Why Are Motorcycle Helmets So Controversial
If you’ve been around motorcycle culture a while, I’m sure you’ve heard things like “let those who ride decide”, “my life, my choice”, or “I know someone who was injured because they were wearing a helmet”.
But if you ask most bikers if they think wearing a helmet offers protection, most will agree they do – and not only from crashes but from weather as well.
And when someone asks if they think a child should wear a helmet when riding, it’s almost always a yes. Teens? A big thumbs up for them as well.
But once someone hits 18, that’s when opinions start to shift. It’s probably because a lot of us served in the military. And if you’re old enough to make the decision to put your life on the line for your country, you’re also old enough to make your own decisions when it comes to wearing a helmet.
Given that everyone agrees helmets provide protection, why are so many seemingly so dead set against wearing them as an adult?
The truth is, it’s not about the “wearing” of the helmet. It’s about there being laws REQUIRING you wear a helmet when you ride.
The vast majority of motorcycle riders are freedom-lovers who don’t want the government saying what they can or can’t do. They believe as an adult you’re capable of making decisions for yourself, while also being responsible for the safety of children in your care. Teach them how to be safe and then, when they become an adult, let them make their own decisions.
Even so, helmet laws rule the land. In every one of the 50 states but three (Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire) there are age requirements on riders who need to wear a helmet. In Washington State, RCW 46.37.530 mandates that all riders must wear a motorcycle helmet and eye protection when riding, along with other restrictions. Click the link to read the entire RCW 46.37.530
Because states have been enacting laws affecting motorcyclists, organizations like A.B.A.T.E., which originally stood for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments, have come into being. A.B.A.T.E is one of the SMRO’s (State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations) that are dedicated to influencing legislation in the best interest of motorcycle riders within their state.
What’s your thinking on motorcycle helmet laws? Leave a comment below.
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We’ve all heard the arguments and they all come with a horror story about how someone should have been wearing a helmet or how much worse it would have been if they hadn’t had one on. All probably true, but that’s NOT the point. The question is should they have the right to choose for you, or should you be able to make the choice for yourself. I personally prefer to wear one, but also believe that an adult (over 21) should have the option to make that choice to on their own. Just my opinion.
It should be a matter of personal choice. I lived and rode in a state that repealed the helmet requirement in the late 1970’s. Wore one when I was required to for travel in the nanny states. Do not enjoy the ride as much with a helmet on. If you’ve never enjoyed the freedom, please don’t try to control mine
This article sums up my opinion well. I’m an adult, let me live or die by my decision. I have the same opinion of seatbelt laws.
Last year, Mar 24,2021,I bought a VT 1300 Stateline, my first bike since 2004. Apr. 10, 2021, 2 weeks later, car pulls out of parking lot in front of me. Totalled my bike, gave me a concussion. I have No Memory of the accident or of a lot of things that happened the rest of that day! Put me out of work for 9 weeks. I was wearing a DOT Helmet at the time. If I didn’t have one on, my brains would have been all over the street. And I had not reached 20mph. I had just left a stop sign.
I replaced the bike. I would not have been able to replace my brains. Helmets Save Lives! And they need to be up the DOT Standards!
I once downed my bike and if I didn’t have my full face helmet on, I wouldn’t have much of a face, also my jacket and riding boots also protected me.
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