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Do motor cycle helmets make a difference in safety?
6/15/2015 9:24:10 AM
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Since the 1966 National Highway Safety Act was rescinded in 1976, motor cycle-related deaths have risen 25-46%.
Ever wonder what the price might be of wind whispering through your hair going 70 mph or more on a Harley or other murder-cycles? They're also known as donor-cycles in medical circles. And no, I'm not against them. Well, maybe a little at 3 am when the motor roar awakes me (and I'm taken to task for a faulty muffler). More to the point is the price possibly unsuspecting motorcyclist don't realize they're paying for their helmetless freedom.
Here are the numbers:
*non-helmeted riders NHR)have a greater than five times higher death rate than helmeted riders (HR)in a Michigan study
*NHR are often under the influence of alcohol
NHR use more hospital services such as ICU with more ventilator respiratory support needed
*NHR tend to have less health insurance
*NHR need more rehabilitation
Chapman AJ, Titus R, Ferenchick H et al, Am J Surg(2014) 207:352-356.
So if you're a rider or know one remember the choice seems to be if you crash and burn: - die at the scene without a helmet or survive to endure a long, painful intensive care course. I've always thought it strange that folks would give over their fate to two tires with about as much contact surface with the road as two wallets...
Having said all of this I wish every rider a safe summer of biking.
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