Sunday, June 29, 2014

It All Started When They Said The Motorcyclist Was Not Wearing A Helmet

A few weeks ago a young man died because he may have made some bad choices on his motorcycle but one thing that really irritated me, besides how uncaring people are about others, was the fact that they kept harping on motorcycle helmets.  This rider was not wearing a motorcycle helmet.  The media made sure to point that out numerous times, on social media and on the news reports.  Individuals from around Iowa continuously pointed that out over and over again on social media.  I think this irritates me because Iowa DOES NOT have a helmet law.  It's the individual riders choice.  I think that is how it should be throughout the country.  People don't want me to tread on their rights to be, do, and say anything that they want to, so why is it any different when it comes to the choice of wearing or not wearing a motorcycle helmet.  I do wear one religiously, but that is my choice.

The thing that makes me laugh is how so many non riders believe they are experts on how much a helmet will save our lives.  Really?  I can maybe see it saving my life if I accidentally drop my bike at a low speed and fall off, but if I'm going 70 mph and a cage decides to hit me, not sure that helmet is going to make the difference or not.  Hopefully I never have to find that out.  

Another thing that really made me mad is how so many of the people commenting on social media about this accident kept saying that motorcyclists are really most of the problem because we go too fast and swerve in and out of traffic.  I guess it's like anything, a few doorknobs ruin everyone else's reputation.  I admit that sometimes I go about 5 mph over the speed limit, but that's only to stay away from all of the cage drivers that are talking on their cellphones or texting.  Instead of gunning for us to have a helmet law, why don't we work on laws against talking and texting when you should be driving.  I'm riding along and instead of enjoying my ride I'm looking for the cagers that really aren't giving two shits about anyone else but their life because they are so in need of being in touch with everyone all the time.  How about ya put the phone down and pay attention to the road!  Maybe roll your windows down and experience life a little!!

I would have to say though that the thing that irritated me the most about the social media comments. about this sad accident. were all of the people that said this young man got what he should have for his actions.  It's sad how social media has made it so easy to hide behind a screen name and has enabled people to just say the meanest things possible about other human beings.  It's very sad.  It made me think, I sure hope I'm never the one that the news is reporting on because I'd hate for my family to read such horrible comments saying that it was my fault and I deserved what I got.  Compassion is something that more people need to work into their day to day lives when interacting with others.  

Rest in Peace, Shawn Sabin.


Margo said...

Amen Sister!

Ax said...

You do realize that there are other things that can happen to you at 70 mph besides being hit by a cage, right? Like a deer (or some other animal). Or a tire blowout or some other mechanical failure. Or manure (or mud or dirt or...) in a corner.

Like you, I'm pro-choice. But I'm also pro-helmet. I've seen - and personally experienced - too many times that a helmet has almost certainly been a life-saver. I've survived two 60+mph deer strikes with my worst injuries being a broken collarbone and rib - despite obvious damage to my helmet(s), riding suit (Aerostich Roadcrafter), gloves & boots. Both times the bike went down and I slid to a stop on the highway. Looking at the scrapes and tears on my gear, I can only imagine what my skin and bones - including my face and skull - would have looked like without the gear.

Ride Free. Ride Safe. Ride Smart.

Michael Howard
Iowa, USA

rick said...

People often believe it's the motorcyclists fault right out of the gate. Kind of the default position it seems.

Sash Johnson said...

What a good article! Thank you for speaking up.

The cage drivers talk about motorcycle riders that way because they don't understand what it takes to ride. They don't understand the amount of attention it takes to watch the road; how the smallest pothole can take us out and end our journey, and perhaps our life. So we are paying such adept attention and they are texting, and bitching because we scared them when we went by. They wouldn't have been startled had they been paying attention.

But bitching about the drivers texting is much like bitching about the riders who do stunts, or the cruisers with loud pipes who rev over and over at 5 am. . . It all looks unnecessary from the other side, I'm sure.

You're real point is clearly spelled out in your final sentence.

"Compassion is something that more people need to work into their day to day lives when interacting with others."

Maybe a little tolerance would help too, for all of us, me included.

Far sweeping laws that apply to all of due to the actions of a few are never a good idea.


Sash ~ The Rude Biker Chick
See Sash Videos!

Unknown said...

The facts are out there. You make the choice to not wear a helmet, you substantively increase the risk, and the consequences of an accident.

I'm a million mile biker, instructor and former test and development rider and you expect me to have any sympathy for the dead rider who made a dumb choice and suffered for it?

Sorry, not happening here.

Most biker accidents are someone elses fault: You don't compound the error by inviting them to crush your skull.You solve the problem by living to sue the frackin arse out their them, their family, and their insurers.

Words and Stuff said...

That's really sad. I live in CA; I haven't heard about that case. Do you think the helmet would have saved him?

Greybeard said...

I was an EMS helicopter pilot for 26 years.
I wish I had a nickel for every victim of a deer/bike collision I carried over those years.
You have the right to your opinion. I have a right to my facts.
Ride safely.
Consider a helmet.

IHG said...

Hi All...I do wear a helmet. I wear it each and every time I get on my motorcycle. It gives me piece of mind. I think the kid that died did some really stupid stuff and should have had more respect for his motorcycle and for the road. I'm not defending his actions in the least. I just get sick of the media bringing up that the rider was not wearing a helmet in their stories since it's not even a law in Iowa and they are only pushing someone who is pro helmets agenda. I feel mostly sad for his family because they have to live with the fact that he is no longer alive and that the reason he is no longer alive was because he acted recklessly while riding.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments.

Fleda said...

I live in a state where there are no helmet laws but, I wear a helmet every single time i get on my bike. I have mixed feelings about helmet laws since I deeply appreciate the freedom to do what I choose. I have a very good friend who survived a terrible accident after hitting a deer. She credits her gear with saving her. My husband crashed last year and died. He had his helmet on but, it could never have saved him.

The thing that hurt the most was that the officer, who was very nice, assumed that my husband was speeding and blamed the accident on that. I know, but cannot prove, that he was not speeding because he just didn't do that. He had ridden for years, was a safe rider and lost his life on a very easy curve. The assumption however was that, because of the circumstances, he had to have been speeding. They couldn't prove it either because there were no skid marks - they just assumed and that is what is on the police report. I have seen it happen over and over - the assumptions that if a rider goes down, it is because they are reckless speeders.

Thanks for the article. I will always wear a helmet because I know they do save lives and give you a better chance. I just don't like the assumptions about motorcycle riders.