There has been a big debate about cyclists safety and helmets. Perhaps one of the biggest discussion was when coming up with reasons not to wear a motorcycle helmet. Most people argue that helmets are only good for a speed of up to 15-18 miles per hour. If one goes faster that this and gets an accident, the helmet will not save his/her life. It is a choice for each person to wear a helmet or not. A study reported in the American journal of Public Health reveals that the abolishment of motorcycle helmet requirement for adults has been linked with a rise in motorcycle fatalities. Although the researchers argument is based on the universal helmet laws, the impact of these helmets is modest.
Some anti-helmet law activists dispute that helmets that are on balance, reduce motorcycle safety. This is because they make riders reckless, make their heads heavy or impair their vision, sensitivity to pressure and hearing abilities change. However, there is no much evidence to support this claim. It does not seem to have a very big effect but in principle, the fatality rate should not matter. The right to ride with no a helmet should not center on around how huge the risk is. In addition to questioning how effective helmets are, motorcycle activists have suggested that helmets contribute to causing accidents because they impair hearing, increase fatigue and impair peripheral vision. When an accident occurs, the additional weight increases the risk of spine and neck injury. Most motorcycle riders have attested that helmets are an unsafe obstruction to vision.
The argument as to why motorcycle riders should wear helmets is not firm because of the Peltzman effect. Cyclists wearing helmets take the advantage of an increase in safety and in return take more risks. Some of these risks include cycling at high speeds and running red lights. In this view, helmets give cyclists the benefit to reach their destinations faster and this makes them less safe. It is not true that the use of helmets is only justified in cycling because it is more dangerous than driving or walking. The risks of cycling are almost the same as those of pedestrians.
Wearing a helmet decreases the chances of getting brain injury, but increases the impact of the incidence on the thoracic and cervical spine fractures, which are sustained in motorcycle crashes. Helmets have been said to increase the risk of spinal fractures. When coming up with reasons not to wear a motorcycle helmet, comfort was a big topic of discussion. While buckling up a seat belt is painless for many people, wearing a motorcycle helmet is not. This is because the helmet is heavy and it covers most of the rider's head. This can be sweaty and tiring especially when it is hot. When sitting on a spotlight under 100% humidity with the sun heating up so hard and heat coming off the road, one may even pass out. There have been reported cases of motorcycle riders passing out on the spotlights with their helmets on.
Motorcycle helmets are viewed as stifling and confining meshes and forcing motorcycle riders to wear them ruins their freedom experience. Helmets are believed to increase the chances of attaining severe injuries on the neck and offset the chance to have a brain injury. Most people argue that wearing motorcycle helmet and seat belts are a personal decision and should not be a state law made by government. People have still not come up with satisfactory reasons on whether to wear or not to wear a motorcycle helmet.
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