Helmet vs organ donation

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Stop CPR, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Stop CPR

    Stop CPR

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    Helmets VS organ donation

    I’m sure there have been numerous threads written about the freedom of choice to wear a helmet or to ride without. May I offer a unique view? I live in a state where wearing a motorcycle helmet for anyone over eighteen is optional. Everyday I go to work in a major trauma unit of a University hospital and I see the aftermath of that freedom of choice.

    Many of the trauma survivors I care for everyday have decided to not wear a helmet because they feel they risked hurting no one but themselves. How wrong they are! Surviving major head trauma, I discover many have no healthcare insurance because they are immortal and no one 24 is going to get sick. Who pays their astronomical hospital bill? The tax payers do. Who pays for their rehab? You and I do. Their families pay the untold price of heartache and worry waiting at the bedside to see if they will live or die.

    The only good that comes from not choosing to wear a helmet is the ready supply of organ donors we harvest. I would like to thank all you rice rocket pilots who tie on your doo-rags, slip on your wrap around sunglasses and speed on down the road. You will give someone else a second chance at life, something you apparently don’t value near enough.

    :soap:
     
  2. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker 1911

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    New Hampshire is also an optional helmet state for those over 18.

    Last summer I saw a guy pulled over, just over from the Massachussetts line on his big Twin tourer. He was swapping his "keep the man off my back" tupperwear helmet for a baseball hat. Hey, his choice, I guess.

    I also ran into a guy riding an R6 last summer at work. He thought it was great you don't have to wear a helmet in NH (he too was from Mass). He was telling me, "It's great! You don't have to wear a helmet so your head doesn't get as hot waiting in traffic!" Needless to say, I didn't let him in on any of my traffic-free routes that avoid having to wait for redlights and such.

    I always wear a helmet, and frequently earplugs to cut windnoise. Of course I am also attempting to save up enough money to get a full suit of leathers (I prefer to call it dead-cow ;) ). Personally, I think it is crazy to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, especially at 50+ mph.
     

  3. kf4zra

    kf4zra I miss ya Murph

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    im in FL, a helmet optional state. but i have spent too much time and money filling my brain up with stuff to waste it by spilling it all on the ground.

    i personally think it should be a choice to wear a helmet, but if you screw up, or someone else decides to splatter you, i shouldnt have to pay for it.
     
  4. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I don't have a problem with people riding without safety gear. It's their bodies. But I do think that getting free treatments is BS, although that goes along with illegals getting free medical treatments and all that stuff as well, so you can't blame it on the gearless riders. As far as their families suffering, well, too bad for them. I'm not their family and I don't care. I worry about my own self. I'll give advise once and that's gonna be it with my philanthropic endeavors. People are adults or adults who are responsible for their own children. As long as they don't overspeed or doing stunts on the freeway and jeopardize myself, I really don't care what they do. I wouldn't even waste one moment shaking my head over some guy/gal turning himself/herself into sausage meat when sliding on the pavement at 40MPH+. They know the risk.
     
  5. gixxer11

    gixxer11 bbrrraaapppppp!

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    I feel totaly naked with out mine. I've been in a major accident (85yr old man T-boned me, almost lost my right leg). Riding with out one IMO is just stupid, period. On the other hand I don't belive it should be mandatory. I DO judge people who don't. Thining out the heard. The riding experience is much better, too. Less wind noise, ablity to see, no road debris or bugs hiting you in the face, etc. My Shoei XSP2 or Arai RX-7RR4 (yes they are top of the line, if you don't want to spend that much, don't try one on. You'll never go back!) keep my head cool with plenty of ventalation. And I get tired of hearing about peripheral vision. Put a helmet on and try and see the sides of the visor. You'd have to be some sort of alien! If you are serious about riding you'd wear one. Posers and bar-hoppers don't. I don't ride with them. Bikes are nothing but fashion accesories to them. Gotta fit the "image".
     
  6. Compy

    Compy CompensateWhat?

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    While I personally wear my helmet, leather jacket and gloves everytime I ride, I'm getting sick of being preached to about it.

    If you want to wear it, great. If not, it's your choice. This country is about the freedom of choice. It's not my job to judge anyone but myself.
     
  7. Mad Ryan

    Mad Ryan

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    That's all fine and dandy but whenever a state goes from mandatory helmet use to optional helmet use everyone who rides a bike gets nailed in the keister by their insurance company, so IMO, I do have a say in what other people do.

    Also, people who don't wear the proper gear are morons. Plain and simple. I'm sorry if you can't afford the $450 for a decent leather jacket (one with armor built in or it's useless) and another hundred bucks for some good gloves, but if you can spring for the shiny new bike, you can spend an extra grand on safe riding gear. A good helmet, armored leathers, and gloves will often mean the difference between being "hurt" and being "injured" in the event of a crash. I've probably got a grand into my leathers, and another $400 into my helmet and then there's my gloves and boots. I'm more comfy when I ride, and more confident to boot. (as an added benefit, I can get on the racetrack without any hassle. ;f ) Even when it's triple digit temps here I wear my perforated leather jacket, boots, jeans, helmet, etc. That's for commuting. If I'm out shredding I wear the full meal deal.

    I assure you, there is nothing so uncool as picking up a buddy who is pinned under his bike which is in turn pinned under a guard rail, then talking to him so he doesn't die from shock while you keep his shattered extremeties elevated to keep the blood in his trunk because he is having a hard time staying awake. Nothing like looking down at about 8 inches of femur exposed... Oh yeah! ;g
     
  8. Compy

    Compy CompensateWhat?

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    Got proof of that?

    My insurance in AZ (optional helmet) is about 1/3 what I was paying in CA (mandantory helmet).

    While I agree that people should wear gear, I will fight to my death to defend their right to choose.
     
  9. Mad Ryan

    Mad Ryan

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    Just several members of the ZRXOA of which I'm a member who were living in a state back east that switched the law and their rates tripled from month to month. I'll look into it for you.
     
  10. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

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    I used to be one of those guys that hated wearing the helmet. One day, I decided to wear it only because my glasses were broke. Turns out that was the day the tanker truck driver decided not to check his blind spot. Even with the helmet, I sustained some serious injuries to the ol' brain housing group. Without it, I imagine it would have been like an overripe grape getting stepped on. Talk about a perspective changing experience.

    Anyway, I respect freedom of choice in the matter, provided one is willing to bear the responsibilities of that choice. Don't want to spend the dough on a helmet? then I hope you've spent it on a good health insurance policy.
     
  11. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    While I support someone's right to ride in whatever safety they choose to wear or not wear, and I support the idea of the gearless rider being responsible for all resulting injuries to themselves, I just don't see any feasible way to enforce it.

    Hospitals/Doctors are not going to refuse emergency treatment to someone just because they don't have insurance. And for all those people who can't afford to pay their medical bills we all just absorb the costs.

    Got a suggestion on how to change that? I'll listen.
     
  12. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

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    Maybe a requirement to have valid medical insurance to ride without? Sort of a "selective mandatory helmet law"?

    Basically, if you've proven you're willing and able to assume responsibility, then you get the freedom to choose.

    The way it would work is that riding without would not be probable cause to stop someone, but if pulled over for some other valid reason the officer could ask the non-helmet wearer to provide proof of medical insurance. No insurance gets a ticket. It isn't too different in theory than the requirement to have liability insurance to drive.

    Just a partially baked idea...
     
  13. Mad Ryan

    Mad Ryan

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    Good start. The only part I see a problem with is that then riding a motorcycle becomes a risk factor when medical insurance companies rate you. I'm mostly self insured, as my wife has phenominal insurance, but it's way to expensive to bring me onto the policy, and my employer has crappy insurance. I have some supplimentary insurance that I carry to pick up the slack. (My wife is a health insurance agent) So now, because the "live free or die" crowd wants the wind in their hair, I can no longer afford my insurance. (health insurance) And if you don't think they would/could do that then you need to have a heart to heart with a licensed agent.
     
  14. norton

    norton

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    As a rider who bounced his noggin on the highway after a car turned in front of me, all I can say is thanks Shoei.
    I think mandatory helmet laws are unconstitutional.
    However I do feel everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions.
    Living in Indiana, we do not have a mandatory helmet law for those over 18. We did at one time, but it was appealed.
    Florida also changed their laws. When helmet use was mandatory, it was funny to go to bike week and see those "real bikers" wearing cheap brain buckets about as thick and well protected as a soup bowl.
    They would then plaster them with "Helmet laws suck" and "loud pipes save lives" stickers.
    I actually had a guy I know from work ask me about repainting some cheap 70's era helmets for him and his girlfriend. He had just purchased a almost brand new Harley softail. I said why not go out and buy 2 Snell approved helmets that match your bike and throw those old lids in the trash. He looked at me like I was crazy and dropped the subject.
     
  15. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

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    Hmm... I see your point. I too have crappy work insurance, so I have an individual policy to cover the rest. I'm sure if they knew I rode it would raise my rates to astronomical levels.

    However, even in states without helmet laws med insurance companies don't factor motorcycle riding in. Nor do they in states with helmet laws, so I'm not sure why a selective helmet law would change anything.
     
  16. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

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    OK, how about this.... Helmets would remain an individual choice, but non-wearers would have to carry something like SR-22 insurance or specific "no-helmet" insurance instead of general medical insurance. this would force the non-wearers to be responsible, either by persuading them to wear the gear of by making them pay for the results of not doing so, while med insurance premiums for the rest of us aren't affected.

    Freedom is preserved and the responsibility that comes with it is enforced. Some may say this wouldn't be preserving freedom, but to that I say that freedom does not mean freedom from responsibility. One can still choose, if they can handle the risk associated with that choice.

    Yet another partially baked idea...
     
  17. Buelligan

    Buelligan

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    Even in states with helmet laws, the beanies that some bikers wear are as close to useless as a doo-rag for head protection.

    I buddy of mine was killed wearing one when a car pulled in front of him and he lowsided the bike. He could have easily gotten back up and walked away if he was wearing a proper helmet.

    He had to look cool like the tough bikers he looked up to. He had a closed casket at his funeral.
     
  18. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker 1911

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    Sorry to read that.

    I have a friend who rides a Harley. He spent 20 years on the NYPD. After all of the things he has seen, he still refuses to wear a helmet while riding. Sometimes I have to wonder, but figure it is his choice. I know I've been saved by my helmets during bicycle crashes that are significantly lower speeds and impact forces than landing off of a motorcycle.

    Just as a question, I seem to recall reading something a while back about Florida proposing a mandatory helmet law unless a rider carried a $1 million medical umbrella on insurance. Anybody here know any more about this?
     
  19. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Something else to consider in this discussion...

    Let's say that motorcyclists are singled out and must provide proof of medical insurance in order to ride. What's next?
    Skydivers?
    Snowboarders?
    Pilots?
    Bicyclists?
    Joggers?

    Talk about your slippery slope...
     
  20. RBR

    RBR

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    Here's the current helmet law in Texas.

    Effective September 1, 1997, persons at least 21 years old are exempt from wearing a motorcycle helmet if they:

    have successfully completed a motorcycle safety course, or
    are covered by a health insurance plan providing the person with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding upon a motorcycle.

    Motorcycle Safety Course. The Basic and Advanced Motorcycle Operator Training Courses meet the helmet exemption requirement. The Advanced Motorcycle Operator Training Course is recommended for experienced licensed motorcyclists.

    Health Insurance Plan. Defined as " . . . an individual, group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy, insurance agreement, group hospital services contract, health maintenance organization membership, or employee benefit plan that provides benefits for health care services or for medical or surgical expenses incurred as a result of an accident."

    Helmet Exemption Sticker. The Department of Public Safety issues Helmet Exemption stickers to persons who:

    apply to the department on the form provided; and
    own the motorcycle listed on the application;
    provide adequate proof of successful completion of the Basic or Advanced Motorcycle Operator Training Course, or health insurance coverage, and, pay a $5.00 non-refundable fee for each sticker applied for.

    Persons operating, or riding upon, a motorcycle with a helmet exemption sticker displayed on the license plate or license plate mounting bracket are presumed to meet the training or insurance requirements for riding without a helmet.

    NOTE: Helmet Exemption stickers are serialized and may not be transferred from one motorcycle to another. The sticker expires on the third anniversary of their date of issuance.