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snoogit

Whats the big deal about wearing a helmet?

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Are some people so vain over Helmet hair that they want to repeal this motorcycle helmet regulation law?

I don't understand the drive to abolish the mandatory helmet law, we already have a mandatory seatbelt law...

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Not to sound blunt and up front, but here's my take on the helmet issue. When riding a motorcycle, you're only as smart as what you wear on your head.

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I don't have a whole lot of friends who ride motorcycles, but I know one who feels the same about the helmet law as he does about the seatbelt law. He thinks he should be able to decide whether or not to protect himself. Unfortunately, due to Michigan insurance law, you shouldn't be given that option.

Here's why you should be forced to wear both. In Michigan the state reimburses no-fault auto insurance companies for medical claims exceeding $375,000. This is also true of motorcyclists who are in accidents with automobiles. (If the accident doesn't involve a car they are not entitled to this benefit.) Because of this the state should be able to make you stay as safe as possible to minimize car accident injurys.

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Yeah, the libertarian take on the whole helmet/seat belt issue is good...in theory.

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Yeah, the libertarian take on the whole helmet/seat belt issue is good...in theory.

Care to expound? That was just my opinion as an industry professional.

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Care to expound? That was just my opinion as an industry professional.

Sure, why not?

In a perfect world, risky behaviors would be kept at a minimum because the public would take time out of their busy lives to educate themselves on risky behaviors, and would fully understand the negative consequences to themselves, their families, and the greater society. And, those that chose to follow through with these risky behaviors (i.e. over-eating, smoking, excessive drinking, riding without a helmet...) would take more perparations and precautions fully understanding the risk. In that world, costs to the individual for anything that may happen to them because of their risky behavior would outweigh the costs to the greater society. That is, again, in a perfect world which doesn't take into account the reality of human nature.

Because we don't live in that perfect world, and because so many (too many) shirk common sense and self-education thereby placing the brunt on the costs on society and not themselves, I can definitely see and understand the argument, for instance, for requiring helmets, seat belts, and the like. Now, there are quite a few things the government should stay out because they don't cause enough of a harm/cost (or not at all) to the greater public to warrant extra meddling, but there are some issues where it is in the greater interest of public safety and health for proper regulations to be established and enforced, and I can definitely see a good argument for this one, in particular. This could very well be argued as an issue where the government not only has the right, but the obligation in good conscience to require helmets, esepcially as this is an issue where this particular risky behavior has a MUCH great risk in ending in instantaneous death, paralyzation, or other great bodily harm than many other risky behaviors who's effects aren't necessarily as sudden or instant, and thus we can give the chance-takers in those particular risky behaviors more, lee-way in time to accept and act on their presonal responsibility.

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In riding a motorcycle though, if you're in an accident. You're most likely screwed anyway. So wearing a helmet is nothing more than a dog and pony show. I think if the government is going to make laws telling people how to take care of themselves. They should make laws against frivolous law suits, and start making people accountable for their own stupid actions.

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Sure, why not?

In a perfect world, risky behaviors would be kept at a minimum because the public would take time out of their busy lives to educate themselves on risky behaviors, and would fully understand the negative consequences to themselves, their families, and the greater society. And, those that chose to follow through with these risky behaviors (i.e. over-eating, smoking, excessive drinking, riding without a helmet...) would take more perparations and precautions fully understanding the risk. In that world, costs to the individual for anything that may happen to them because of their risky behavior would outweigh the costs to the greater society. That is, again, in a perfect world which doesn't take into account the reality of human nature.

Because we don't live in that perfect world, and because so many (too many) shirk common sense and self-education thereby placing the brunt on the costs on society and not themselves, I can definitely see and understand the argument, for instance, for requiring helmets, seat belts, and the like. Now, there are quite a few things the government should stay out because they don't cause enough of a harm/cost (or not at all) to the greater public to warrant extra meddling, but there are some issues where it is in the greater interest of public safety and health for proper regulations to be established and enforced, and I can definitely see a good argument for this one, in particular. This could very well be argued as an issue where the government not only has the right, but the obligation in good conscience to require helmets, esepcially as this is an issue where this particular risky behavior has a MUCH great risk in ending in instantaneous death, paralyzation, or other great bodily harm than many other risky behaviors who's effects aren't necessarily as sudden or instant, and thus we can give the chance-takers in those particular risky behaviors more, lee-way in time to accept and act on their presonal responsibility.

I agree with your point about human nature. It gets to a point to where some people will not wear seat belts or helmets despite the law. In that case what I think the state could do is hit those people where it hurts the most, the pocket book. If the person not abiding to the helmet or seatbelt laws gets into an accident, by law insurance companies involved, such as auto and medical should not have to cover that person's injuries and damage to his / her vehicle. I think that alone would be an effective deturant to anybody's complacencies.

Atleast that would be so for me. Looking at about 20,000 dollars to replace a totaled vehicle and a few hundred thousand dollars of medical care to patch up injuries sustained, would make me wear a helmet or wear seatbelts everytime I hit the road.

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In riding a motorcycle though, if you're in an accident. You're most likely screwed anyway. So wearing a helmet is nothing more than a dog and pony show. I think if the government is going to make laws telling people how to take care of themselves. They should make laws against frivolous law suits, and start making people accountable for their own stupid actions.

Torte reform won't solve anything, it never has. Everytime some measure of torte reform has taken place, it just closes some loopholes, and makes others open.

Helmets have been shown to reduce serious head injury, although I dont have the figures I do know that head trauma is much more expensive to care for then any other form of trauma. Which is why wearing a helmet, and reducing head trauma would save the state more money in the long run.

The only other option is to eliminate insurance reimbursement on claims over $375,000...

Which will get sent back to you in the form of higher insurance bills.

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In riding a motorcycle though, if you're in an accident. You're most likely screwed anyway. So wearing a helmet is nothing more than a dog and pony show. I think if the government is going to make laws telling people how to take care of themselves. They should make laws against frivolous law suits, and start making people accountable for their own stupid actions.

I can tell you that my neighbor's sister wore a helmet and was involved in an accident where she literally flew off the bike into a tree and then bounced off the tree into an oncoming car. Thankfully she lived, but now is confined to a 30,000 dollar wheel chair for the rest of her life. There are just so many types of accidents where a helmet would be effective, yet so many where it doesn't even matter.

For me this situation can be summed up with the fact that the streets are public. This is the public domain and it is referred to as a privilege to operate a vehicle within terms on the street. It's much like the Airwaves, the public has the right to dictate the terms.

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I can tell you that my neighbor's sister wore a helmet and was involved in an accident where she literally flew off the bike into a tree and then bounced off the tree into an oncoming car. Thankfully she lived, but now is confined to a 30,000 dollar wheel chair for the rest of her life. There are just so many types of accidents where a helmet would be effective, yet so many where it doesn't even matter.

For me this situation can be summed up with the fact that the streets are public. This is the public domain and it is referred to as a privilege to operate a vehicle within terms on the street. It's much like the Airwaves, the public has the right to dictate the terms.

If your neighbor's sister had an airbag built into her bike, I wonder if it would have helped reduce her injuries?

Link: Motercycle with a carlike Airbag

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I agree with your point about human nature. It gets to a point to where some people will not wear seat belts or helmets despite the law. In that case what I think the state could do is hit those people where it hurts the most, the pocket book. If the person not abiding to the helmet or seatbelt laws gets into an accident, by law insurance companies involved, such as auto and medical should not have to cover that person's injuries and damage to his / her vehicle. I think that alone would be an effective deturant to anybody's complacencies.

Atleast that would be so for me. Looking at about 20,000 dollars to replace a totaled vehicle and a few hundred thousand dollars of medical care to patch up injuries sustained, would make me wear a helmet or wear seatbelts everytime I hit the road.

Good points you made as well, though, I think you're more responsible than your average American. We are increasingly shirking personal and social responsibility, and as long as we do that, than the government's going to have to be the one to take up those that we drop, whether we like it or not. Either that, or no one takes responsibility and we pay like we never have before in money, health, and overall productivity. I do see a place for government intervention/regulation when society refuses to take, head on, its job of protecting its own through education and leading by examples. Risk education is increasingly falling on deaf ears, and because of that we either let the government preform their obligation to pick up where we refuse to pick up, or where we left off, or we suffer more and further down the road.

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For me this situation can be summed up with the fact that the streets are public. This is the public domain and it is referred to as a privilege to operate a vehicle within terms on the street. It's much like the Airwaves, the public has the right to dictate the terms.

Another good point, and something I hadn't thought of.

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Good points you made as well, though, I think you're more responsible than your average American. We are increasingly shirking personal and social responsibility, and as long as we do that, than the government's going to have to be the one to take up those that we drop, whether we like it or not. Either that, or no one takes responsibility and we pay like we never have before in money, health, and overall productivity. I do see a place for government intervention/regulation when society refuses to take, head on, its job of protecting its own through education and leading by examples. Risk education is increasingly falling on deaf ears, and because of that we either let the government preform their obligation to pick up where we refuse to pick up, or where we left off, or we suffer more and further down the road.

You've hit a very scarry nerve when pointing out the fact that we as a society are neglecting responsibilities forcing the government to pick up the slack. Yes I agree that this is happening, which is very unfortunate because a succusful democratic society places responsibility upon the shouders of all its people and depends upon citizens to carry them out. This is why Americans, from our grand parents on back, valued atonamy, the ability to support one self, do what needs to be done, and control one's own destiny. But atonamy is not valued as highly by many in current generations and handing resonsibilities to the government. This is a very bad thing because the more we hand over to the government, more freedoms we the people lose. Why did Communism fail? Becuase it placed too much control and responsibilities upon the government leaving no sense of control to the people. The people's inability to control their own destinies is not condusive to thinkers, inventors, the very people needed to advance society to the next level making for a stagnet society doomed to failure.

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I was in Myrtle Beach this weekend, and today's paper had this article on what has happened there now that SC has gotten rid of its helmet requirement. For comparison purposes, SC is fairly rural state compared to Michigan with only 4.5 million people.

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You've hit a very scarry nerve when pointing out the fact that we as a society are neglecting responsibilities forcing the government to pick up the slack. Yes I agree that this is happening, which is very unfortunate because a succusful democratic society places responsibility upon the shouders of all its people and depends upon citizens to carry them out. This is why Americans, from our grand parents on back, valued atonamy, the ability to support one self, do what needs to be done, and control one's own destiny. But atonamy is not valued as highly by many in current generations and handing resonsibilities to the government. This is a very bad thing because the more we hand over to the government, more freedoms we the people lose. Why did Communism fail? Becuase it placed too much control and responsibilities upon the government leaving no sense of control to the people. The people's inability to control their own destinies is not condusive to thinkers, inventors, the very people needed to advance society to the next level making for a stagnet society doomed to failure.

I completely agree, and it is scary. I was once considered an overly-optimistic person to the chagrin of some, but I'm increasingly seeing a much more scary and dark future for this country. It's definitely not headed in the right direction on many fronts. Even the least and poorest of us in society are becoming more and more apathetic and spoiled by our great wealth, and even 9/11 was a big enough wake up call to make us vigilant of our increasing apathy and laziness in terms of bolstering the grand ideals this country was founded upon. We eat too much, we drive to much and too fast, we're increasingly becoming disconnected from one another, the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider...the future is looking pretty grim, to say the least, and this is apart from the current political situations. This helmet issue is a tiny tip on a much larger social iceburg that we've been ignoring since we decided to socially devolve post-WWII.

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Here's why you should be forced to wear both. In Michigan the state reimburses no-fault auto insurance companies for medical claims exceeding $375,000. This is also true of motorcyclists who are in accidents with automobiles. (If the accident doesn't involve a car they are not entitled to this benefit.) Because of this the state should be able to make you stay as safe as possible to minimize car accident injurys.

There's an easy way to decrease this cost. BE AWARE OF MOTORCYCLES! If the state makes me wear a helmet it isn't going to decrease my risk of being in an accident with a car. You may not realize it because you don't ride a bike and you don't have friends that ride but many people in cars are oblivious to motorcyclists. I can't count the number of times I've almost been run off the road because someone didn't look before merging, turning etc. It's absolutely rediculous and I've even thought of just racing my bike and retiring from street riding because of it. I'd like to see some data that shows how many motorcycle accidents include cars vs. how many don't, I bet you'd be surprised.

I'd wear a helmet with or without the law in place but I don't know if I'd vote against the law if I had the chance. Risky or not being on a motorcyle is a great deal of fun and there are many responsible people on bikes. If I could propose something to decrease accidents I would limit the size of the bike you could ride depending on your age. There are way to many young kids going out and buying their first bike that are way too powerful. If you ask me they're just asking for trouble. And now I'm getting off on a tangent so I'll stop.

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Are some people so vain over Helmet hair that they want to repeal this motorcycle helmet regulation law?

From what I understand from my friends with bikes, wearing a helmet considerably cuts down your peripheral vision and your ability to hear while riding. Both these friends have had bikes in non-helmet states though, so they've actually got some riding experience without a helmet and they've lived to tell about it. You wouldn't catch me without a helmet though.

Just my $.02

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I know some die hard bikers that wear helmets because the bikes are too loud. I had ambitions of riding a bike just to say I rode a bike, but I've seen and know of situations where helmets only protected the head while the rest of the body was found somewhere else. I'm sure these types of accidents are few and far between, but I said no after personal experiences with folks that have messed up on the bikes.

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If I could propose something to decrease accidents I would limit the size of the bike you could ride depending on your age. There are way to many young kids going out and buying their first bike that are way too powerful. If you ask me they're just asking for trouble. And now I'm getting off on a tangent so I'll stop.

If you mean bringing under control those young punks that go screaming down the road at warp six on their Suzuki / Kawasaki Ninja sport bikes, then yes it would be a fabulous idea to limit the size of the bikes according to age. I've seen way too many yong riders do stupid things on the those type of bikes and get hurt. To illustrate, a month and a half ago I saw a snot nosed idiot on his sport bike pulling a wheely across the intersection of Lake Michigan and Wilson, the most dangerous inersections in town outside of Alpine Ave. and Greenridge Dr. He nearly got ran over by a semi crossing the inersection. Here's another case. A kid one of my brother's friends knew lost control of his sport bike and was killed.

I know there are those out there that are into those type of bikes and can handle them properly. Thus my ranting is not aimed at them. Infact its impressive to see a rider with the experience to handle a sport bike and ride it to its full performance potential. But its the inexperienced snot nosed punks that think they can handle the sport bikes and get hurt that annoys me to no end because they will ruin it for everybody.

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From what I understand from my friends with bikes, wearing a helmet considerably cuts down your peripheral vision and your ability to hear while riding. Both these friends have had bikes in non-helmet states though, so they've actually got some riding experience without a helmet and they've lived to tell about it. You wouldn't catch me without a helmet though.

Just my $.02

I don't really agree with this. Helmets don't considerably cut down peripheral vision, unless they were wearing some P.O.S. helmet. Newer full face helmets have been designed to give you as much vision as possible. For an example, I can't see the sides of my helmet at all when I'm wearing it. As far as hearing goes, most people I know have to wear ear plugs while riding because it's loud. Helmets don't cut down your hearing, the noise of the bike does and even with earplugs in I can hear what's going on around me.

tamias6, that's exactly what I'm talking about. If we could limit the size of the engines people could ride depending on age, kids would be able to learn to ride more safely and not have 150hp under them and the ability to do well over 100mph. All manufacturers make bikes that are smaller in size and easier to ride but everyone wants the fastest thing out there. Dealerships don't help either because they push the fast, big $ bikes to everyone, including people who have never riden before.

Anyone think that we're losing some tourist dollars by keeping the helmet law? No states around us have helmet laws so if someone wants to ride here from say Illinois, they have to bring a helmet. Well, if they don't have one or just refuse to wear one they're definately not riding in MI.

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I understand the insurance company's need for people to protect themselves or try to anyway by minimizing their injuries if involved in an accident but lets be honest here . . .is wearing my selt beat going to make me a better driver? What about the speed demons and drunk drivers out there or the folks talking on their cell phones or putting on make-up, etc. etc. all issues that would cause one to have an accident. Road rage anyone? Come on . . .the responsibility, fines, etc. need to be a lot stiffer and a lot harder on those folks, not the ones who forgot to buckle up!

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