Motorcyclists should use helmets
MOST motorcyclists would agree that if they were involved in an accident, a helmet might protect their head from injury. But are they willing to give up the feeling of riding through a beautiful countryside with their vision and hearing hampered by a helmet? Undoubtedly, most will say no. Teenagers say, “Wearing a motorcycle helmet to save your life in a motorcycle crash is sort of like wearing a spaghetti strainer on your head to protect it from being pooped on by a bird!”Common sense aside, there is proof. The Hurt Report (aka “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification Countermeasures), published findings that approximately 50 per cent of motorcycle riders wear safety helmets, but only 40 per cent were wearing helmets at the time of an accident. The NHTSA published a report in 2001 stating that head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes and that wearing a helmet could reduce fatalities by 29 per cent.
Motorcyclists will counter with the argument that wearing a helmet can cause serious injury to the neck or spinal cord and that some motorcyclists have been paralysed.
On the flip side of the argument, the NHTSA said in its 2001 report: “There is no liability for neck injury by wearing a safety helmet; helmeted riders had less neck injuries than unhelmeted riders,” and went on to say that there were only four minors cases of injury from wearing a helmet.
Safety helmets successfully reduce the chances of head injury to a great extent. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated in a report that if you do not wear a helmet, there is a 40 per cent chance that the rider will suffer a head injury and a 15 per cent chance of it being a fatal head injury.
Regardless of all the proof, the fact remains that motorcyclists do not want the state interfering in their personal choices. Personally, I think they should wear helmets; but I don’t think a law should force them to do something which a person of average intelligence would choose to do anyway.
QURATUL AIN BUTT