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Posted on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Statistics: Washtenaw County motorcyclists without helmets more likely to be injured

By John Counts


Scott Pohl of Marion Township was riding this Honda motorcycle without a helmet on North Territorial Road in June when he was involved in a fatal accident.

Courtesy of the Michigan State Police

Statistics show helmetless motorcycle riders in Washtenaw County are more likely to suffer an "incapacitating injury," according to state police records.

MLive and examined state police data for nearly 3,000 motorcycle crashes - with and without helmets - in the six months after Michigan's helmet law was repealed, April 13 to Oct. 13.

Since Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers changed the state’s 35-year-old law six months ago, there have been at least 700 motorcyclists without helmets involved in accidents.

Both statewide and countywide, the data show motorcyclists who don't wear helmets are more likely to suffer injuries.

In Washtenaw County, there were three reported motorcycle fatalities from April 13, 2011 to Oct. 13, 2011 according to the records. All were wearing helmets. In that same period in 2012, there were two fatalities, neither wearing helmets. One occurred Aug. 3 on Pontiac Trail in Salem Township. It involved a 40-year-old Northville man who died when a car slammed into his broken-down motorcycle as he sat on it in the roadway.

The other was Scott Pohl, whose parents think he may have been saved if he had been wearing a helmet. spoke to his parents. Read the full story here.

While fatalities were down overall, the amount of "incapacitating injuries," the phrase used on traffic accident reports, increased in that timeframe. In 2011, 11 riders wearing helmets were reported as suffering "incapacitating injuries;" in 2012, that number was 19. Eight of the 19 riders -- or 42 percent -- in the accidents were not wearing helmets.

From April 13 to Oct. 13 2012, there were 105 motorcycle accidents in Washtenaw County where it was indicated in the report whether a helmet was worn or not. Out of that 105, there were 77 accidents where riders rode with helmets and 28 where riders went helmetless. Fourteen percent of riders with helmets suffered "incapacitating injuries." The number was 28 percent for helmetless riders.

Statewide, cyclists without helmets were 43 percent more likely to suffer “incapacitating” injuries. Of more than 100 deaths, they were three times more likely to be killed, according to MLive.

Helmetless operators were at fault 50 percent of the time, compared with 41 percent for those with helmets across the state. They also were more likely to have been drinking, one in seven compared with one in 17 with helmets.

The law that allowed motorcyclists to ride without a helmet was introduced in the Michigan state Senate on March 24, 2011, and passed on June 28. In April 2012, if certified for two years or more, it was legal to ride helmetless.

See a digest of and's coverage of the series Uneasy Riders, a five-day special report on the aftermath of Michigan's new helmet-choice law.


Detached Observer

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

I'm perfectly happy if morons choose to cull themselves from the herd by riding motorcycles without helmets. But I take issue with the idiots who say that wearing helmet does not make one safer. Really? Construction workers, football players and soldiers wear helmets. Race car drivers "live on the edge" and they wear helmets. Even a cheap plastic helmet can make the difference between a nasty gash and no harm done. I know this from personal experience from my days on a chainsaw crew. If all this isn't clear to you, go for a nice long drive and think it over.

harry b

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

This just in ....Rain is wet.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

This one sure got the Obama liberals excited! I really want the govrnment to protect me, how about water wings when I take a shower?? Take a breath and think about the deficit.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Maybe the lobbyists who either knowingly or negligently presented skewed information should be charged with the same thing?

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

When these folks are killed or maimed because of the change in the law, can we arrest Gov Snyder and charge him with something like negligent homicide or wanton endangerment?

zip the cat

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Anyone who rides a motorcycle without a helmet is a complete and total moron.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

Well, duh! And the cynical pols who voted for this knew it; national data showing this have been available for years. Darwin's law will help cull the herd.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

2Wheels, cars already have a host of legally mandated safety provisions, which are much more effective than any safety provisions on motorcycles. If cars didn't have seatbelts, crush zones, airbags, padded dashes, side-impact beams, collapsible steering columns, rollover protection, and the driver wasn't surrounded by a protective steel cage, then yes, I might not object to a law requiring helmet use in cars. And I've worn a helmet every time I've taken one of my cars to the racetrack, even though they already had most of those safety items.

A A Resident

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

If freedom was truly your issue, there are plenty of other things to take a stand on which won't result in loss of life. I own motorcycles. They don't own me. I don't rely on them for my identity. So I can take a more practical approach than the emotional approach some motorcyclists take. I haven't been brainwashed by a small but vocal part of the motorcycle culture, and am largely independent from their peer pressure, so I'm not interested in running around like Chicken Little, claiming that "the sky is falling". My pragmatic approach, and decrying a change in the law which results in more killing and maiming of us motorcyclists makes me part of some problem? Get a grip, son!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

I completely disagree. Freedom is freedom. Freedom to ride a motorcycle is no different than freedom not to wear a helmet. If forfeiting freedom in the name of safety is acceptable in regards to helmets, why not motorcycles in general? I promise you it will happen some day. As I stated earlier, if the motorcycle had been invented today, there's no way it would have been approved for use by the general public. They're only legal now because they were invented in a time when people didn't expect the government to take care of them like they do now. That's why you're such a huge part of the problem. If you, a motorcyclist, says we're not capable of deciding for ourselves what level of safety is acceptable, why would they stop at helmets. You're actually a bigger part of the problem than the armchair quarterbacks who point at us and shake their heads in disapproval.

A A Resident

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

P.S. I seriously doubt that we will accomplish anything to preserve motorcycling by approving legislation which withdraws safety requirements, making them more dangerous.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

What happens when they realize that in spite of helmets it's still incredibly dangerous? Nothing more than a quick stroke of the pen could save many motorcyclists. All of them in fact. THAT'S bang for your buck! Again, I hope you figure it out before it's too late. Good luck!

A A Resident

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

If we want to have continued freedom to ride motorcycles, I think one of the most productive things we could do is to take some simple and proven steps to reduce the injury and death rates. Like wearing safety gear. If that needs to be mandated to save motorcycling, so be it.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

And now that we have that cleared up, I'll ask that another way: You'd get awesome "bang for your buck" by outlawing motorcycles, so why not do it? I sure hope you realize that's where we're headed before it's too late. If you're really a motorcyclist, you should do your part to make sure that doesn't happen. That means, vote for freedom from those who would take that freedom away. Unfortunately you're on the wrong side of the fence.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

Holy smokes! That was in comparison to CARS, not to riders without helmets. We were talking about CARS. Here, I'll restate it for you: Also, since riders who wear helmets are still significantly more likely to die in an accident (compared to cars), wouldn't it make sense to just outlaw motorcycles? Why don't you support that?

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

"Are you delusional? What are you talking about? I never said that. Show me where I said that." It's at the beginning of the 7th post in this subsection, and bears your name. I don't know if there's any point in going back and forth any more. I think most people will get the picture, whether you do or not.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

So you care about a billion, but not 32,000. See, we're getting closer to a number. Somewhere between a billion and 32,000. And I didn't say I don't care about the people. I said no matter how many die, I'm not willing to make a law that stops people from choosing to do what they want to do. I'm just not so controlling.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

Still waiting for you to show me where I said that.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

"So I'll give you my answer. I don't care if a billion people die in auto accidents every year, .." I do, so maybe that's a fundamental difference between you and I. Perhaps you don't care about strangers, but maybe you'd feel differently if a few of those people were a wife, parent, son or daughter. That's what each of these people is to someone. We can't save them all, but we can choose where to most intelligently apply the resources we are willing to put out.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Are you delusional? What are you talking about? I never said that. Show me where I said that.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

"I already told you that I never ride without one, so don't tell me I got sucked in." Didn't you say previously that motorcycle riders wearing helmets were significantly more likely to die in accidents? So why do you wear one? I think that's enough to rest my case about you getting sucked in, one way or another.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

That's a politician's answer. I want to know the actual number. How many people must die per year in auto accidents before you think mandating helmet usage in cars is justified. How many? Obviously, since you think they should be mandatory for motorcyclists, you've come up with a number. So, apply it to cars. How many? Can't answer it, can you? Until then we'll just say you have no problem with 32,000 dead people per year. So I'll give you my answer. I don't care if a billion people die in auto accidents every year, I STILL don't want them mandated. Just like motorcycles. See how easy it is to show how you stand on an issue when you're not trying to run other people's lives? It's easy. It's much harder to defend your position when you're talking about taking away people's freedoms based on some "bang for the buck" arbitrary number. You have to resort to personal attacks instead.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

"So define "bang for the buck". You're avoiding the question. What number of people have to die in auto accidents before you think helmets should be mandatory? Answer the question." Sorry, thought I had already answered the question. In my mind, "bang for the buck", in this context, means application of helmet laws where they will do the most good for the least money, as a first priority. That would be motorcycles.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

I already told you that I never ride without one, so don't tell me I got sucked in. If I had, I wouldn't wear one. But obviously you know you can't defend your "bang for the buck" logic, so now you're attacking me.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

"Also, since riders who wear helmets are still significantly more likely to die in an accident, .." I guess you haven't digested the article, and haven't taken a hard look at the other similar information from many other sources. What I dislike most about the repeal of the helmet law is that it was mostly accomplished through spin and deception. The main claim was that helmets didn't provide an increase in safety, not that they infringed on freedom of choice. You and I both know the "no-safer" agenda has been pushed so hard for so many years, that many motorcyclists believe it. And some will make decisions based on it. It looks like you've been sucked in by that too. That's the biggest tragedy, that accurate information has been eclipsed by an agenda, largely pushed by a subset of motorcyclists, to the detriment of other motorcyclists who make the mistake of believing them. Way to pi$$ on our own people! Had the helmet law been repealed based on "Sure, it's quite a bit more dangerous to ride without one, but personal freedom should prevail", I'd feel a little differently about it.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

So define "bang for the buck". You're avoiding the question. What number of people have to die in auto accidents before you think helmets should be mandatory? Answer the question.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

Also, since riders who wear helmets are still significantly more likely to die in an accident, wouldn't it make sense to just outlaw motorcycles? Why don't you support that?

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

My tipping point? I"m inclined to go along with "bang for the buck", until I learn of something better. The first most effective and effective use of helmets appears to be on motorcycles and race vehicles. The race vehicle thing is already a done deal.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

OK, so what's YOUR tipping point. I'm not asking about a politician. You're obviously for helmets on motorcycles, so how many people have to die per year before you're all for wearing them in cars as well? 32,000 obviously isn't enough. 60,000? Get it now? See why it should be up to the individual to decide? You can't legislate some utopian vision of safety without making it illegal to leave your house. Actually, you can't even do it then. Since it's not possible, people need to make their own informed choices. NOBODY knows better than ME what's good for ME.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

2Wheels, I'm not a politician, and have no desire to be, but I'm guessing that when politician aren't obsessed with money and getting re-elected, they think about things like efficacy, and getting the best death-reducing bang for the buck. I don't know how much has been spent cars over the years, to increase safety and crash survival. I'll take a wild guess that it comes to about $2000 per car. But it appears that a motorcyclist can highly increase safety, without much more inconvenience than fastening a seat belt, for about 120 bucks.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Tell that to those 32,000 people. So if 32,000 people aren't important enough, what number is? What is the magic number of lives that makes mandatory helmet usage in cars a good law?

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

Probably because motorcycle riders die at 7-10 times the rate of car drivers, when involved in accidents.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

And in spite of all those amazing safety features more than 32,000 people died in auto accidents just last year. So again, why aren't helmets mandatory in cars. If it could save even one life, wouldn't it be worth it?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

And for the next piece of startling news from the A2 Snooze: the sun will rise tomorrow.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

At the Hosp ER they have a name for helmet less bikers: OD (Organ Donor).

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Abe, I'll disagree with your claim that most riders hated the helmet law, although it was true for some niche groups, like Harley riders. When I lived in California, before their helmet law, the vast majority of riders wore them. The majority of riders still wear them in Michigan.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

"2wheels- You have worded it the way I was trying to. Your exactly right....I actually do wear my helmet, and I encourage others to wear theirs, but we do not want someone telling us we have to. We like to have that option, even if it is not an option we will ever exercise." So you don't want others telling you to do, even if you might have already decided to do it on your own? I was thinking of that as kind of a teenage puberty problem, so maybe I'll need to give it some more thought. But the guy owns a Shovelhead and a Triumph, so I'll probably need to rethink some of the things I've said. That's not sarcasm, but an acknowledgement that the guy is probably a highly experienced motorcyclist who knows more than most motorcyclists.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

"A A Resident, are you a rider?" Yes, currently have a Harley FXCWC, second one. Before that, a mix of chops, British, and sportbikes, including a Triumph Daytona and Bonneville, and a BSA Congrats to you on owning a shovel and a Triumph. Other readers, sorry for bike-rider shorthand that you may not understand.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

I've seen him. He's a BMW rider with a Nolan helmet (in safety green) with a matching safety green jacket (with airbags), and reflective stickers all over his saddle bags. Just kidding, I have a BMW myself.

Honest Abe

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

A A Resident, are you a rider?

Honest Abe

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

2wheels- You have worded it the way I was trying to. Your exactly right....I actually do wear my helmet, and I encourage others to wear theirs, but we do not want someone telling us we have to. We like to have that option, even if it is not an option we will ever exercise.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

I can only speak for myself, but yes. But again, I always wear one. If you think the seatbelt law is valid, would you also support a law requiring helmets in cars? If not, why not?

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

Do you guys also hate the seatbelt law? That's a much more widespread infringement on freedom of choice.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

You're mixing distaste of the helmet law with not wearing a helmet. I, and many riders I know, never ride without helmets, yet every single one of us hates the helmet law. Believing in freedom of choice does NOT equate to exercising that freedom. I have never smoked, will never smoke, and can't even stand the sight of people smoking. Yet I completely support the right of others to smoke. Don't mix the two.

Honest Abe

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

I'm a rider too. I ride a Harley panhead and a Triumph 650 Tiger. I began riding in the 60's and I can tell you that most riders (key word is 'most', not all riders) hated the helmet law. It was felt that they should have the option and not wear one if they chose. You would be surprised at how many riders went to Ohio, simply to ride without a helmet until Snyder signed the law, making it optional. It's awful to lose a life over any kind of accident, but harder if the person died when a helmet might have saved their life. But I also support people having freedom and making their own decisions. A lot of riders feel that they do not have to worry about how they ride, but how how others drive. And a lot of riders also feel that if it's anything serious involving them and their bike, oh well. And then you have the rider who likes riding on the edge, they know it is very risky riding without their helmet, but they are doing what they want, not what the government wants. You'd be surprised. These riders know all risks involved. But, they also want to make their own decisions, not have them made for them. Riding a bike is already dangerous. They are no match against a car, truck or deer. But most riders already have a risky/on the edge attitude to begin with. So what is going to be the next law? Guard rails along the sidewalk? Crossing guards at every crossing area? Helmets in cars? Knee/elbow pads for joggers? I know a lot of you do not want to hear this, but the rider should have the option. If not, then maybe the motorcycle should just be outright banned from being rode.

Honest Abe

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

What I'm saying is I believe in freedom of choice, just like another commenter and fellow rider on here said. I personally always wear a helmet, and I encourage all riders to wear a helmet. But I support the right to not wear one if you choose not to.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

lol whoever made this article and study needs a helmet


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Helmet-Choice is a choice. This is how we weed out the gene pool. Smoking is still a choice. A stupid choice, but still a choice. Careful drivers and riders look out for the unexpected, take precautions and instill those habits in their offspring. Sometimes accidents are just freakishly bizarre. But, most are not.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

One of my friends once told me that he doesn't want to wear a helmet because if he crashes on a motorcycle, he'd rather not survive. If a helmet protects your head enough when you crash that you can avoid hitting a child that you might have otherwise killed, isn't it worth it? (Pulled muscle vs dead kid. Hmm.) After pulling people out of car wreaks for five years as a firefighter, crashes happen and you can't count on your experience to keep you safe. The two years of "required" certification means absolutely nothing as there is no actual documented ride time. Letting "experienced" motorcyclists ride helmetless makes no sense and unnecessarily endangers the public.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

Actually, I've never ridden without one. Though unlike most I don't try to impose my choices on others.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

Hope you wore your helmet, even if only for comfort. (wink)


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Ah, you want to play Devi's Advocate. Show me just one example of a child who has been saved because someone on a motorcycle was wearing a helmet. Just one. By the way, I rode my motorcycle to work today in the rain. Very dangerous. I probably shouldn't be allowed to. And I rode to work yesterday in the fog. Again, I probably shouldn't be allowed to. Thanks for protecting me from myself.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

"You do realize the helmet works as your head hits the pavement, right? " Or as your head hits part of the motorcycle. That's one reason why you often see padding on the handlebars of dirt bikes.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

"If a helmet protects your head enough when you crash that you can avoid hitting a child that you might have otherwise killed" You do realize the helmet works as your head hits the pavement, right? How exactly are you going to avoid hitting a child AFTER you've hit the pavement?

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Yes, thank you You have probably saved some lives. Motorcyclists, you may think it's cool to ride without a helmet, but how cool is it to need to have someone else change your diapers for the rest of your life? You're not always lucky enough to die.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Thank you,, for printing these statistics.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

P.S. For those who want to pick at this small study, do your homework. There are larger studies, with larger sample sizes and more thorough data acquisition, all over the world, and they come to the same conclusion.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

If the point is to prove something with stats then the math should be very clear. 3000 accidents.- 2300 with helmets on and 700 without. 105 In Washtenaw - 77 with vs 28 without. Both show about a three to one ratio in all accidents. That is probably the pool ratio. Great, but not having that fact quickly voids any claim about the accident results and others should be looked at. If 3/4 of all MI riders wore helmets then the accident study is good. if only half did then the math clearly says that it is safer to ride without protection. Not spin. Just simple math. Try this, Drunk drivers cause one out of ten accidents. Does that mean that drunks are safer drivers and should get an insurance discount? Absolutely Not ! The ratio of drunk drivers to others in the pool is tiny - say 1 in 1000 much less than the favorable 1 in 10 stats - but when compared as an equal weight they are by far the worst cause of accidents and are regulated as the 100x threat they really are. The math doesn't lie.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

And 3,000 data points is not a small study.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Motorcycle riders more likely to be killed in accidents than automobile drivers. I'm sick of paying for this!! I want motorcycles outlawed altogether. And helmets NEED to be mandatory for bicycles as well. (You just can't be too safe you know.) How many more must DIE before we stop this insanity. Think of the CHILDREN. Think of the WIDOWS and ORPHANS. Think, people. THINK. (How'd I do? I'm trying to be "liberal")


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Still trying to get that income tax going too. Hopefully, we can soak the out of towners to pay for our art. I LIKE art. Now, off to Zingermans for a $15 reuben. Hopefully I don't need to knock the knees out from somebody standing in MY spot, but 'ya gotta do what 'ya gotta do.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

You did well. Your willingness to give up freedoms only for things that don't affect YOU is impressive. You'll fit in well in this town.

A A Resident

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Thanks for writing the follow-up story, John. It helps clear up some of the misinformation and spin in the "comments" section in the previous story, some of it from motorcyclists, and some of it the same spin which was used to change the law. I'll partly repeat something I said after the last story: As a motorcyclist who started riding over 40 years ago, I'd like to take some of the anti-helmet or pro-choice riders to task for their irresponsible claims, particularly those who lobbied for the repeal. These people have contributed to riders having a false sense of security without a helmet, or led them to believe that they hadn't substantially increased their risk. These people are partly responsible for the carnage. Shame on them! They are a disgrace to the rest of us motorcyclists.

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Interesting point... while I agree with the spirit of the law (though not necessarily with the full implementation -- the extra insurance the riders are required to buy doesn't seem to be enough to statistically cover the extra medical care the average helmetless rider would need over a helmeted one), I can see that the spin created could well do that. I'd love some good HONEST stats... it's fine with me if the stats show that you have 10x as likely chance of being a vegetable or dying or whatever, as long as you cover the likely cost of that risk to the rest of us, go for it! But let new riders know the odds they face and let them decide for themselves. I certainly do see a risk/benefit line that has to be decided individually, and perhaps by society... nearly everyone likes to do some risky activity, and many would be horrified if skiing were illegal, or hunting, or race car driving on a track. And I can totally get the thrill of the wind in your hair. And if someone says that adrenaline rush is greater than the worry of the risk, and if they're old enough to make that decision, fine by me.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

How much did this great discovery cost us to be researched?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

Personally, I've experienced more damage when using a helmet. Fell off my bike some time back as I was rounding a curve, managed to roll away from the bike (bike was ok) but the helmet caused me to pull something in my neck. After some time being in pain I went to a doctor and ended up I had tore my trapezius in my neck. Months of physical therapy followed and it still bothers me a bit today. This past summer I decided to just lose the helmet completely cause it hurts just to ride with it. I also feel much more aware of my situation without the helmet ... if the politicians repeal the law, I'll probably be done riding.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

You CAN NOT count the broken down motorcyclist as a statistic for helmet use.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

I agree on this point.

Mark Pearlman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

This implications of this law goes beyond the "freedom to do dumb things" argument. The State of Michigan does have a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens/tax payers. There is compelling evidence that states who do not have helmet laws pay out considerably more in health care dollars. And increasingly, those are tax payer dollars (e.g., Medicaid), not private insurance. The best data on helmet laws and health care costs come from a CDC-sponsored study: "Increasing motorcycle helmet use can save lives and money," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "In 2010, more than $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use in the United States. Another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets." Helmets prevent 37 percent of crash deaths among riders and 41 percent among passengers. They also prevent 13 percent of serious injuries and 8 percent of minor injuries to riders and passengers. SOURCE: For so many reasons, the legislature and the governor needs to go back and fix this flawed law.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

Smokers and obese people pay extra on their premiums. Why shouldn't helmet less riders? That is really all I am asking for, that those that choose to not use helmets have enough insurance so that I don't have to pay for their medical care. Is that too Liberal for you? See, I thought personal responsibility was a "conservative" notion.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Clownfish... yet I as a non-smoker has to pay increased insurance rates because of smokers. Oh yeah, and I don't eat foods with high fructose corn syrup. And I don't rock climb, and I don't skateboard. Why do I have to pay for those who do?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

But Mark, it is about freedom!! The people that want this law don't want to pay for Other Peoples life mistakes. Don't you see the logical connection? Neither do I.

Peter Eckstein

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Governor Snyder is an intelligent man, but signing the no-helmet-required law was the stupidest thing he has done in his two years as governor. I hope he can find a way to explain his decision to the family of Scott Pohl and all the others.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Good to see Senator Warren voted against it too.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

I agree. I was very disappointed he signed this. I wrote to to Rep Ouimet, who was my rep and he replied he was against this. According to this article, he voted against it.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

In other breaking news, people walking in the rain without an umbrella are more likely to be wet, and people outside in the winter without a coat are more likely to be cold. Any other science breakthroughs for us today?

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

If I was going to smack you upside the head with a baseball bat with your choice of... A. a baseball hat on B. a motorcycle helmet on which would you choose? Does "living dangerously or on the edge" factor in?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

"One should prepare for a worst case scenario" So you DO wear a helmet all the time just in case you get hit with a bat? That is the worst case scenario, and you should be prepared. Right? And it'll cost you LESS than $200. Right? No, I didn't think so. You're only worried about OTHER people.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

One should prepare for a worst case scenario if that preparation is a $200 investment in life or death.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

Terrible analogy. In your example someone IS going to hit you in the head. You don't walk around with a helmet on because someone MAY hit you in the head with a baseball bat. Likewise, most motorcyclists ride their whole lives without a serious accident. In your analogy, if I KNEW I was going to get in a motorcycle accident, I WOULDN'T RIDE AT ALL.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

My fellow riders and I call those bikers without helmets no brainers.

Bob W

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

No more, no less than the laws of physics. Why do you suppose they wear helmets in the NFL?

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

Most players on the field are VERY likely to be hit in a game... that's part of the game, to AIM for them. So yeah, the others could be hit, but the odds are a lot lower. It all comes down to cost/benefit. And, sometimes, unintended consequences. Put a helmet on the wrong person in some field in the name of safety and discover it obstructs their vision and causes them more accidents.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

And the laws of math that those physics depend upon. Why do you suppose the benchwarmers, the coaches, the assistants, and the refs are not all wearing their helmets, too? Maybe nobody but the big oafs go out looking to hit someone or be hit.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Great job of twisting statistics. Oh, and people that ride without helmets are alcoholics! Maybe it's because some of the older riders like to ride without helmets, and the younger riders, who have a higher accident rate, are too young to drink. And blaming motorcyclists for excessive medical care is irresponsible; how about the crazy bicycle riders that ride without helmets and recklessly ride like they own the road? And how about car drivers with minimun coverage and no medical? The Michigan Unlimited Medical law covers everyone. Instead of complaining about Motorcyclists, why don't you work on changing the law.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

For those that savor this "freedom" to go without a helmet, how many orphans can we put you down to support? We know most of you don't want the gubment taking care of them because Mom and Dad made a life mistake.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

no takers? I am shocked.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Really? Motorcyclists ANYWHERE are more likely to be injured without helmets.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

The situation is very similar to the Barry Bonds steroid example now used to describe global warming effects. It's hard to attribute any individual home run to Bonds' steroid use, but the drugs created the environment that let him hit 73 in one year. Likewise, it's hard to say someone died in any individual motorcycle accident because he wasn't wearing a helmet, but the impact is obvious over the long term.

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

That's a problem with lots of discussions on lots of topics on (and everywhere) -- if 1,000 more people died because they didn't wear helmets than wouldn't have, it just takes one person to know someone (or he heard of someone who knows someone) who claimed that in a weird circumstance, not having a helmet meant a car bumper JUST cleared their head... then they start campaigning that going helmetless saved a guy's life so it's better. It's like the bicycle discussions, which boil down to "I saw a guy riding in the dark with no headlights on the wrong side of the road, let's make bicycling FAR more regulated as they are the big danger to driving," of course ignoring the dozen idiot drivers they encountered who were speeding, tailgating, texting, and otherwise driving illegally. One anecdote, it seems, is worth a thousand stats.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

No, really? you don't say!! thanks for pointing this out to us dumb rubes.......

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

The new helmet law is a no-brainer. You shouldn't be legally obligated to wear one and you probably won't survive an accident without one. If a man lives for danger, let him die for it.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Problem is we all have to cover the costs. You have to be brainless (or suicidal) to ride without a helmet.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Helmets don't save lives government involvement does ! We need to be locked in our houses for our own safety ! If we stayed in bed all day there would be less accidents! Why not take Bobs money and give to Tom , then Tom can stay in bed and not Get hurt ? You guys are really SMART


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

I was referring to your desire to have your government sterilize your life.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

2WHEELS, how does my surfing the internet cause your premiums to rise?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Well Clown, perhaps you should consider China. Their government is huge and intrusive and oppressive. Is that what you want? Maybe you should be protected from what you read on the internet as well.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

Afghanistan has weak central government, something many here want to see more of. I bet they have no regulations about helmets. No Jondhall, I don't need Sen Vitter to come help me dress. But, I do want to know that my kids jammies don't have toxins in them, or that their school does not have asbestos or lead paint. I think the last few presidents have enjoyed your money, along with the last few decades of congress, both liberal and conservative. Did you know that federal spending has dropped in the last few years? bet you didn't. Did you know that more than likely your taxes and insurance will go up due to the new helmet law? More injuries + no increase in riders premiums= cost passed along to other people.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

He is a wacko liberal no doubt needs the government to dress him!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Did you really just give Afghanistan as an example of a free society? That has to be the most ignorant statement I've seen today. Afghanistan's Government is an Islamic Republic. I sure hope when you go there looking for freedom that you're not a woman. You might not come back.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

Clown unions protect people too, I guess? You have your PRESIDENT enjoy my $$


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Here, have some asbestos with your lead. Why do we need those silly lines in the road? More rat feces in my canned goods, please, and just a little more salmonella salad on the side. And why should doctors need a license to practice? When I want to live without governments I go to Sudan or Afghanistan. Great places, you goin'?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

This article is a great example of how the same statistics can very easily be used for BOTH sides of an argument.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

Richard, yes, you're right, there can be interconnected effects. For instance, perhaps people are more likely to wear helmets in bad weather and thus more likely to have an accident while wearing a helmet. Maybe people who like to ride without helmets don't ride in bad weather. Etc. All of those things have to be considered when answering the question, Are you more likely to have an accident while wearing a helmet? Or even, Is it more dangerous to ride without a helmet (which, I agree, is sort of the question of this article's headline)? But the data does unambiguously show, "If you're in an accident, you're more likely to be injured without a helmet." Since those odds are about 40-50%, a helmeted rider would have to be about 50% more likely to have an accident to even out the effect, and I really doubt that's the case.

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Snark12, I *think* that's what LXIX was getting at... I was having a bit of trouble following it all, but yes. You really have to know things like what percentage of riders do/don't wear helmets. That'd be a good first cut. But sometimes with deeper drilling you can find other correlations that mess up pulling out the right conclusions... for example, is there a correlation either way between experience and helmet use? I imagine some riders with age and experience or maybe they just know a now-vegetable say "wow, I really SHOULD protect my brain better." Conversely, some riders with experience may say "I'm a better rider now, so no reason to keep wearing a helmet." Does one tend to predominate? Just an example.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

@LXIX - The data does not say you're 3X as likely to have an accident if you wear a helmet. You could just as (wrongly) assume that only 700 people rode without helmets and they ALL had accidents. Of course you need to know the data from the entire pool of riders to make such a statement.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

@snark12 Yes. The numbers for those without helmets in accidents are daunting. But as said before - 3000 accidents and only 700 are without helmets. That in itself says riders are 3x more likely to have accidents if wearing helmets. Who really knows withouth the pool facts? Based on that ratio alone, however, it is 3x safer to ride without a helmet when not looking for an accident. Once in an accident, however, put the helmet on..


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

@LXIX What I said is perfectly accurate. I was discussing "motorcyclists having an accident," not the entire population of cyclists. And if you want to argue that wearing a helmet makes you more likely to have an accident, there is nothing in the data presented that indicates that. Yes, you'd have to look at the entire population of cyclists for that same six month period in 2011 and 2012 to even see if a difference is detectable.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

@snark12 Please read my post above. Without any more story detail the helmeted injury stats are actually 3 times higher! Suppose I took all the diamonds out of a deck of cards. There are twice as many black cards as red ones in the entire "pool". If I pay out $3 on a $2 bet for choosing the correct color card drawn from the pool what color should be bet on? So it make a difference how the deck is stacked? If out of 4 tries 3 drawn were actually red and 1 was black would red now be a safer bet? How many riders are accident free (the deck) and what percent go without a helmet (black)? It really makes a big difference.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Well, only if you let someone try to use the statistics in a misleading way. The stats for Washtenaw County alone are less conclusive because the number of data points is smaller, but they generally agree with the larger state-wide data set. And, yes, I think the number of data points is meaningful (3000 motorcycle accidents statewide in six months, 700+ without helmets). The result is pretty clear: motorcyclists having an accident are 40-50% more likely to be seriously injured if they're not wearing a helmet.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

My question is does riding without a helmet cost more in auto insurance? My auto insurance gives me a discount for saying I will ware a sit belt.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

Judy, it is supposed to. According to this article, if you are dumb enough to ride without a helmet you are required to purchase an extra $20,000 in medical insurance. I don't know what twit added that to the law, since in a serious accident, $20k will likely cover about 20 minutes in an ER.!-Michigan-repeals-helmet-law-for-motorcyclists Also I cannot understand how anyone would know a helmetless cyclist has purchased the additional insurance. Or if it applies to out of state riders. How the hell would they know that? I am particularly irked about this because of the ongoing battle over the cost of health care and this law does not only run up costs for riders, but it will for the rest of us too in regard to the costs of those who neglect to purchase the insurance. I would prefer laws that require people to try as much as possible to stay health which will help keep costs down.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Those are marking ploys. They would not really charge you more if you said no, it's all a gimmick to make you think you got a smoking deal. The agent would just find another way to make you feel you got a deal (safe driver, own a car that is not red, change your tires regularly, the car is new, the car is old, the car is not on the list of top 2 stolen cars last month, you live in Ann Arbor, you don't live in Ann Arbor, you are a woman, you are not a kid, etc....) If you study psychology, you will find that most would answer yes even if it was no, as they would feel it would benefit them, and would ask "how would they know?" Insurance is a scam system, for those who sell it and those who try to cheat it. The rest of us - majority - fit the bill.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

This news depends upon the representative pool of TOTAL riders. Out of THAT unknown pool of 'with' or 'without' helmet riders - there were 3000 mc crashes april 13 - oct 13 and out of that 3000 total, 700 of the mc crashes had no helmets Because the TOTAL pool is unknow we "assume" it is equal between those with and without helmets, What your result would say then is that if you wear a helmet you are more than 3 times as likely to have an accident. Here >>> 2300 with versus 700 without. Those without helmets are 3x more likely to avoid all injury and that same 3x weighting must be used in all your injury results as well! If one dies with a helmet and 2 die without then because most without avoided the crash altogether by a 3:1 ratio effectively 3x1=3 died with a helmet on and 2 without, NOW do those numbers again. Only when the TOTAL pool is exactly out of every 3000 riders 700 have no helmet does this story mean anything. If out of all michigan riders half go without helmets then the 3x must be used. If only 2300 total riders in MI wore a helmet then the story would be "if anyone wears a helmet they are 100% likely to be in an accident." Not good !


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:52 a.m.

Sorry Jake C. but that is exactly how the chain of probability works in statistics. Like drawing from a deck of cards, without knowing how the original pool is arranged the outcome startistics are meaningless. Like drawing 5 aces from a deck is probably not a miracle but rather a stacked card deck. Because the aritcle did not say how many riders wear helmets to begin with (the deck) a guess has to be made and the statistics viewed from that starting point. The motorcycle statistics are news but have zero meaning if the rider deck is "unknow". With no other info 50/50 helmets to no helmets is the "fair" starting point. Others were shown. A balance or equal distribution or "fair" deck or dice is how probability calculation is normally begun . Avoid Vegas.

Jake C

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

"Because the TOTAL pool is unknow we "assume" it is equal between those with and without helmets," Good job of making assumptions, but that's not how statistics works, so your entire analysis is flawed.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

File this one under, "DUH!".


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Statistics also show that walking down the street without a helmet increases your chance of a head injury. Yet nobody's proposing a law forcing people to wear helmets when they walk. If the motorcycle was invented today, the Government would never allow it to be sold to the public. People want safety legislated, but to what end? Maybe it's time to take a good look at how dangerous cars really are. Can you imagine how many lives we could save if we got rid of cars? We should start by making helmet use in cars mandatory. You laugh, but it has already happened with seat-belts and airbags. What's next?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Bit of an error in logic there. "Both statewide and countywide, the data show motorcyclists who don't wear helmets are more likely to suffer injuries." That's a fallacy of composition. To demonstrate that, you'd have to have information on *all* motorcyclists, not just people involved in crashes. It's like saying, "Looking at book store receipts, people buy more mysteries than cookbooks, so humans are more interested in mystery than eating." What the article should say is that of those motorcyclists involved in crashes, those who weren't wearing helmets were more likely to receive incapacitating injuries. That really doesn't say too much about the safety of experienced people motorcycling without helmets. Look at the two fatality examples. One was a young, inexperienced motorcyclist breaking the law and living dangerously. The other was an older man hit while sitting on the side of the road. One wasn't experienced, the other wasn't actually operating the motorcycle. And the year before, three people - all helmeted - were killed in crashes. Should we conclude that helmetless motorcycling resulted in a 50% decrease in motorcycling fatalities? Of course not. Second, last I checked, "cyclists" included both motorcyclists and bicyclists. If you take, "Statewide, cyclists without helmets were 43 percent more likely to suffer "incapacitating" injuries" out of context, I'd bet most people would think you were talking about bicyclists. And I always wear my helmet when cycling to work.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

I know I'm being really picky here, but, your analogy about bookstore receipts should be that people buying cookbooks are interested in cooking.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Yes, the stats here are not even weak, they are just numbers with very little relation. Plus, the sample size is small and the numbers a statistically useless.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

I feel like motorcycle licenses should default the holder to organ donation. "Hey we get it, but if you're going to ride like you are, we're going to be sharing your organs with those who might benefit"

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

everyone should be an automatic organ donor. it's not like we need them once we're dead anyway.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

How do you feel about automobile drivers? They're dangerous too. Or is is just an arbitrary matter of degree that applies only to activities to which you don't participate?

Evelyn Griffin

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

This is no brainer. The Governor and legislature give motorcyclists the right to kill themselves because it might bring in more tourists and infringing on their rights...and at the same time, ticket me if I don't protect my life by buckling up. What if I didn't want to for some moronic reason.. About time they change the law. EvieG

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

Require extra insurance or no pay-out for those who choose to ride without seat belts. I'm all for it!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

ALSO......let's hear a little more about the THREE fatalities of riders who WERE wearing their helmets....why did they die if they.were wearing their helmets?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

probably because the crash was so horrific it wouldn't have made any difference if they were wearing helmets? This is pure speculation and a spurious conclusion that you seem to draw.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Has anyone raised the issue that riding a motorcycle on a road designed for and occupied by cars and trucks is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS and risky as compared to being in a car. And not just motorcycles - bicycles are not allowed on the interstate for a reason. But should they be allowed on any road where cars are allowed to go more than 30 miles per hour? We all pay the higher insurance rates when bicyclists, who are difficult to see and who do not travel at the same speed as legal traffic, are struck by cars.

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Yep, I'm sure if bicycles were against the law, helmetless cyclists would never be harmed.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

We all pay higher insurance premiums when people leave the safety of their homes and go to work in the morning. That must stop.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

See! *ANY* conversation involving anything on a street - pedestrians; motorcyclists; heck probably tractors and Amish buggies - is evidence that *bicyclists* are the problem!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

So basically what your saying is that I was right........fatalities went down. Lol @ all the smart people who told me I as wrong....

Carol Peterson

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

I agree with all of the comments. Wearing a helmet is a no-brainer. Of course there are going to be more injuries/fatalites without one. Doesn't the AA news have other things to report on?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Gee John ..ya think...How about " unsafe sex can be dangerous " ..or " walking across the expressway could lead to great bodily harm " ....instead of the headline how about something like " Those who CHOOSE to ride without a motorcycle helmet know the risks " ..and for all the " they crash we pay crowd " we have " my fault " car insurance because drivers buy an insurance rider then cancel after they get their plates...they crash we pay too....

Jake C

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

nekm1:much like wearing helmets in a car, seatbelts in buses are not proven to increase the safety of the riders because of their physical characteristics. The same cannot be said of motorcycles and helmets.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Wow, hermhawk, that statement is mind-boggling. If it's not up to the individual to determine how safe they want to live their life, who is it up to? Not just about two-wheeled transportation. Everything. Is there some freedom that could be taken away from YOU to make YOU safer? Absolutely. Are you ready for that?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

Exactly right! Next, they will want to cut up your food in smaller pieces, make kids wear helmets outside, turn football into flag football only...Where does it stop? People die and are injured every day from any number of things! How about seatbelts in busses?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

You cyclists don't get it and never will, if you even care. That Ron and Rand Paul libertarian philosophy about your individual freedoms and all else be damned you subscribe to is just plain arrogance. The helmet law you folks pushed to repeal is a slap in the face to those who value general health and safety. Remember what one sows that they shall also reap.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

Hello, Darwin calling.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

he got a busy signal...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.


Jake C

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Technically, it's possible that the overall number of helmet-less rider injuries and/or deaths have gone done since the law was passed, but that doesn't mean much from a statistical percentage, since the drop could be attributed to any number of confounding factors. What really matters is whether wearing a helmet reduces your risk of injury & death, your risk of suffering an accident in the first place, and other associated variables such as seeing that helmet-less drivers are significantly more likely to have been drinking alcohol.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

You beat me to it, Barzoom.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

You would be surprised, BAR. Just the other day some one tried to claim just the opposite, that injuries have gone down since the law passed.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

Dumb law. Should require those not wearing helmets to fully pay their hospital bills for any head injuries.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Why would one vote this down? Seems like common sense. If you want to ride helmet less you should have enough insurance to cover yourself so we don't have to. Or, wear a helmet.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

Statistics: Washtenaw County motorcyclists without helmets more likely to be injured... And by the way - Water is wet...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.

This certainly is a no brainer!! Many years ago I was involved in a motorcycle crash and that helmet sure saved my life.

Jake C

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

I can't believe I need to write this, but helmets would not make car occupants any safer because of pre-existing safety measures such as seat belts and air bags. It's only at NASCAR-level speeds where helmets offer a substantial level of protection.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

You realize that wearing a helmet in a car makes you more likely to survive a crash also. Do you wear one in a car? Yes, the risk is greater on a motorcycle, but I'm just curious where you draw the line. Me? I even wear a helmet when I shower. Wet bathtubs are very slippery.

Hans Masing

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

It certainly IS a no-brainer, especially after the closed head wound turns them in to a vegetable.