I’ve been riding motorcycles for more years than I care to count for fear of dating myself too badly. During that time I’ve seen countless trends come and go. Whether discussing colors, mods or materials as soon as you think you’ve got it figured out someone comes along spouting ‘new and improved’! There are a few constants though and one that always rears up eventually is the helmet law. Should we as bikers, a group that openly displays our individuality and rebelliousness have any part of our uniform dictated to us? Or do we as riders have a responsibility to protect ourselves through not only defensive riding techniques but by also taking full advantage of all the technological advances offered in the latest safety gear?
I’ve had the opportunity a few times while on bike trips south of the boarder to go for a ride sans brain-bucket and have to admit that I totally chickened out! I really wanted to try it. Maybe it’s the way TV and the movies have romanticized it but there’s just something about the idea of rolling along the pavement with the wind in my hair and tattoo’d arms in the sun. Indeed the ultimate feeling of freedom while thumbing my nose at the establishment. I don’t know if it’s simply a part of my personal motorcycling uniform or if I subconsciously heard my mom telling me she’d take my riding privileges away if she ever caught me riding without my helmet, but I didn’t do it. But there are no shortages of riders, both tourists and locals alike that take full advantage of the right to choose.
Most of the time about many things in life I typically tend to be pro-choice and though it may go against the popular voice I have to say I’m all for mandatory helmet laws. I think that with the availability of inexpensive horsepower and the sheer volume of traffic, just to name a couple, the risks of life ending or altering damage multiplies exponentially! And keep in mind that the choice to wear a D.O.T. helmet affects directly more than just you. Should you go down the repercussions will be felt by not only your friends and family but also both the Healthcare system and the Insurance industry which in turn affects us all. Now I’m not saying that wearing a lid will eliminate all chances of injury and the residual effects but there is limitless evidence proving unarguably that a helmet dramatically reduces the severity of head trauma in a motorcycle accident.
As I said earlier I’ve been riding for many, many years and can say without doubt that I walk & talk normally not because I’ve never crashed but because when I have crashed I’ve been wearing my riding gear. I believe in the value of quality, properly fitted riding gear because it’s certainly saved me from much worse injury than I’ve ever suffered. And far more importantly my mom has never taken away my bike keys!
As always please feel encouraged and invited to share your thoughts, questions or concerns. I truely appreciate the feedback. Until then keep riding…