The Importance of Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists

784 Words4 Pages
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun and exciting hobby. With gas prices at near all-time highs, it can also be a very economical way of getting around. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous. In the spring of 2006, my brother received third-degree burns on both legs when the motorcycle he was riding was hit from behind by a straight truck. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and to this day I have no idea how he lived. He was lucky to have survived, but many others are not. To protect motorcyclists, laws should mandate all riders wear a helmet because statistics indicate that they prevent serious injury which, in turn, causes economic strain to society. Motorcycle riders argue that the choice to wear or not to wear a motorcycle helmet is a personal one and universal helmet laws, laws which require all riders to wear a helmet, are a violation of their civil rights. In lawsuits against states with universal helmet laws, high courts were divided. Some states ruled that the universal helmet law was unconstitutional, such as in Illinois and Michigan. In other states, such as Massachusetts and Florida, the courts upheld the law (Marian and Bayer 210-211). To be sure, personal choice is something to be taken into consideration, however, concerns over personal safety and the safety of others should outweigh the personal choice in this matter. Another argument against wearing a motorcycle helmet is that some riders insist that wearing a helmet limits vision and hearing, and endangers the rider. Nevertheless, a 1994 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study concluded just the opposite. The results of the study indicate that wearing a helmet while riding neither increases nor decreases the rider’s ability t... ... middle of paper ... ...t, A. James, and A. Scott McKnight. "The Effects of Motorcycle Helmets Upon Seeing and Hearing." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. United States Department of Transportation, Feb. 1994. Web. 29 Oct. 2013. "Motorcycles: Helmets and antilock brakes make riding less dangerous." Highway Safety Research and Communications. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Loss Data Institute. Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Oct 2013. Naumann, Rebecca B., and Ruth A. Shults. "Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists Who Died In Crashes And Economic Cost Savings Associated With State Motorcycle Helmet Laws -- United States, 2008-2010." MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 61.23 (2012): 425-30. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. United States Department of Transportation, May 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

More about The Importance of Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists

Open Document