10 Reasons to wear a helmet (preferably a full face one) - Page 2 - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 04:01 PM
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Preach. A rock kicked up by a car at your face on the highway at 60-80 mph will screw up your moneymaker real good, so even if you think you are 21 and invincible from accidents, wear a full face helmet. I honestly wish manufacturers would stop selling the brain bucket style helmets at all. They are worse than useless. 3/4 helmets are mostly useless because the face shield isn’t attached to anything. But at least they’ll protect you from rocks and bees. But anytime I see a rider with anything but a full face helmet I don’t think to myself “what a cool dude” but “I hope he never learns why he is wrong about this”. Full face helmets save lives.

Cheap vs expensive helmet: https://youtu.be/eBnioxhXkFA

Helmet safety ratings: https://youtu.be/0BUyp3HX8cY

P.S.: with a full face helmet, you get to have Bluetooth audio on all your bikes! Directions, music, even audio books.

P.P.S.: also hearing protection is super important. Wear ear plugs! https://youtu.be/eEdf0R5ypsg
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 05:13 PM
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I know some folks believe wearing a helmet is the begin all and end all of being safe.

Well, there's lots of issues that effect safety. But before we get to those a few things should be mentioned.
Not everyone who chooses not to wear a helmet do so for the same reasons. Some have a neck issue and the weight of the helmet is a problem for them. Some cannot handle the heat with one. Some feel they cannot see or hear as well with one. Others feel that in most bad accidents it ain't gonna make any difference. And still some believe the helmet can potentially assist in causing a broken neck. And some others who have done excessive research on helmets understand that the DOT rating is crappola as the manufacturers SELF TEST and give to themselves the DOT approval. Kinda gives ya a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't it? And for others it may be peer pressure. As an example on my short rural dirt road, we have about 20 riders.....only 1 wears a helmet.

OK enough of all that. What I really wanted to address is how many of the "helmet above all else" folks have a few drinks and then get back on their bike? And how many toke up a little and then ride? And how many ride during rush hour? And how many ride at night, where up here the chances of having an encounter with a bear, deer, moose, fisher cat, fox and other creatures of the night, are not all that unlikely?
There are many ways to evaluate risk and many ways to reduce risk.
Is someone being riskier if they do not wear a helmet but never drink, smoke pot, ride during rush hour and never ride at night?
Is it safer to wear that self tested and self approved helmet but then have a few drinks, smoke a J, ride during rush hour or at night.
See safety and risk management are different for every person.
It does bother me a bit when the holier than thou pro helmet folks think they have a monopoly on safety and risk management.

And that is why I say "to each their own".
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 05:51 PM
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I say to each their own too. I very strongly believe everyone has a right to screw up their life however they want. But. It's not like these things you listed cancel each other out. If you have a few beers and get in an accident where you slide on your face for 20 feet, would you rather be wearing a full face helmet or no helmet? Safety is cumulative: well maintained bike with good tires, good brakes, ABS, with an experienced rider, wearing full gear -> less risk than a SQUID in flip flops on bald tires, worn brakes, and a bike that's been neglected for a decade.

When you say "well if a person chooses to ride drunk, so they clearly don't care about their safety so they might as well not wear a helmet" I see using a straw man argument. You shouldn't drive drunk. Period. Whether a car, trike, bike, roller skates, doesn't matter. It endangers others and I don't believe that's right. If you choose to do so with nobody in a 100 mile radius of you, then go for it, but I think otherwise that's wrong. But it has nothing to do with helmets. I see the connection you are making: it has to do with evaluating risk. But studies show that humans are terrible at evaluating risk objectively. We fear airplane crashes, but get into a car no problem. We fear terrorists but assume nobody is going to mug us unless we are in a bad neighborhood. We happily keep loaded guns in the house thinking we are protected when they are more likely to be used against us in a home invasion situation. And again, because you do one risky thing doesn't mean you take all the risks.

Next, I wanted to address the safety ratings of helmets. If you watch the above videos, Ryan does a very good job of explaining it. But to summarize: DOT rating is more or less bull feathers, though helmets without it are absolute trash for certain. What you want is the Snell rating which is much more stringent. I do feel good about my Snell rated helmet, and I've seen what those helmets look like after accidents. You don't generally hear much from people who got into accidents where they hit their head on the pavement at highway speeds and were not wearing a helmet. I wonder why that is.

Lastly, other factors. What you say makes a lot of sense. Some people have neck problems, some think the helmet is going to impair their vision or hearing. I cannot speak about neck issues, but from what I have seen, some higher end helmets are incredibly light. And studies show that a full face helmet is more likely to prevent neck injury in an accident. If I had a neck injury I would not risk it further by riding without a helmet at all. As for vision: yes some helmets impair vision. Lots don't. I cannot see the helmet when I am wearing it. At all. The face shield is so large that I can see everything. If you really are concerned about it, modular helmets are only marginally less safe than solid full face helmets. As for hearing: good. Your hearing should be dampened by your protective gear. Hearing damage is cumulative and the louder something is the shorter the time before the hearing damage sets in. Some bikes' exhausts are so loud that 15 minutes riding on it will permanently give you hearing damage and tinnitus is extremely unpleasant, cannot be fixed, and only gets worse with age. And it's not just exhaust, it's the wind too. A good helmet, like the EXO-ST1400, protect you from that. For the rest there is ear plugs. Good ear plugs don't prevent you from hearing things, they take out low frequency sounds like highway noise, but let high frequency noise like people talking and car horns through. I can listen to audio books in my helmet with my ear plugs in, no problem, or talk to someone at the gas station with the helmet off. They also make the engine sound nicer: all the annoying road noise is gone and you just feel the deeper base more. Cheapest upgrade you can make.

But the main reason you should wear a full face helmet is because you can cry in public and nobody would know

Again, to each their own, I am not trying to shame anyone for wanting to skip a full face helmet. Just want to point out that the logic behind those decisions is usually flawed. The real reason most people don't wear a helmet or wear a brain bucket is because they think it looks cool and they enjoy the wind in their face or peer pressure/image that certain motor company riders often see. We can try to change the latter perception and it starts by setting a better example.

Last edited by ipartola; 07-29-2019 at 05:59 PM.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 06:28 PM
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What I am curious about is what percentage of riders nationwide wear helmets?
And although, i realize there will be no correlation.....what percentage of motorcycle deaths are helmet wearers?
I would find that information interesting.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 06:46 PM
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The other thing is if alcohol is present (not necessarily in DWI levels) but present in 47% of motorcycle fatalities....
And excessive speed is present in another 30% of motorcycle fatalities.....
And another 20% of motorcycle fatalities are at night....
Do they compound themselves?
If you drink, speed and do so at night....what does that do to your risk management?

And another thought...people do still die in cars. Even though they are in a cage. And even with all the tremendous safety improvements over the last 50 years and with all the accident avoidance features of the 30 years....they still die.

So people would be mistaken if they feel a helmet makes you bullet proof.
Now, I don't think anyone here feels this way, but I have met people who do.
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 06:49 PM
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It’s hard to compile all those stats but here are some: http://www.motorcycle-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

Original Hurt report if you want to verify that their research methods were sound (I did, they were): https://firstcheckpoint.com/wp-conte...urt-report.pdf

Motorcycle helmets are the single biggest factor in preventing motorcyclist deaths according to every single research paper I have seen on the subject. Anecdotes can tell you stories but numbers don’t lie. Helmets 100% save lives.

From the report: “2. Protective Equipment. The only significant protective equipment is the qualified safety helmet, and it is capable of a spectacular reduction of head injury frequency and severity. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 provides a highly qualified safety helmet for "se by motorcycle riders. This research shows NO reasons for a motorcycle rider to be without a safety helmet; qualified helmets do not limit vision or hearing in traffic or cause injury.” And this is for 70’s helmets. Imagine how much better they are today.

Last edited by ipartola; 07-29-2019 at 06:52 PM.
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 09:23 PM
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Thanks for the links. Much appreciated.

One thing that caught my attention is the study location was Los Angeles, CA.

Population per square mile... Over 7500.

I only ride in 2 states:
Population per Square mile.....where I ride....(NH) 141. (Maine) 47.

Bottom line for me.....I feel pretty good....helmet or no helmet.....I like my odds.
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ipartola View Post
But the main reason you should wear a full face helmet is because you can cry in public and nobody would know
Congratulations, ipartola! You have won the internet today!

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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 10:13 PM
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I don't support helmet laws, it's your head, not mine, and I have no right to force you to protect yourself.

That said, I'm always amazed when people assume that the only thing you have to worry about is wildlife, other drivers, or your own stupidity. When you're on a motorcycle, anything could happen at any time.

I can't find the article, but I recall a sinkhole opening up in front of a motorcyclist here in Atlanta a few years ago. The guy was riding safe, following all the rules, minding his own business when suddenly a hole opened up in front of him. The only thing that can even give you a chance of survival in that instance is safety gear that you're already wearing.

I did find this article:

Motorcyclist falls into sinkhole

Quote:
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- A man and his motorcycle were swallowed whole when a road on the edge of the Augusta Exchange shopping center gave a way to a sinkhole.

Marjorie Wolfram says she was there.

“I was heading towards Michaels when I saw this huge sinkhole,” Wolfram said. “And it wasn’t marked off, so I was concerned because I had seen several people try to make that right hand turn.”

It’s a road that goes behind shops at the Augusta Exchange, across the street from the Best Buy shopping center.

Wolfram says she saw at least four cars attempt to go down that road, and she was trying to contact someone about the hole when a motorcyclist approached it.

“By the time he saw the hole, he tried to react, but there was not time,” she said.

Wolfram says she feels horrible about what happened.

“Just sick for him…Hoping he was going to be okay, didn’t have a devastating injury,” she said.

“He seemed to be unconscious for a short period of time. And came to and was disoriented, and I was just trying to keep him staying put so more debris didn’t fall on top of him.”

She says he was bleeding from his forehead, even though he was wearing a helmet.

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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 10:32 PM
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chromedome, you bring up a lot of different ideas, but they all still sound like they are just there to reaffirm you in your decision. I have no doubt that I cannot change your mind any more than anyone else on this forum, and I respect your decision. I am writing this hopefully to provide a perspective for those reading this later.

What you might notice from the Hurt report is that about a third of the accidents involved another vehicle, usually a car, but a quarter involved no other vehicles at all. You can make mistakes as well as another driver that could land you face down. Oh and don’t forget that motorcycle accidents are less likely to be reported to the police than car accidents, so the percentage danger is likely at least a little higher. By your logic, moose are also a concern for you when they weren’t for the LA motorcyclists.

Yes people die in cars. People die in their bath tubs, and on toilets and while brushing their teeth and in their sleep. Does any of that factor into whether a helmet will or will not protect you in a face down slide? Mathematically speaking, we call those things uncorrelated. They don’t matter.

If you’d like to look at facts, in Canada, not far from NH, a motorcyclist is 13 times more likely to die than a car driver per 1000 miles. There is a large number of people there who don’t wear helmets and they have a higher death rate than those that do. Here are factors that provably reduce your chances of dying on a motorcycle in Canada: wearing a helmet, sobriety, ABS, experience/training. Roughly in that order. I’ll need to find the links for these if you’d like to look at them, but the info is solid.

But all that aside, what does it matter if you reduce your chances by 40% if you hit your face on the guard rail with no protection? You become those statistics, right? A helmet is never a bad idea, and is always a good idea. That is what science and math tell us. The rest is feelings. What you do is up to you.
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