100
1 vote
Apr 4, 2015

Helmets save lives, so yes, they should be mandatory.

In 2011 4,612 motorcycle riders in the U.S. died in crashes. Alternatives are costly and/or ineffective. Also there is no evidence that motorcycle rider training reduces crash risk. Critics of helmets laws often say that helmets cause neck and spinal injuries during crashes and restrict vision, etc. Bollocks; death rates from head injuries are twice as high among motorcyclists in places without all-rider helmet laws. Motorcycle helmets are about 40% effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 70% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Reply to this opinion
subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
main reply
2 votes,
Apr 4, 2015

although i agree with you, the word mandatory is troubling.there are situations when it should be a choice.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
2 votes,
Apr 4, 2015

What situations do you have in mind? Helmet protects head from injuries - that's a fact. Risk of death or serious injuries is too high to just not wear it. Accidents happen. If there is the slightest chance of accident, it will happen sooner or later. Of course you must buy the helmet first, it costs money, it's not super cheap, but I think my life is more valuable than money.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
75
4 votes,
Apr 4, 2015

mandatory is just another word for oppression by government. as for situations of choice, helmets are too constrictive and limits your senses especially in rural and farm areas. this 'one size fits all', demeans a person of the ability to have control of their own lives. i personally despise the dumbest government, in my opinion, telling me i'm stupider than they are.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
1 vote,
Apr 4, 2015

You have a valid point but there should be a way to protect people from harm. Do you have any idea how to achieve that? Adding exceptions to the "mandatory rule" may cause confusion.

And I don't mean that people are stupid or something like that... No. They're just sometimes a bit careless... or reckless... Should they be left alone? Should they be allowed to do reckless things and die?

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
3 votes,
Apr 4, 2015

As much as it concerns me, you can't stop people from being foolish. I had a friend die because of not wearing a helmet. No law would have would have changed that. He, and many others would just try to outrun the police, which would put many more at risk. So trying to educate and keep awareness, 'as you are', is probably the best thing that can be done.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
0
User voted Yes.
linked reply
0 votes,
Jul 20, 2015

You can't outrun the police. Many people know that now so it's not often attempted.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
main reply
1 vote,
Apr 4, 2015

Helmets save lives, so yes, they should be mandatory.

What if someone doesn't want a "daddy" to protect him? How about giving him the freedom to decide whether he wants to be protected or not?

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
1 vote,
Apr 4, 2015

If you get into a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, you won't necessarily die. You might just have severe brain damage. I know of a speech therapist whose first job out of school was teaching twenty-something young men how to talk again after they went riding without helmets. I imagine those guys also had surgeries, physical therapy, and other re-training of their motor functions. I dare say that they gave up a lot more personal freedom by not wearing helmets than they would have by wearing them. But one thing that's definitely not free is all that health care. Do you think their insurance covered all that care, assuming they even had insurance? Or do you suppose some of those costs got passed on to the taxpayers of that state? Or maybe the hospital made up any shortfalls by raising prices for everyone else. If you want the "freedom" to make a mess of your life, maybe you ought to make sure you have enough money to clean up that mess.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
0
User voted No.
0 votes,
Dec 30, 2015

It's just as easy to state that I assume they did have insurance, hospitals did not raise prices, and no taxes were used to cover the costs.

But... none of that really matters anyway.

Taxes will be spent on things that someone somewhere (a taxpayer themselves) disagrees with. On this issue, taxes that cover the cost of medical care (which you disagree with) also cover the cost to enforce helmet laws (which others disagree with).

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
0
0 votes,
Dec 31, 2015

Lonescu, my overall point was to address what Malooney was saying about the freedom to decide whether or not to wear a helmet. I was pointing out that severe head injuries can considerably limit freedom, and that if you don't have the money to pay for your accident related health care yourself, you are limiting other people's freedom by making them take up the slack. A person concerned about individual freedom should consider not just their own individual freedom, but that of others. Mahooney compared the helmet law to having a "daddy" to protect him. If you don't want "daddy" to protect you from head injury, don't expect "daddy" to pick up the bill for your hospitalization. If a person can afford to pay for his/her own hospitalization/rehabilitation, and doesn't mind having some permanent impairments, I suppose it's his/her right to choose that risk.

I don't necessarily disagree with tax money being spent on health care, but let's be consistent. If you take a Libertarian view of personal risks, it's not fair to then put the responsibility of the consequences on the State, i.e. taxpayers.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
100
main reply
1 vote,
Apr 4, 2015

There is all kinds of evidence that training people to perform complicated tasks makes them better and safer at completing those tasks. Rider training does what it is supposed to do. It trains people to be better riders. Better riders crash less. You may be right in that the risk of crashing is the same, but training gives you the skills to perceive the risk, weigh the risk and perhaps even avoid the risk in the first place.

Helmets help prevent injury and death in the event of a crash. Even the most highly trained people can crash, sometimes from their own mistakes and sometimes just because stuff happens. It is the rider's responsibility to be as safe as possible. To that end, I believe everyone should choose to wear all of the gear all of the time, including a helmet.

Seatbelts are mandated. Air bags are mandated. Safety glass is mandated, padded dashes are mandated, child safety seats are mandated, There are lots of mandated safety items. Personally, I think helmets should be mandated too. Maybe even for car occupants More people die from head injuries in car accidents than in motorcycle accidents. The safety gear should be mandated where it will do the most good. Of course, helmeted auto drivers will just have one more excuse for not seeing that motorcyclist.

Did you know that 234,094 people were injured in bathroom injuries in 2008? Maybe we should outlaw bathtubs.

We can get overzealous in protecting people from themselves. At some point, you have to let people do what they need to do and be there to pick up the pieces when they fall on their face.

subscribe
::unhide-discussion::
0
0 votes,
Dec 31, 2015

When you say that 234,094 people were injured in bathrooms in 2008, what do you classify as an "injury"? Are all 234,094 serious injuries, like slipping in the tub and hitting one's head? Or does that number also include cutting oneself shaving and scorching one's hair with a curling iron?

Bathing has its risks surely, but cleanliness is necessary to good health, whereas motorcycle riding is not. There are risks in life no matter what we do, but there are things that simply don't need to be done. As for your point about people having more fatal head injuries in car accidents than on motorcycles, that may simply be a function of the vastly greater numbers of people who drive and/or ride in cars compared to the number of motorcycle riders. To have a fair comparison between the two, you would have to calculate the number of head injuries for every 100,000 motorcyclists versus the number of head injuries per 100,000 car drivers and passengers.

subscribe
Challenge someone to answer this opinion:
Invite an OpiWiki user:
OR
Invite your friend via email:
OR
Share it: