In what can only be described as a horrible irony, a motorcyclist protesting New York State's helmet laws with 550 other motorcyclists was killed when he was thrown off his motorcycle, struck his head on the pavement in the crash, and died of fatal head injuries. The single vehicle crash caused no other injuries.
In a time when "government regulation" is a dirty word to many, motorcycle helmet laws are a good example of how government regulations can save lives. Seat belts, air bags, and helmet laws are good examples of how government regulations, though interfering in our day to day choices, nontheless save lives. We lament the loss of life here, and urge our readers to use common sense in their day to day activities, whether the government mandates it, or or our own sensible prudence prevails.
And for those who argue helmet laws interfere with individual freedom, think of the cost to society when a motorcyclist without a helmet survives a crash like this one. The medical costs of treating someoneone with severe brain injuries is a huge drain on our medical resources. Avoidance of harms like these seems to be a reasonable compromise between individual freedoms, and society's need to avoid millions of dollars in medical care that could be avoided if the driver wore a helmet.
Finally, on a personal note, this writer would not be blogging today if he did not wear a motorcycle helmet over two decades ago. Although my helmet cracked in two when I crashed into the tree, I suffered a concussion and other non-life threatening injuries: my skull concussed but did not fracture. Six week recovery, and no brain injuries.
Please wear your helmet-its the law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. And in those states where its your choice-choose safety.