2. Motorcycle Helmets Confronted

The AMA and Their No-Helmet Support

October 8, 2014

                It’s now been nearly three years since my motorcycle accident and I still find I have an attitude toward the AMA due to their views on helmet laws.

                I understand that the AMA goes state to state supporting the repeal of all helmet laws.  There could be many reasons for this, but I personally believe it’s due to the huge support they receive from the more ‘outlaw’ type riders who scream about helmets taking away their personal freedom.

                Living so near Pennsylvania which is a helmet-free state, I see a great many riders on the road without a helmet.  It was, in fact, that state where my accident occurred.   However, I was wearing my helmet.  Being very claustrophobic, I can’t wear a full-face, but did always wear my half helmet.  The First Responders at the scene advised my family that, without my helmet, I would have either died or been left a vegetable. 

                Very often I hear how riders who were adamant about NOT wearing a helmet, change their mind only after someone close to them, or they themselves, have a near disastrous or fatal accident. 

                My issue is primarily with the major organizations who claim to support their members, but truly support only their own self interests.   The AMA favoritism toward the radical few exponents for freedom from helmets is incomprehensible.   

                I’ll most likely never ride again, not because I can’t, but because I won’t.  At my age, it’s not about me.  I’ve had a great life and if I’m taken, no big loss.  But this is not about dying.  It’s about living following a motorcycle accident as a vegetable or basket case or close to it.  I recovered, although left partially disabled, but without my helmet, it could have been dramatically different, and worse.  My reason for not riding again is so I never have to see those looks on the faces of my family and friends.  I’ll never again put them through all they did for me during my recovery.  I remember nothing of this accident.  But they remember it all.  I find that very painful to carry.

                My feeling about the aftermath of my accident, my only ‘suffering’ being the knowing what those people close to me went through.   For me, the helmet is not so much for the riders protection as it is for their families and friends.  When a child or innocent bystander is seriously injured or killed , it’s the family and friends who suffer most.  

                I find that most riders who don’t wear helmets take the bravado attitude that they would rather die than give up their freedom.  Few consider that the most likely outcome would be their not dying, but rather they would be left to be cared for by those people closest to them, for the the rest of their lives.  Dying would be the easy way out.

                I find I have no sympathy or consideration for riders refusing to wear helmets, especially after what I put my family and friends through, and I recovered!  Thanks to my helmet.  A bit disabled, but breathing and functional.   I don’t wish that these rebellious, freedom seeking  riders end up with their brains spread along the asphalt like so much cottage cheese,  But my sympathy is with the family members who would have to wipe that riders nose and butt for the rest of his or her life.  Someone who cares nothing for possibly treating those closest to them is such a shabby manner.

                And all that just to not wear a helmet.

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