Guess                                                                Opinion 279 words

Copyright June 2021

Howard R Music                                                                                                                                                                                                             



I keep up with the facebook pages We Ride Texas and We Ride Oklahoma, because I'm from Texas and also like to ride in Oklahoma.  Though, in both states, adult riders can choose to wear a helmet or not, controversy surrounds the subject, ranging from friendly jabs to outright hostility in some cases.

In the '90s I was part of a group of activists that studied statistics and gathered information and lobbied to end a mandatory helmet law in Texas in which we were successful in '97.  Because of this I believe I have a grasp on the subject of motorcycle injuries and deaths.

Statistically, most injuries are to a rider's lower body.  This is why veterans don sturdy boots, leather, or at least heavy denim.  Even a low-speed incident in a parking lot can be disastrous.  I doubt few bikers have never suffered a burn from an open engine and exhaust system.

Texas does not keep records on the actual cause of death of motorcycle fatality victims.  The Lone Star State has a significant percentage of registered motorcycles: third in the nation the last time I checked.  So, any statistics on deaths gathered and compiled by federal officials from the states would automatically be skewed or inaccurate as to the actual cause of the demise of motorcyclists nationwide.  Hence, the reason for the words "we believe" or "estimate" or "extrapolate" which permeate the literature of the NHTSA.

In other words, federal bureaucrats "guess" that helmets are a life-saver.  Rather shaky ground to impose a mandate, to say the least.

Do helmets save lives?  Your guess is as good as mine.


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