Are Motorcycle Helmets Saving Lives?


| 8 Comments

As we've all seen or heard, motorcycles can be very risky and fatal. But when we see or hear about an accident we ask ourselves "why wouldn't you just wear the helmet?" 

I found an article about Michigan's law for wearing helmets. It assesses the differences between non-helmet to helmeted riders' percentages of injury.  This article shows that 5% of non-helmeted riders are more likely to be killed compared to 2% of riders who wear helmets.  While 15% of non-helmeted riders opposed to 20% of helmeted riders are more likely to have no injuries. 

Additionally, take a look at this other post on NewsOk by Jack Wagner about fatalities and freedom.  Wagner found from National Transportation Safety Board that "unhelmeted riders are three times more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than those wearing helmets."  Jack  also mentions how one should not argue lack of freedom by laws stating to wear a helmet because as he says "it's about saving lives."

I want to point out one more important fact about laws stating (or not stating) to wear helmets while on a motorcycle.  Provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state's including Illinois, California, Washington, and Louisiana "data showed approximately the same trend: When universal helmet laws are enacted, helmet use increases, and fatalities and serious injuries decrease. When these laws are repealed, helmet use decreases, and injuries and associated costs increase, far exceeding the number of new motorcycles registered." Lastly, "motorcyclist fatalities increase when a helmet law is repealed." 

I'm going to have to agree with Wagner in this case. As he says "it's about saving lives." -Jack Wagner

This is my brother. He just bought his first bike on Wednesday. Notice, he's wearing a helmet. 

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8 Comments

I think this topic is a very important one for us to discuss. Its scary how many people ride around with no form of protection whatsoever. The risk of fatality in a motorcycle crash is clearly a lot greater. It's frightening that this seems to go unnoticed by certain motorcycle drivers. Hopefully people will realize that they are putting themselves in danger and will strap on that helmet!

Well helmets don't guarantee saved lives for sure, but they could greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash while on a motorcycle. I mean if you are driving a motorcycle you are already taking the risk that a crash on it has a high chance of death or serious damage. I can say though if you take a fall on a bike and you have a helmet it will surely protect your head from damage as opposed to a fall with no helmet.

My dad has been riding for nearly 40 years now and I am going for my license soon. One thing I find interesting is that depending on the speed you will be traveling, different helmets are made for different standards. There are two helmet rating systems, SNELL and DOT. DOT is better for everyday riding whereas SNELL caters more to high speeds and racing. Here's an interesting article I found which compares the two.
http://www.smf.org/docs/articles/dot

While it may not guarantee surviving a crash, I'm a big advocate for wearing helmets. Last year I received news that one of my friends from high school died when she was riding with her dad on his motorcycle. They got in an accident and were both thrown from the vehicle. They both died from head trauma. If they had been wearing helmets, their chances of surviving would've skyrocketed.

I realize that's anecdotal, but seriously, how hard is it to wear a helmet when on a bike?

While helmets do keep you safe, they aren't the "be-all end-all" to keeping someone totally risk free from potentially serious or fatal injuries resulting from an accident. Just being on a motorcycle itself put a person at a great risk, but wearing a helmet is most definitely the route to go, especially when choosing between wearing one and not wearing one.

Is wearing helmets optional in Pennsylvania? I have noticed a significant number of people riding without them, and it seems like they are just asking to get hurt. Where I am from, it is against the law to NOT wear a helmet and I think that's the way it should be here. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/06/state-by-state-guide-to-motorcycle-helmet-laws/index.htm

I was in Bangladesh this past summer and one thing that i noticed was that it was very common to find more than two people sharing a motorcycle which i thought was a bit terrifying but on top of that frequently none of them would be wearing a helmet. I was baffled to see how careless people are with their lives and i think that it should be an international law that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is illegal.

My oldest brother has had several motorcycles and he has worn a helmet every single time he rode. He wouldn't ever let me get on with him in fear or something bad happening, but every time he crashed his, he swears the helmets saved his life. You never know, some people die of freak accidents, some of true fatalities.

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