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  1. #1
    Moondog
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  2. #2
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    Direct costs from deaths and injuries due to motorcycle crashes were $16 billion in 2010, but the full cost is likely higher because long-term medical expenses are difficult to measure, a government report said.


    OK, that's a lot of money we're contributing to our health care industry.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  3. #3
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    OK - you opened the door, so I'll step in for a moment - then run for cover.

    As a professional motorcycle instructor, the whole "debate" over mandatory helmet use is vexing.

    I did however take note of the analogy from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, that education alone is hardly the answer. They mentioned that "What.....because you took a driver's ed course, you now no longer need to wear a seatbelt?"

    Federal government thought otherwise. Under threat of withholding federal highway funds, 49 states now maintain some variation of mandatory seatbelt laws, and New Hampshire has them for under the age of 18.

    I speak from experience since I was in law enforcement thru those transitional years - didn't matter whether you began wearing a seatbelt because it made sense or because you feared enforcement consequences, death and serious injruies declined. Go figure.

    Mandatory helmet use seems a bit more inflamatory an issue - infringes on our "right" to die or be rendered vegatative from most head injuries.

    For now, it's a moot point - the NTSB threw in the towel and no longer rattle their sabers over denying funding for road repairs, bridge replacement, etc. in exchange for universal helmet use. And I do question whether or not a fatal crash averages $1.2 million.

    But with legions of lawyers out there to make sure that no matter what happens to us, it's somebody else's fault and they must pay, should costs continue to skyrocket, the feds may again realign their priorities.

    We already have a perception problem with the general public, who vote in far greater numbers than we do. They think we're reckless and/or obnoxious. Some of us are. But I think most (certainly in the BMW demographic) are more orientated towards safety.

    Nothing gives a better first impression to the non-riding public than going past them wearing a helmet. It's the ultimate PR tool for our chosen form of transportation.

    Think your chances in a crash scenario are better sans helmet? I don't even have an intelligent comeback for that.

    But money talks, and if cycle crash dollars keep climbing, a majority opinion will rule.

    I think a combination of educating the public, the rider and always wearing a helmet would ultimately benefit the motorcycling community.

    Give it some thought - perhaps worthy of a New Year's resolution?!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 11-29-2012 at 04:11 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  4. #4
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    Hi-Viz Clothing

    I recently switched from an old First Gear black-and-grey riding suit to a Hi-Viz jacket and a Hi-Viz Shoei helmet. Since doing that, I've had at least two motorists (at gas stops) come up to me and say, "I wish all motorcyclists would wear that stuff."

    Black doesn't show oil, grease, road grime. . .and is also damn near invisible to distracted motorists, and baby, they are ALL distracted. IMHO, the seat of a moving motorcycle is NOT the place to issue a "fashion statement." [That said, I do wear a black leather suit every so often. Hey, it looks cool!]

    Walking Eagle

  5. #5
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Eagle View Post
    I recently switched from an old First Gear black-and-grey riding suit to a Hi-Viz jacket and a Hi-Viz Shoei helmet. Since doing that, I've had at least two motorists (at gas stops) come up to me and say, "I wish all motorcyclists would wear that stuff."

    Black doesn't show oil, grease, road grime. . .and is also damn near invisible to distracted motorists, and baby, they are ALL distracted. IMHO, the seat of a moving motorcycle is NOT the place to issue a "fashion statement." [That said, I do wear a black leather suit every so often. Hey, it looks cool!]

    Walking Eagle
    +1

    Exactly my way of thinking: making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  6. #6
    Moondog
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    Quote Originally Posted by aksuited View Post
    +1

    exactly my way of thinking: Making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    1+

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    +1

    Exactly my way of thinking: making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    Of course there's another thread nearby with the premise that they're deliberately out to get you. Making oneself more visible maybe only helps them.

    Wonder how many times anyone's seen a guy in a high-viz jacket but no helmet?

    No, high-viz is a diversion and the real issue will again be helmets and whether there are any reliable statistics proving the cost to society of allowing such silliness. Given the economy, this is really just another "entitlement" that might be looked at.
    Kent Christensen
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  8. #8
    Moondog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    OK - you opened the door, so I'll step in for a moment - then run for cover.

    As a professional motorcycle instructor, the whole "debate" over mandatory helmet use is vexing.

    I did however take note of the analogy from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, that education alone is hardly the answer. They mentioned that "because you take a driver's ed course, you now no longer need to wear a seatbelt?"

    Federal government thought otherwise. Under threat of withholding federal highway funds, 49 states now maintain mandatory seatbelt laws, and New Hampshire has them for under the age of 18.

    I speak from experience since I was in law enforcement thru those transitional years - didn't matter whether you began wearing a seatbelt because it made sense or because you feared enforcement consequences, death and serious injruies declined. Go figure.

    Mandatory helmet use seems a bit more inflamatory an issue - infringes on our "right" to die or be rendered vegatative from most head injuries.

    For now, it's a moot point - the NTSB threw in the towel and no longer rattle their sabers over denying funding for road repairs, bridge replacement, etc. in exchange for universal helmet use. And I do question whether or not a fatal crash averages $1.2 million.

    But with legions of lawyers out there to make sure that no matter what happens to us, it's somebody else's fault and they must pay, should costs continue to skyrocket, the feds may again realign their priorities.

    We already have a perception problem with the general public, who vote in far greater numbers than we do. They think we're reckless and/or obnoxious. Some of us are. But I think most (certainly in the BMW demographic) are more orientated towards safety.

    Nothing gives a better first impression to the non-riding public than going past them wearing a helmet. It's the ultimate PR tool for our chosen form of transportation.

    Think your chances in a crash scenario are better sans helmet? I don't even have an intelligent comeback for that.

    But money talks, and if cycle crash dollars keep climbing, a majority opinion will rule.

    I think a combination of educating the public, the rider and always wearing a helmet would ultimately benefit the motorcycling community.

    Give it some thought - perhaps worthy of a New Year's resolution?!
    I'm already under the covers!

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by moondog View Post
    I'm already under the covers!
    No kidding.

    Even the mere whisper of mandatory helmet use around here can exile you to the Witness Protection Program.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 11-29-2012 at 01:12 AM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  10. #10
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    No kidding.

    Even the mere whisper of mandatory helmet use around here can exile you to the Witness Protection Program.

    Kevin, you think that is bad ? try teaching a Harley Riders Edge class about ATGATT, Hi-Vis, Helmet use (not skid lids!), and then show up riding a BMW RT at the range

    What is even more fun is when BOTH instructors show up at the range on BMW's. It makes for interesting discussions !
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  11. #11
    iscream-stop
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    The funny thing is, I have so many family and friends who ride and all wear full face helmets. The one quote I have heard from all is "after I got hit in face with that, I can not understand how anyone would not wear a full face helmet!"
    How many accidents are caused by a rider getting hit by something and either knocked out or just silly enough to crash?
    I can not help but laugh when I see some "COOL" guy getting plastered by rain, squinting from wind, sunburnt, ETC. because they are too cool for a helmet. and when the cooler temps hit, all those guys that strap all kinds of crap to their faces to protect from cold because thats better and quicker than putting on a helmet.
    Sorry little off topic.

  12. #12
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Honestly, this battle has been lost to the folks that demand the right to incur head trauma. No amount of logic can ever change their core belief that they have a divine / constitutional right to a pointless level of risk that others will pay for.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  13. #13
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Honestly, this battle has been lost to the folks that demand the right to incur head trauma. No amount of logic can ever change their core belief that they have a divine / constitutional right to a pointless level of risk that others will pay for.
    Logic will not change their mind, but maybe their insurance company can by adjusting coverage and/or rates based on the level of protective gear actually worn.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    Logic will not change their mind, but maybe their insurance company can by adjusting coverage and/or rates based on the level of protective gear actually worn.
    No employer or insurance company is going to "drill down" to that level of actuarial detail to determine rates for an individual. Besides, the expense of head trauma will be born by social security and medicaid, once the lifetime benefit is exceeded. Thus, it is ultimately is a welfare issue.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  15. #15
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    No employer or insurance company is going to "drill down" to that level of actuarial detail to determine rates for an individual. Besides, the expense of head trauma will be born by social security and medicaid, once the lifetime benefit is exceeded. Thus, it is ultimately is a welfare issue.
    The main issue with protection requirements seems to be the costs to others of preventable injuries. I'm speculating along the lines of basing paid out coverage on the actual circumstances of an accident. So if you scrape your ear off on the asphalt because your helmet was strapped to the seat, you get to pay your own medical bills. Or if you did not survive, the insurance pays $X to your estate versus $5X dollars to a helmeted riders estate. If the rider knows in advance he will not wear a helmet, let him pay a higher rate for full insurance. Maybe the broken leg would be covered, but not the skin grafts for the abrasions since you were wearing shorts when that car cut you off.

    The intent being to base the payout on the riders' willingness to accept responsibility for his own safety as reflected in his choice of protection, even if another party is at fault.

    Yeah, this sounds harsh, so it will never happen in our society. As a whole, we seldom expect individuals to live with the results of their own stupidity.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

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