorcycle

 

Press-Gazette

 

BROWNTOWN — A Green Bay man and three passengers in his sport utility vehicle escaped injury on Wednesday afternoon when their SUV was sideswiped by a motorcycle whose driver died in the accident on Wisconsin 11 just west of Monroe."

 

You are right. I haven't a clue where I got that from. blush.gif Thanks for settin' me straight. thumbsup.gif

 

Silly me. The headline threw me off. lmao.giflmao.gif

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wrestleantares
"Green Bay travelers hit by motorcycle

 

Press-Gazette

 

BROWNTOWN — A Green Bay man and three passengers in his sport utility vehicle escaped injury on Wednesday afternoon when their SUV was sideswiped by a motorcycle whose driver died in the accident on Wisconsin 11 just west of Monroe."

 

You are right. I haven't a clue where I got that from. blush.gif Thanks for settin' me straight. thumbsup.gif

 

Silly me. The headline threw me off. lmao.giflmao.gif

 

I guess I don't get it. I assume you mean that because the actual riders in the SUV were not hit it automatically makes the headline incorrect.

 

Well, that's not technically true. A traveler can be person or thing, and the plural can indicate that the original motorcycle hit both the SUV and the other motorcycle.

 

I will admit I did not read your first post close enough, because I did make an assumption that you were jumping on the all too popular bandwagon -prematurely - that the SUV was the cause.

 

But I couldn't believe that someone would be nitpicking over the use of travelers in the headline. But, even if the appropriate use by the writer was unintentional, it is still correct.

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motorman587

Don't some people that read the headlines, just see, motorcycle, crash (we call them crashes here in Florida) and death, and think motorcycle are dangerous, no matter what they are or not wearing??

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However, according to my acquaintance, the woman who died had no apparent head injuries and was briefly conscious, but died quickly as the result of the amputation of both of her legs.

As a result of the crash??? Yikes.

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harleyjohn45
You might be right. I have no idea how the statistics shake out.

 

I wasn't trying to suggest anything about the stats, just pointing out one more motorcycling story that was reported poorly.

 

Gotcha- wasn't sure initially which you meant.

 

I did some checking:

 

Web Bike World compiled some NHTSA conclusions here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/crash.htm

 

# Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

# In 1998, 46% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

# NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 29% in a crash.

 

 

 

I have to admit that I think if the reporters are going to screw up (like they usually do) I find it a little less annoying if they screw up in a way that encourages helmet use.

 

If the story was "Motorcyclist killed, helmet would not have prevented it" it sounds like for this specific case it would have been accurate. I'm not sure the set of people who think you're safer being thrown seat belt-less from a car in an accident, and that you'll break your neck if you wear a helmet on your bike need anything else to cloud their already hazy vision, however. Not that it's the reporter's job to try and influence such things, but I admit such a headline would make me cringe a little at the image of it going up on an ABATE corkboard somewhere as (false) support of riding helmetless.

 

lets see: 46 percent died without a helmet, 54 percent died with a helmet. how do the figure the 29 percent more likely to die if they don't wear a helmet? i suspect in florida more than half the motor cyclist don't wear a helmet in summer. how come so many helmeted riders die?

just wondering.

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harleyjohn45
Don't some people that read the headlines, just see, motorcycle, crash (we call them crashes here in Florida) and death, and think motorcycle are dangerous, no matter what they are or not wearing??

 

+1, perfect answer.

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46 percent died without a helmet, 54 percent died with a helmet. how do the figure the 29 percent more likely to die if they don't wear a helmet?

 

That 29% represents people who were wearing a helmet and didn't die. They don't get counted in the 46/54% split.

 

how come so many helmeted riders die?

 

Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes (according to the NHTSA). But there are a lot of other ways to do it.

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Be thankful the article does not say, "motorcyclist riding with no helmet and loud exhaust sideswiped the SUV..."

Like all reporting by the media, motorcyclists are a discrimination and bias target. We are a lifestyle minority without racial/religeous/sex/ethnic overtones.

The majority non-motorcyclists see us as leather fringed freaks, popping wheelies and disturbing the peace on our death machines. Negative reporting about us sells newspapers.

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Details of the specific incident sited aside, I like the fact that they report whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet. I think all bike accidents should report it. Might convince a least a couple riders here and there of their folly.

 

Same way with seat belts. Every cage accident story should include 'was or wasn't' in my opinion.

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Although I am an advocate of wearing a helmet and all the gear all the time...there is much more than meets the eye with MVC's. Aside from the visible trauma there is another factor. Sheer injuries and/or blunt force trauma. Sheer injuries takes place when the blood vessels are stretched beyond the limits and tearing occurs. The aorta, the meningeal artery in the brain and other vessels. There is also the phenomenon of coup contra coup in which the brain is lashed back and forth (even with a helmet)so injuries take place then as well even though a helmet is worn. This may cause diffuse axonal injury to the brain and POOF all over. In as much as this is truly a sad story, let us not forget that gear to include helmets will not save us from injury during a crash. And I know first hand that the media does not report the right info MOST of the time...that is another story. For this lady and her family it is a tragic death that gives us all a wake up call. BTW I have a Masters in Forensics so I kind of have a clue about injuries and the like.

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justiceafteraflash

I don’t have a degree in forensics, geometry or physics but I can tell you this. Most of the motorcycle crashes I’ve worked as a police officer have been low speed crashes. I’ve seen people walk from a 30MPH crash with only bruises to one person who thought he had his helmet on right from a 10 MPH crash being put in ICU for 4 months before he was finally pronounced a vegetable.

 

I’ve also witness as a police officer a motorcycle rider get completely rear ended by a large SUV. The rider rolled up on the hood of the SUV and into the windshield. The driver of the SUV slammed on brakes and threw the rider to the ground. The rider slid across the road where he hit with his right arm, right leg, and helmet against a very large and hard curb.

 

His helmet was cracked but otherwise he was coherent. The driver of the SUV told me he didn’t have a blinker on but as the bike was on it’s side you could clearly see the blinker was flashing.

 

2 days after the crash the rider came to the department to get a copy of my report. His leg, entire let, was complete black and he was walking with a cane..

 

I have no doubt that if this person was riding without a helmet he’d be dead. And from my experience with dealing with traffic crashes and knowing most of them are at low speed…..I will never ride without a DOT SNELL approved helmet. I also ride every single time with the proper gloves and boots. My life, wife and daughter are too important to leave behind for a ride.

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DavidEBSmith

In this article over the weekend about a crash in Chicago, they didn't mention anything about a helmet. Perhaps they thought it was sufficient to say, "Part of the biker's body landed in the southbound lanes".

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I will never ride without a DOT SNELL approved helmet. I also ride every single time with the proper gloves and boots.

 

Some authorities, and recent tests, indicate that the Snell standard are probably be a case of specification overkill. Helmets made to meet that standard are apparently harder than they should be - they have to be to meet a couple of unrealistic, worst-case testing criteria - and the result is head injury in more typical crashes.

Read the article here.

 

Just one more item that seems counterintuitive, like a great deal of the information out there about the benefits of helmets.

 

Pilgrim

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