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Should Helmets be mandatory in all states? Should we abdicate that decision to the government?

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Rougarou
4 hours ago, Red said:

Worked on an ambulance for 10+ years.  Seen many head injuries both cagers and motorcycles.  Seen  several gun shot wounds: shotgun, rifle, and pistol.  I'm pro helmet and pro gun.  I fail to see your logic.

 

Maybe in my twisted mind I see or compare:  Advocates for something that prevents serious injury (helmet) are also advocates for something that causes serous injury (weapon of your choice). 

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Skywagon

A little different twist....I like wearing my helmet :)  It makes me feel like survival rate is higher and injury rate is lower.  I've been down a few times.  When I rode dirt I guarantee it saved my teeth on more than one occasion.I thought the same thing when I played football and baseball in college a thousand years ago.  It also keeps bugs out of my teeth.  It gives me a place to put my really cool stickers....Maybe we could link it to an IQ test.  If you score 140 or more you are required to protect as you are valuable to society....for those less than that Darwin theory is ok? :):)  Now if they could just figure out how to make the 1lb carbon fiber helmet that is comfortable and quiet.....

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BarnRat

I wear a helmet.  I always have, even in states that don't require it.  But I don't care what anyone else wears (or doesn't wear)  while riding.  It's none of my business.  Yeah, yeah, the medical bills for idiots that don't wear a helmet come out of all of our pockets, but I don't care about that either.  So, I don't care if there are helmet laws, or not.

 

BTW, I'm a Scorpio and Scorpios don't care about anything.  :dontknow:

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KneeDrachen

Interesting, over in the UK/EU, it is compulsory and there seems to be a lot less hackles raised over the mandated use of helmets.

 

This June will be 24 years in emergency services as both a basic and advanced life support provider and on both the fire and law enforcement sides.  I have my opinions and will keep them to myself.

 

But I will tell you this:

 

Of all the accidents I attended, one sticks out in my mind.  The rider was wearing a fake "skid lid".  Isolated head injury.  His fiancée showed up on the scene.  I have no doubt in my mind had he been wearing a "real" helmet, he'd have had his bell rung.  Sometimes the decisions you make need to be bigger than you, think of your family/friends/loves ones.

 

That call still haunts me and its been...16?17? years.

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BarnRat
6 minutes ago, KneeDrachen said:

. . .  I have my opinions and will keep them to myself.

 

But I will tell you this: . . .

 

:19:

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KneeDrachen

Statement of a factual event....with a small dose of observation thrown in for good measure.

 

 

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KneeDrachen

You seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time dissecting and reacting to my post.  I thought you didn't care about anything?

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John Ranalletta

People laugh when I tell them every time I saddle up, I stop for a few seconds and say to myself, "I am not going to die today."  Doing that and going lidless are inconsistent but I don't make decisions for other people.

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Hosstage
On 3/26/2019 at 1:25 PM, KneeDrachen said:

Interesting, over in the UK/EU, it is compulsory and there seems to be a lot less hackles raised over the mandated use of helmets.

 

This June will be 24 years in emergency services as both a basic and advanced life support provider and on both the fire and law enforcement sides.  I have my opinions and will keep them to myself.

 

But I will tell you this:

 

Of all the accidents I attended, one sticks out in my mind.  The rider was wearing a fake "skid lid".  Isolated head injury.  His fiancée showed up on the scene.  I have no doubt in my mind had he been wearing a "real" helmet, he'd have had his bell rung.  Sometimes the decisions you make need to be bigger than you, think of your family/friends/loves ones.

 

That call still haunts me and its been...16?17? years.

 

The EU has had government rule for well over a thousand years, and are used to having their government make "good" decisions for them, for the good of all.

Here in the US we have only had government rule for almost 250 years, and like to think we still have individual rights and still have a voice in our own choices, though that is slowly, sometimes not so slowly, going away as well.

Sometimes I wear a helmet, sometimes I don't. I don't really give a shit if someone else does or doesn't, I'm not the boss of them.

I don't really think that helmetless riders getting hurt is costing me all that much more. If a federal helmet law was passed, where can I expect to see the actual savings? Will my insurance go down? If so, by how much? $1? $10?. Doubtful. I'm not arguing against helmet use, I think it is a very good idea, but I'm not arguing for mandatory use either.

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realshelby

If you have a conservative view on things, you will allow that the States should mandate laws in most cases. The Federal gubmint should stay out of most stuff. 

 

And that is the way it is now. States regulate helmet use. 

 

They don't enforce actually wearing what their laws have a standard for. As seen by all the fake DOT stickers on helmets. 

 

But I don't care as I have and would always wear a helmet. Regardless.

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Joe Coastie

This discussion has been and will be going on for ages.

The most dangerous thing you can ever do is leave your house and go into the world.

Best to let this die a quiet death.

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Skywagon
On 3/26/2019 at 2:14 PM, John Ranalletta said:

People laugh when I tell them every time I saddle up, I stop for a few seconds and say to myself, "I am not going to die today."  Doing that and going lidless are inconsistent but I don't make decisions for other people.

 

When I get off the bike at home or taxi the plane in, I usually say defied death again....drives the wife crazy wondering why I do things that require me to say that when I'm done.

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Paul De
On 11/7/2019 at 2:47 PM, Joe Coastie said:

The most dangerous thing you can ever do is leave your house and go into the world.

Actually it is dangerous to stay home too. In raw numbers the potential cost to society is greater for a serious injury in the bathroom.  Something like 240,000/yr, while serious injury while riding a motorcycle is around 90,000 per year (tough to get same year numbers on this, but I think this is generally true for any given year).  So, to have greater impact to reduce cost to society let's make everyone have health insurance and wear a helmet before they go into the bathroom.    Of course there is sarcasm in my comment, but  my point is that when one makes the cost to society argument there are be bigger bang for the buck places to go get that savings than mandatory helmet laws when riding a motorcycle.   If we put all life activities and behaviors on a Pareto chart where society could gain savings, motorcycle riding without a helmet likely does not make the top 10.  But politically it makes sense to go after this as we are a small voter block with a lingering bias of all being scofflaws promulgated by the movies and TV shows.

 

I live in a choice state and way more often than not I wear a helmet and all the gear,  but have also ridden without a helmet, and I enjoyed it more than running with scissors as a kid.   Screw the Nanny State, it was my risk to take and yes I have excellent injury and health insurance as well as a signed organ donor designation on my drivers license. TETO

 

PS

Regardless of being a AGATT or something less rider, we should all have signed donor cards. It is the socially right thing to do.

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Rider1260

I do wear a Helmet 99% of the time as it is more comfortable, no watering eyes , bugs down my throat, no wind or sunburn etc. Also wear a jacket and gloves for the same reason.

I do have boots I wear when serious riding , but commuting is often tennis shoes. I used to own some dragon jeans but no longer, regular jeans are my riding pants ( maybe looking for  some ) 

I wear what is comfortable, I don't spend much time thinking safety. If I want to ride around the neighborhood without a helmet or gear I am glad it is my choice. 

To each there own I say. 

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Deadboy
On 1/24/2019 at 11:56 AM, Dennis Andress said:

No. Helmet laws are a warm fuzzy for people who are not into motorcycles, most of whom want such a law. And while wearing any helmet is better than not, wearing eye protection, gloves, boots, and a long sleeve shirt are important too. So why are they not included? 

 

I'd much rather see Tiered Licensing. (Why are people with limited experience riding liter bikes that make over 100 hp?)

 

Why? Can you point to a single study that backs up the claim it makes any difference in accident rates or fatalities (hint it doesn't). 

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Dennis Andress
6 hours ago, Deadboy said:

Why? Can you point to a single study that backs up the claim it makes any difference in accident rates or fatalities (hint it doesn't). 

 

The scar on the left side of my head...

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Deadboy
18 minutes ago, Dennis Andress said:

 

The scar on the left side of my head...

Sounds like you should have been wearing a helmet.

 

Seriously the proponents of tiered licensing have zero evidence it works....but it does make the cost of obtaining a license increase substantially therefore increasing unlicensed operators and discouraging new riders.

 

How about a car HP limit? Should new drivers not be allowed to own high performance models?

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Marty Hill

Wow!  This is so interesting I can hardly wait for more info.

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Dennis Andress
2 hours ago, Deadboy said:

Sounds like you should have been wearing a helmet.

 

Seriously the proponents of tiered licensing have zero evidence it works....but it does make the cost of obtaining a license increase substantially therefore increasing unlicensed operators and discouraging new riders.

 

How about a car HP limit? Should new drivers not be allowed to own high performance models?

 

 

I was wearing a BMW Sytem 1 helmet. It absorbed most of the impact leaving my brain to bounce off the inside of my skull which popped a couple of blood vessels. Since I was wearing full leathers and a helmet the emergency room put me on the bottom of the triage list (This was in the mid 80s, a time when hospital staff were openly prejudiced against motorcyclists.) The story gets worse from there.

 

Tiered licensing doesn't work? Yeah, I suppose that's true. But, then again, @Jamie was a paramedic in the San Diego area. He told us of accidents involving a young Marine or Sailor totalling a super sport bike with less than 1000 miles. I could see myself in what he said: a 19 year old Airman who bought a brand new Yamaha 750.

 

I was stationed near Frankfurt,  Germany just before i got out. European automotive insurance. rates were based on horsepower and years of experience. This is why you used to see European cars that made only 18 or 26 PS (horsepower). It was natural for beginning drivers to have a lower power car, or even a  moped until they finished college and were making enough to afford insurance on a nice car. One really cool thing they did was to tie your insurance to your TüV (registration). Drop your insurance for the winter and you bike was automatically registered inop until you reinstated insurance.

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Deadboy

I agree it "sounds" logical but the numbers simple don't back up the assumption. I am on an international commission comprised of representatives from all over the world and we were actually just discussing this at our last meeting in Brussels and it was very interesting hearing the differing opinions.....lets just say the folks from Norway and Sweden are very pro-tiered licensing despite no evidence to support their position where as the Greek and Spanish representatives don't share that position. South America has bigger issues to deal with (non-licensed riders and fear of robberies committed by full face helmet wearing riders) and we are kind of in the middle here in the U.S. 

 

For example, I managed to crash in my first week as a new owner and honestly speed and engine size were not a factor....I was untrained and inexperienced and luckily managed to avoid serious injury despite it being 100% my fault. The key is 18 months of actual riding experience and good training at the onset in order to have a decent set of skills to build on from there. I remember seeing a bunch of cool small sport bikes in New Zealand 22 years ago at a dealership....most were a few years old with very low mileage and when I asked the sales guy told me they had tiered licensing that required a certain # of months of ownership of a smaller bike prior to purchasing a larger one. As a result people bought them, parked them and then upgraded when the required time had passed. Do I think a new rider needs 150 HP? Nope....but most accidents happen at low speeds and insurance companies do charge more for new riders/higher HP so it is a solution in search of a problem from what I can see. 

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mickeym3

Deadpool, er I mean Deadboy; all the imperial data in the world doesn’t trump common sense and in my case, first hand experience as a medic. Smacks of the old debate about mandatory seat belts “but without you can get thrown from the car and sometimes escape injury”. I race drag cars and I’m required by the sanctioning body to wear an approved helmet (not your flimsy DOT rating mind you), approved safety harness and fire suit.  I feel that I’m infinitely more at risk riding down the highway on my bike but I accept that risk given the great joy I derive from it.  But I also mitigate risks wherever possible. 

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PatM

Common sense, if we all had common sense there would be no need for laws. And since we don't have laws that require common sense, we have laws. Period. :(

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Deadboy
15 minutes ago, mickeym3 said:

Deadpool, er I mean Deadboy; all the imperial data in the world doesn’t trump common sense and in my case, first hand experience as a medic. Smacks of the old debate about mandatory seat belts “but without you can get thrown from the car and sometimes escape injury”. I race drag cars and I’m required by the sanctioning body to wear an approved helmet (not your flimsy DOT rating mind you), approved safety harness and fire suit.  I feel that I’m infinitely more at risk riding down the highway on my bike but I accept that risk given the great joy I derive from it.  But I also mitigate risks wherever possible. 

Well thankfully you don't get to make that decision for the rest of us. You do realize that exact logic would dictate outlawing motorcycles right?  How about mandatory hi-viz, leg protectors, seat belts....all of which have been proposed by advocates of safety....

 

One man's reasonable safety is anothers unacceptable restriction. 

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mickeym3

Deadpool, that same logic taken to extreme would outlaw virtually all recreational activities.  

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Deadboy
Just now, mickeym3 said:

Deadpool, that same logic taken to extreme would outlaw virtually all recreational activities.  

Better watch what you wish for....and all it would really take is a source of injury exclusion regarding most "risky" activities on the average health insurance policy and that would be the end.

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mickeym3

Don’t subscribe to extreme, I qualified my first statement with common sense being the necessity ingredient.  Don’t buy the injury exclusion clause since it already exists in certain employment contracts and again, if you fear the extreme of health insurance predicated on “risk” then suggest they start with smoking and obesity.

 

Not being argumentative, I’m actually neutral on this particular subject. If knot heads want to ride sans helmets then so be it. Only stating my personal opinion that helmets make sense. 

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Deadboy

That they do....I never ride without one.

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artig
On 12/18/2019 at 8:03 AM, Deadboy said:

I remember seeing a bunch of cool small sport bikes in New Zealand 22 years ago at a dealership....most were a few years old with very low mileage and when I asked the sales guy told me they had tiered licensing that required a certain # of months of ownership of a smaller bike prior to purchasing a larger one. As a result people bought them, parked them and then upgraded when the required time had passed. Do I think a new rider needs 150 HP? Nope....but most accidents happen at low speeds and insurance companies do charge more for new riders/higher HP so it is a solution in search of a problem from what I can see. 

 

Is it really 22 years ago? Sounds like you are still involved with motorcycle safety.

 

The tiered licensing has been changed since then. The limit used to be 250cc with no power limit. Now it's a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) based on capacity (max 660cc) and power to weight ratio max 150kW per tonne. A much more realistic limit and one which allows for larger bikes suitable for larger riders.

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Deadboy
8 hours ago, artig said:

 

Is it really 22 years ago? Sounds like you are still involved with motorcycle safety.

 

The tiered licensing has been changed since then. The limit used to be 250cc with no power limit. Now it's a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) based on capacity (max 660cc) and power to weight ratio max 150kW per tonne. A much more realistic limit and one which allows for larger bikes suitable for larger riders.

 

It really has been that long.....hope things are going well for you and yours, the wife still says we will move to NZ if we win the lottery. 

 

Interesting to hear about the change in tiered licensing, but I suspect it will have little or no meaningful effect on accident rates. Believe me I wish it would, but the best predictor for a rider having  an accident remains to be seat time.....18 months seems to be the magic # where people cross over from beginner to intermediate. Obviously miles are critical but I have never seen a specific # cited.

 

Thanks again for your hospitality Arti, it was a pleasure to meet you and I would still welcome the opportunity to repay your kindness. 

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gordiet

It’s personal choice what you year, period! I wear all the gear including a HeLite an air bag vest . I also carry a gun.

GT

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gordiet
On 3/10/2019 at 1:42 AM, mickeym3 said:

Obvious many on the forum have never been first on the scene of a serious head injury accident or worked in a ER. It ain’t pretty. 

Well I’ve been the first person on the scene of motorcycle accident. Problem was, it was me in the wreck. 
GT

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Deadboy
On 3/10/2019 at 1:42 AM, mickeym3 said:

Obvious many on the forum have never been first on the scene of a serious head injury accident or worked in a ER. It ain’t pretty. 

 

Sadly I have, saw a young man killed while I was walking to school in 8th grade. He was on a bicycle and got hit by a car right in front of a group of us, died slowly and was conscious for much of it....as well as two riders who were in accidents, luckily both of them survived. 

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artig
14 hours ago, Deadboy said:

 

It really has been that long.....hope things are going well for you and yours, the wife still says we will move to NZ if we win the lottery. 

 

Interesting to hear about the change in tiered licensing, but I suspect it will have little or no meaningful effect on accident rates. Believe me I wish it would, but the best predictor for a rider having  an accident remains to be seat time.....18 months seems to be the magic # where people cross over from beginner to intermediate. Obviously miles are critical but I have never seen a specific # cited.

 

Thanks again for your hospitality Arti, it was a pleasure to meet you and I would still welcome the opportunity to repay your kindness. 

 

Thanks, Deadboy. Unfortunately my days of long-distance travel are over, and riding is only an occasional activity. Which again means I have to be extra careful as I no longer have the everyday experience with riding.

 

Together with the LAMS bikes (which is apparently the same system as in Australia) there are other incentives. Our ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) provides substantial support to rider training days, both for beginners and experienced, together with lower registration fees for those who complete the 3 levels of training. Only one day each. It would be interesting to see if the riders who have completed the training days have fewer crashes than other riders. Unfortunately there are still far too many single-vehicle motorcycle crashes, as well as the SMIDSY type crashes.

 

BTW you should perhaps check the year on your marriage certificate. :grin: You're both still welcome to come back, even without winning the lottery.

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Deadboy

That's good to know, I will do some digging and see if there is any data available to allow a comparison between the accident rates before and after this system was implimented.

 

And yes you are correct, it has has 16 year since the wife and I were in NZ (Jan. 2004).....it has been 22 since we first met back in Seattle and started dating.....where does the time go.

 

Would love to visit again but keep finding new places to go riding....seriously considering Portugal this fall.

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