To The Editor:
In response to Mr. Gary Cotshott’s letter on July 17.
Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than enclosed vehicles because the operator is exposed. To not properly manage that risk is childish and self-centered thinking. Mr. Cotshott says not wearing a helmet “affects no one other than the rider.” This is disingenuous. When everything goes bad and you’re down on the ground severely injured, tell me now about not affecting other people. What about the EMTs and the doctors who are going to try to save you? What about the people who love you? No one lives in isolation. When you get hurt, it also affects me.
As for the argument that helmets “obstruct vision and hearing,” this is a comparative static sensory perception. Put a helmet on and take it off. Which sensory input feels less inhibiting? The unhelmeted head feels less restrictive. When riding, however, the wind noise increases exponentially with the speed. You may believe you hear better without the helmet, but you are hearing more wind noise, not sound-conveying information.
Vision seems to be restricted for the same initial sensory perception. I can tell you from my years of riding that the helmet “disappears” once the bike is moving. I know of no motorcycle accident report where the rider says “my helmet restricted my vision and hearing.” There are plenty of fatality reports that say “was not wearing a helmet.”