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longride 08-10-2005 05:09 AM

Re: OK guys time for a Statistics lesson
"What has changed that would affect the death rate per crash?"

Average speed of the crash, riding experience of the crasher, types of crashes that occur. You know, all the things that don't matter to simpletons.

Abe_Froman 08-10-2005 05:11 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
Someone always trots out the old "freedom to not wear a helmet costs everyone money" argument when discussing helmet laws.

1) the amount of money that each taxpayer would save, even a person in a high tax bracket, under our semi-socialized health care schema were everyone wearing a helmet when they crash is nigh unto impossible to compute and most definitely negligible in comparison to the amount it would change from just a small rise in auto accident rates. It would take extensive actuarial calculation even to determine whether or not it results in MORE health care costs due to less cyclists being killed but instead badly injured. A dead rider is inherently cheaper ffrom the medical perspective than a maimed one.

2) Worrying about the cost of non-helmet use to the taxpayer is wildly misplaced outrage. That taxpayers are subsidizing medical care at all is the problem. Socialize an area of the economy and of course you give everyone, by extention, a reason to coplain about it. Just another example that goverment intervention in the free market causes far more problems that it ever solves, if it solves any at all.

longride 08-10-2005 05:49 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
"I firmly believe that laws should be there to protect us from others, not from ourselves."

I firmly believe you have summed this argument up in a nutshell.

Anti-ChickenStrip 08-10-2005 05:54 AM

Repeal proponents call for more rider training... in rider training that always encourages helmet use???? Has anyone ever taken a rider course that hasn't strongly encouraged helmet use?

Yes, I understand that rider competency often plays a huge role as a contributing factor in accidents and I've taken several training classes myself. But isn't the point of the class to instill behaviors that the student will then follow out in the real world? Do helmetless riders really need to take a class to know that it is safer to wear a helmet? And how hypocritical is it to recommend a curriculum of training that will suggest safety measures that proponents don't intend to follow?

Rider training should be strongly endorsed, but repealers should just be truthful and say that they want the laws repealed because they feel a mandate from the government compromises ther individual right to choose. Period. No amount of training will change that fact. Would helmetless lobbyists suddenly start wearing a helmet if they were to take a course? No, because the issue is far more visceral than learning how to countersteer or ride out a rear wheel lockup. I've taken several classes where students put on their dusty lids for the class and then toss 'em in their luggage or on the side of the bike as the ride away at the end of the day.

Training may help make better riders, but it does nothing to encourage helmet use. No amount of admonishing, pleading, etc. will change a helmetless rider's mind....IMHO.

Hutchinator 08-10-2005 06:13 AM

Wondering who was going to bring that up...
I don't know about your insurance, by mine does cover some personal injury as well as if I injure someone else. This is despite the fact that I'm fully covered through my job medically, since it adds a level of safety without adding that much to my costs.

For those who don't have this type of insurance, I still believe the tab is theirs. Just like tax agencies will ensure they get their money from you, I think the states should ensure collection of dues from the injured. While the tax payers might have to pick up the initial bill, I think it should be consider more of a loan than hand-out. They can have even a couple years to pay it off; low- or interest free, but they must pay it off like any outstanding debt.

And as a side note to the above, the article even said that those who don't have above a certain limit of insurance are required to wear a helmet anyways. If they are breaking the law, and get injured in the process, I have even less sympathy for them, and think the tax-payers are that much less obligated to help them via mandatory donations to their medical bills that resulted from said acts.

sportbikebandit 08-10-2005 06:18 AM

Re: OK guys time for a Statistics lesson
Sorry I to ***** on your cornflakes but you were wrong. The number of riders has no bearing. However, you makes some weak points. Yes riding experience is a factor but we don't have any stats that say experience level has changed significantly for the population (that statistic lingo that says you are wrong and can't prove your point). But all things being equal the overiding big factor is the repeal of the helmet law (which did change). Common sense is a good sanity check as my Engineering Statistics Professor (statistics with Calculus) would say. Common sense would say your chances of dying are greater if you ride a motorcycle without a helmet

Solace 08-10-2005 06:18 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
Your point is right on the mark. It's likely cheaper to society if the motorcyclist in fact does die. Given the nature of head injuries and the massive costs associated with rehabilitation/long term care, this is likely where a major contribution to the increased costs arise. Whilst a helmet law does reflect a matter of freedom in that it impinges on someones freedom, it's interesting to note that everyone forgets that most laws in fact are also an intrusion on your freedom. Do you drive on the wrong side of the road...stop at stop signs...speed all the time... The law, specifically in these cases are both meant to protect the rider and the public at large, and with that comes the consideration to weighing the cost to society versus the potential loss of ones personal freedom. Our society is rife with these laws and thus rife with judgements between freedom and cost to society. There is no slippery slope being made here, we iced it up years ago. The only question is when will society finally decide that the cost is too great, and will the willpower be there to say no.


sportbikebandit 08-10-2005 06:19 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
Excellent Point Well said ...

gniewko 08-10-2005 06:22 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
This CNN article uses statistics so badly and in such a misleading way that it's not even funny. I'm certainly not an anti-helmet-law crusader, but it needs to be pointed out that the "statistics" quoted by the author are completely meaningless.

The article says that the number of motorcycle fatalities was 81% higher in the 3 years after helmet law repeal than in the 3 years before. That means absolutely nothing if you don't know how the number of motorcyclists changed during that time - and we know that this number has increased significantly during that time. What matters is the rate of fatal accidents, not the absolute number.

Even if the rate did increase after the helmet law repeal, that doesn't mean that the helmet law repeal caused the increase. Causation is notoriously hard to show with statistics and essentially impossible to prove. There could be other reasons for the increased rate (assuming the rate did actually increase) that are completely unrelated to helmet laws. For example:

- Higher proportion of motorcycling newbies who crash at a much higher rate than experienced motorcyclists (certainly there are more newbies if motorcycling is becoming more popular).

- Aging population in Florida (more people retiring there as baby boomers get older), leading to more bad drivers crashing into motorcyclists more frequently.

- Motorcycles getting heavier, more powerful, and more difficult to ride, leading to more crashes. Especially with more newbies around.

...or any number of other reasons. Whoever wrote that article is either an innumerate moron who has doesn't have the faintest clue on how to use statistics, or a fear-monger with an anti-motorcycle agenda.

I don't care much either way about helmet laws (if anything, I like them because they reduce bike theft) and I always wear a full-face helmet. It makes intuitive sense that a helmet law repeal would increase the fatality rate, but it's nowhere near the 81% rate that this article misleads you into believing.

Solace 08-10-2005 06:23 AM

Re: Deaths up since Florida helmet law repealed
The article notes both absolute figures and rates of injury per 1000 crashes etc which thus take into account increased rideship.


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