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Discussion Starter #1
in the debate on helmet laws, occasionally i'll see the mention that if more/all bikers wore helmets, or were forced to wear helmets by law, then it would be cost effective for all of us; that bikers who don't wear helmets actually contribute to higher medical costs/insurance/emergency services. the reasoning, if i understand it correctly, is that a dead biker manufactures more/higher costs than a biker who survives an accident, and that there would be fewer dead bikers if everyone was wearing a helmet.

personal preferences aside (and agreeing that a helmet does improve your chance of survival in accidents), i've never actually seen this backed up with any actual facts/figures which begs the question: is this true? would taxes/insurance/etc actually be lower if there were fewer biker fatalities and universal helmet laws? the wrench that i throw into this is that a biker who would have died in an accident if not for wearing a helmet is now alive but has accumulated a mountain of medical bills/lost wages/etc. doesn't this offset things?
 

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I'm not sure if it's dead bikers vs. surviving bikers so much as badly injured "naked" bikers vs. less badly injured bikers who are wearing full safety gear... if you think about the amount of money spent on an ambulance and hours of surgery and potentially months of rehab it's a lot worse than the guy who slides along the road and has some road rash and maybe a broken leg. Then there is the whole argument where the issue is about trying to protect the people and keep them alive rather than letting Darwin take it's course.

I'm not saying that wearing safety gear will magically save you in a really bad accident, I'm saying that my understanding of the argument you mention is that wearing safety gear will theoretically lessen the impact of personal injury to any biker unfortunate enough to be in an accident.

My personal feeling is that motorcycle safety gear is like guns in America... everyone has their own dearly held beliefs and it's pretty hard to make a person see the reasoning of the opposite side as valid so I tend to not discuss either unless I am with like minded people :D
 

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I'm not sure if it's dead bikers vs. surviving bikers so much as badly injured "naked" bikers vs. less badly injured bikers who are wearing full safety gear... if you think about the amount of money spent on an ambulance and hours of surgery and potentially months of rehab it's a lot worse than the guy who slides along the road and has some road rash and maybe a broken leg. Then there is the whole argument where the issue is about trying to protect the people and keep them alive rather than letting Darwin take it's course.

I'm not saying that wearing safety gear will magically save you in a really bad accident, I'm saying that my understanding of the argument you mention is that wearing safety gear will theoretically lessen the impact of personal injury to any biker unfortunate enough to be in an accident.

My personal feeling is that motorcycle safety gear is like guns in America... everyone has their own dearly held beliefs and it's pretty hard to make a person see the reasoning of the opposite side as valid so I tend to not discuss either unless I am with like minded people :D
Very well said. Especially since there is very little unmanipulated evidence either direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm saying that my understanding of the argument you mention is that wearing safety gear will theoretically lessen the impact of personal injury to any biker unfortunate enough to be in an accident.
for the sake of this discussion, i'm trying to leave out all personal preferences of safety gear, and just try to gain a better understanding of helmets vs. no helmets, from a purely cost standpoint. so it's not a matter of wearing safety gear in general, but solely the cost impact of comparing bikers who died from injuries where a helmet would kept them alive, or greatly improved their chances of survival, versus bikers who lived thanks in large part because of the use of a helmet.

so just bouncing off of this platform, would it actually be cheaper or not if we were all wearing helmets? what about for the individual who lived/died and the monetary impact on them and/or the next of kin? there are tons of factors to draw on. the cost of enforcement, marketing/education, tax implications, insurance premiums, etc.
 

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Is insurance any cheaper in a state that has mandatory helmet laws compared to one that doesn't?

Personally I think the insurance company is going to make a profit on you whether you have a helmet or not.
 

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I think it should be an individual's decision to wear a helmet or not. We don't need the government to make us wear something that we may or may not want to wear. As for cost of insurance, healthcare, or safety gear cost isn't a factor. The price it is now won't change if every state required a helmet.
 

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I think that it would be impossible to really do a side by side comparison to see if it actually saves money. As you mentioned, you theoretically now have people surviving accidents and having high cost recoveries. Which may or may not be offset by people having relatively "minor" accidents because they were wearing a helmet with low cost recoveries instead of high cost recoveries. But I honestly don't think even an insurance actuary can really predict all this. Though I am sure they try. I am in a mandatory helmet state, and our insurance rates are super high anyway. It would be interesting to see if people voluntarily wore helmets if offered significant rebates by their insurance companies with the caveat that any accident you are in with no helmet will not be covered or something. There are several states surrounding Mass that have no helmet laws and it's not at all unusual to see people pull over after the state line and remove their helmets.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It would be interesting to see if people voluntarily wore helmets if offered significant rebates by their insurance companies with the caveat that any accident you are in with no helmet will not be covered or something.
does anyone know of any insurance companies that cover less, or not at all, if the biker in an accident is found to have not been wearing proper safety gear? like in a mandatory helmet state?
 

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I don't, but precedent is set by cagers that when you are law breaking you're still covered (ie speeding, running redlights) ...but I do know that regardless of who caused the accident if you were in one in Massachusetts and weren't wearing a helmet you would definitely get a ticket.
 

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in the debate on helmet laws, occasionally i'll see the mention that if more/all bikers wore helmets, or were forced to wear helmets by law, then it would be cost effective for all of us; that bikers who don't wear helmets actually contribute to higher medical costs/insurance/emergency services. the reasoning, if i understand it correctly, is that a dead biker manufactures more/higher costs than a biker who survives an accident, and that there would be fewer dead bikers if everyone was wearing a helmet.

personal preferences aside (and agreeing that a helmet does improve your chance of survival in accidents), i've never actually seen this backed up with any actual facts/figures which begs the question: is this true? would taxes/insurance/etc actually be lower if there were fewer biker fatalities and universal helmet laws? the wrench that i throw into this is that a biker who would have died in an accident if not for wearing a helmet is now alive but has accumulated a mountain of medical bills/lost wages/etc. doesn't this offset things?
You are correct and ... We can pick on any activity and say if people behaved a certain way cost to society would be lower.
 

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In an evaluation of helmet vs no helmet insurance costs, I'm thinking there would have to be an evaluation of riding habits. Is there an assumption that helmet/gear wearers ride more safely than the non-safety gear wearing riders. And that they are subsequently in fewer or less serious accidents? There would have to be some way to sort these issues out to do a serious comparison. I don't necessarily believe gear wearers ride more safely, even though I prefer gear and ride relatively conservatively.

An interesting thought was mentioned regarding various states and the associated insurance rates. Costs would necessarily have to be adjusted for cost of living variations. Things just cost more in some regions of our country than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
In an evaluation of helmet vs no helmet insurance costs, I'm thinking there would have to be an evaluation of riding habits. Is there an assumption that helmet/gear wearers ride more safely than the non-safety gear wearing riders. And that they are subsequently in fewer or less serious accidents?
there's a reason insurance companies charge more to insure teen-agers. companies can examine bike accident reports and see which ratio is reported with or without helmets on the rider. if there is a significantly higher number of accidents involving riders without helmets, i could see that being used to adjust their coverage/rates. is that info listed in accident reports? i would think so.
 

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You are correct and ... We can pick on any activity and say if people behaved a certain way cost to society would be lower.
LOL.....I agree, if everyone just did what I said.....the world would be a far better place (for me at least....:laugh:)

In the big picture of an insurance companies yearly budget...riders injuries from motorcycle accidents don't even make the slightest bump in the chart. It's not even worth mentioning.

However the companies that make helmets with friends in the Fed would never want you to know that.....just like the truth behind most of the other "facts" they give us.
 

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there's a reason insurance companies charge more to insure teen-agers. companies can examine bike accident reports and see which ratio is reported with or without helmets on the rider. if there is a significantly higher number of accidents involving riders without helmets, i could see that being used to adjust their coverage/rates. is that info listed in accident reports? i would think so.
Some of the reports I've seen show that the rider without a helmet is more likely the safer rider. Helmeted riders develop the "I'm bulletproof" attitude and tend to take more risks....

I'm not sure how you would judge a "safe" rider from a "non-safe" rider by looking at accidents though....but simply looking at single vehicle accidents involving only a motorcycle might show something. I can say that AZ is a state where they think motorcycle riders are intelligent enough to make their own decisions. I would bet close to 45%-50% do not wear helmets...so our fatality rate should be astronomically higher than a state with about the same population....it is actually lower or about the same...and when you consider that people ride all year here...it should be even higher. The government facts just don't seem to pan out.

Again....to get a report that was not packed full of lies and BS would be really nice to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Helmeted riders develop the "I'm bulletproof" attitude and tend to take more risks....
i would say it's the exact opposite. people who think they're bulletproof usually don't proactively try to protect themselves from bullets.

but in looking at accident reports, maybe it's more telling to see how many biker fatalities were not wearing helmets as opposed to how many were wearing helmets.
 

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So you'd say the tight rope walker with a net underneath would be more cautious than one with no net? I don't think I would agree with that. People that don't wear helmets are not inherently reckless, poorly skilled riders, or making the choice just to cost everyone else money. Like the tight rope walker without a net....they need to be especially careful. The many riders I know that never use a helmet are also some of the most cautious riders I know.

As far as truthful fatality reports....I'd like to see that too. But looking at the reports I can find comparing the helmet law states and no helmet law states fatalities....I'd say there is very little difference. Then again, just how many of those were head trauma deaths is a whole 'nuther story. Head trauma death is like 3rd on the list of primary cause...so helmets might be a consideration in 50% of the deaths (I sure wish we could get THESE numbers, but you'll never see them for obvious reasons)....and I also bet the majority of the people that died were wearing helmets....even in no helmet law states.
 

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We are a free people. Dont give public servants the notion that you are ok with them putting restrictions on you and your personal freedoms under the guise of public good.

Not wearing a helmet hurts no one but you.
However as we or better said, uninformed voters, we let public servants continually further entrench themselves and their beliefs into our lives "for our own good".

Well, people like Hitler, Stalin and every other brutal regime started out the same way. Slowly erode the individuality of "the people"

The more you listen to them, the more you think they make sense, the more they will take from you, all the time, forgetting they are your servants and you pay their salary.
 

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LOL.....I agree, if everyone just did what I said.....the world would be a far better place (for me at least....:laugh:)

In the big picture of an insurance companies yearly budget...riders injuries from motorcycle accidents don't even make the slightest bump in the chart. It's not even worth mentioning.

However the companies that make helmets with friends in the Fed would never want you to know that.....just like the truth behind most of the other "facts" they give us.
Yes, agree. People need to understand, motorcycle insurance is a HUGE cash cow for the insurance companies. Its why many of these companies cater to us. In almost all cases their liability is limited to one person and possibly a rider. Your bike is not going to kill scores of other people in cars and trucks, and it can hold only one passenger and not scores of passengers.
Look at all the money saved when a biker crashes into a car or truck, the people in the car or truck are never injured. If that biker was driving a car or truck the chances of injuring scores more people are GREATLY enhanced.
 

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does anyone know of any insurance companies that cover less, or not at all, if the biker in an accident is found to have not been wearing proper safety gear? like in a mandatory helmet state?
No, insurance is insurance and covers you for your mistakes and why its insurance. Just as if you were driving a car and drunk or not wearing a seatbelt, you can not be denied your coverage.
 
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