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Pro-helmet activists have launched aggressive efforts in state legislatures across the nation to fend off motorcyclists demanding the right to ride bareheaded.

For two decades, the riders — and their rallying cry of freedom — have often had the upper hand in these battles. Now, though, the public health advocates are gaining traction as more and more evidence emerges that mandating helmet use saves lives.

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  • My husband was in a single vehicle motorcycle accident November 15, 2015. He was not wearing a helmet. We live in Pennsylvania which dropped helmet laws in early 2000’s. My husband is in a nursing home with severe traumatic brain injury. He cannot walk or toilet. He doesn’t remember my name. It hurts to see him struggle. If people would see some of my earlier pictures they would see what I mean. Tubes, swelling, bruises, etc. He had a piece of skull removed for swelling. I used to call him my little cone head. The results are me, as his wife, struggling financially, emotionally, and mentally. My Bruce is gone. The new Bruce took his place. His left side was affected and he is left handed. Being in nursing home his physical rehabilitation is pretty much nonexistent. His employer dropped his medical insurance six months after accident. Now I pay more for my portion of hospital payment (the rest picked up by state), than my mortgage. My hands are tied sometimes due to not having POA which was supposed to be set up before anything happens. That window for me is closed. Now I’m paying for things that I’m not listed on account. I can’t sell motorcycle, either of our vehicles, house, etc. His surgeon said they didn’t think he would live. He told me if he had a helmet on it would not have been near as bad. His head would have been protected. Wearing a helmet would definitely decrease TBI. If my husband could do it over again knowing outcome, I know he would wear one. Some days, not often, he does have a fairly clear mind. Once I explained what happened and he looked at me and said: I really f***ed up. Yes Bruce you did. I am definitely for wearing motorcycle helmets. I would definitely get involved with any organization supporting helmet laws. Is wind in your hair is so important for bike riders then be prepared for any consequences. Bruce used to tell me “Its not IF you wreck, it’s WHEN you wreck”.

  • What do you call a motorcyclist or cyclist who doesn’t wear a helmet? An organ donor. A helmet can turn a catastrophic head injury into a story told by the wearer of what might have happen had they not worn a helmet.

  • Helmetless motorcycling is obviously dangerous and irresponsible, but perhaps that is what makes it so attractive to a certain type of person. It is nice to know that there is an upside – more organs available for transplant.

    • The helmet laws probably should be included with seat belt and other motorist safety laws. Separating them out individually makes it confusing for everyone. States need to enter into a multistate system, including all the states, which would be in force on interstate highways, which essentially include all the states. For local and state highways, I could see states having individualized laws, however once on the interstate system, you see license plates from all the different states, Canadian provinces and even Mexico. Trying to have individualized state laws on the interstate system makes no sense when much of the traffic in going from one state to the next on cross country trips or commerce such as truck traffic.

    • There’s a financial impact as well – people getting sued in wrongful death cases. People who choose not to wear helmets should forfeit their right and the right of their estate to sue for wrongful death or other damages associated with not wearing a helmet. The cost of treating/caring for a person with a head injury is incredibly expensive.

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