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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Helmet or Not To Helmet

Sigh,  this is one of those things that seems to bring a humongo debate and raise a great deal of ire when someone comments.  I am not going into the debate of whether someone should or should not wear a helmet or if it should or shouldn't be a law.  This is just simply an observation on my part and well, my choice.

The past few months it seems that there has been quite a few motorcycle fatalaties here in the Colorado Springs area.  Death is always tragic no matter how it occurs.  One incident that stuck in my mind was a few weeks ago when a woman, riding her Harley, was killed on Interstate 25.  She was not wearing her helmet.  Honestly, had she been wearing a helmet, she would not have survived.  It was my understanding that she was cut off in traffic and tried to avoid a collision.  In doing so, she hit the guardrail and was more or less decapitated. 

I think the saddest thing was the reaction from the readership from the on-line newspaper article.  There were quite a few heartless comments left regarding this woman not wearing her helmet.  Things like "she got what she deserved" and "I don't feel bad since she chose not to wear a helmet".  With no information available to the readers about how she was killed.  Harumph.

Again, death is tragic no matter how it happens, especially when it is unexpected.  My heart goes out to the family for their loss.

As a rider, I am guilty of not wearing my headgear.  Most times that I do decide to put it on, I normally wear my half-helmet--which doesn't really offer a great deal of protection to my face.  Ask my friend Lucy in Florida--she can tell you about her crash that required reconstructive face surgery.  I do have a full-faced helmet and wear it occasionally.

It is my choice--unless the law tells me otherwise.  Of course, I say this from the side of never having a serious accident, and I hope that I or any other motorcyclist never has one.

My point is that when tragedy strikes, we should all be compassionate.  Death is never easy and losing a wife, mother, husband, father, sister, brother or child is traumatic.  My heart goes out to the family for their loss. I know that the rider, on that day, did not intend on this accident--but died doing something she loved--riding. 

That's all I've got to say about that.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine


Motorcycle Philosophy said...

Good article. I hear other Harley riders complain when a sportbike rider passes us by at 100mph, "That idiot is going to get himself killed". Well, the thing is that we only witnessed this guy in this once specific instance, yet found it justifiable to sum up his entire riding experience with the word, "idiot". Every rider I know has tried riding their bike up to 100mph at least once in their life. So really, what right do we have to call someone else an idiot? The point is that we are too quick to judge, and unwilling to look at the bigger picture.

Motorcycle Helmets said...

Good article

Greybeard said...

I pilot an EMS helicopter.
On far too many occasions I've helped load a motorcycle accident victim with a large portion of his/her skull missing, making it all too easy to see why the brain is called "gray matter".

As a fellow rider, (who has seen 135 once on the speedo Motorcycle Philosopher), I know how wonderful it is to feel the wind and hear ALL the sounds better. But insurance proceeds get eaten up pretty quickly when you've had the kind of accident I describe above, and as the victim you then become a ward of the State.
Is it fair to make the decision not to wear the helmet, then end up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of $$$$?

That's the risk you take when you pop off the brain bucket.

Christine said...

No, Greybeard, it is not fair. Life isn't fair either, tho.