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Why is it legal to ride a motorcycle?
Posted: 03 September 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If I take off my seatbelt in the metal cage with big balloons inside that I drive around in, called a car with airbags, I could get a ticket.  Yet the guy riding a wide open bike, sometimes with his gal hanging on for dear life on the seat right in back of him, is safe from any kind of ticket (sometimes not even needing a helmet).  Why is that?

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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State laws vary but here in Ohio you aren’t even required to wear a helmet. I just saw a biker in flip flops, shorts and a backwards ball cap go speeding down the road past me. Now, what if he was texting as well? And yes I’ve actually seen a guy doing that. Of course here more people are killed on ATVs than cycles.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I ride a motorcycle.  There are far more cars on the road than bikes.
The insurance companies obviously were involved in lobbying for seat belt laws to a degree.
Their actuaries obviously looked at the numbers and decided that the small percentage of motorcycle riders don’t affect their margins.
Plus motorcycles don’t have seat belts in the first place.
And motorcycles only cost about $100 bucks a year to insure.  That’s because they cause relatively low damage if any to other people or property.
They are a pretty low risk for the insurance cos.
So the few motorcycle riders who wipe-out each year(relative to autos)isn’t costing anybody anything.
Seat-belts do save lives. They probably save millions(maybe billions?) of dollars a year too.
However, I am on the fence about seat belt laws, helmet laws, and texting and phone laws.(see other thread…)

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Posted: 03 September 2013 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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CuthbertJ - 03 September 2013 10:29 AM

If I take off my seatbelt in the metal cage with big balloons inside that I drive around in, called a car with airbags, I could get a ticket.  Yet the guy riding a wide open bike, sometimes with his gal hanging on for dear life on the seat right in back of him, is safe from any kind of ticket (sometimes not even needing a helmet).  Why is that?


Because we need more applicants for the Darwin awards.

wink

[ Edited: 03 September 2013 08:20 PM by rhodtpr ]
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Posted: 03 September 2013 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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VYAZMA - 03 September 2013 11:46 AM

I ride a motorcycle.  There are far more cars on the road than bikes.
The insurance companies obviously were involved in lobbying for seat belt laws to a degree.
Their actuaries obviously looked at the numbers and decided that the small percentage of motorcycle riders don’t affect their margins.
Plus motorcycles don’t have seat belts in the first place.
And motorcycles only cost about $100 bucks a year to insure.  That’s because they cause relatively low damage if any to other people or property.
They are a pretty low risk for the insurance cos.
So the few motorcycle riders who wipe-out each year(relative to autos)isn’t costing anybody anything.
Seat-belts do save lives. They probably save millions(maybe billions?) of dollars a year too.
However, I am on the fence about seat belt laws, helmet laws, and texting and phone laws.(see other thread…)

I think you hit the nail on the head…insurance companies and $$.  If it was about personal safety, motorcycles would not be allowed.  A good analogy I think would be, if passengers on a cruise ship were required to wear life preservers all the time, but passengers in little wooden dingies weren’t. Doesn’t make sense other than that money/lobbying was involved and the dingie lobby had all the clout.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wearing a seatbelt in a car will help keep you in front of the steering wheel allowing you better control of the car in case of sudden emergencies that can come up while driving* that could otherwise move you away from the steering wheel and brake.  This helps prevent the car from hitting others doing harm.  That’s why this libertarian has no problem with seatbelt laws.  They help protect other people. 

A car hitting someone or something is going to do much more damage than a motorcycle, and a helmet isn’t going to change that one way or the other.  Wearing a helmet on a motorcycle only makes the difference between an open or closed casket funeral. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcVSQh5MbTo

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Rocinante - 03 September 2013 04:13 PM

A car hitting someone or something is going to do much more damage than a motorcycle, and a helmet isn’t going to change that one way or the other.  Wearing a helmet on a motorcycle only makes the difference between an open or closed casket funeral.

That is not only a cliché, it is absolutely wrong. Helmets save lives.

I’ve been riding motorcycles for almost 40 years, and always wear proper protective gear; including a full-face helmet. I have seen friends walk away from accidents that would have killed them if that had not been wearing a helmet, and there have been studies showing the value of full-face helmets.

I also see people riding around wearing shorts and tee shirts. Most of them ride Harleys, but even some sport bike riders dress stupidly. I guess they think they are immortal. They have definitely not experienced road rash or thought about how much harder asphalt is than the human skull.

I remember when the helmet laws were repealed, and it was the Harley riders crying about how wearing a helmet infringes their individual liberties. That argument never made sense to me because it could also apply to seat belt laws, but politicians are not known for their logical consistency. Apparently they were afraid of losing campaign donations from people who have more money than sense.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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First, seatbelts don’t necessarily keep the person in control of the steering wheel. Many years ago, well before they were mandatory, someone crossed the double line and hit my little Sunbeam Alpine head on.  I was jammed forward, broke off the steering wheel, slammed my chest into the column but still had “control” of the tightly gripped steering wheel. 

I’ve witnessed three motorcycle accidents.  Two, one fatal, were caused by the other vehicle driver doing something stupid.  The third, between two friends, one of whom was playing around on his new cycle and slipped into the other - almost no personal injury, but both bikes were a mess.  I go out of my way to give them more room and watch out for them because they are more vulnerable.

Many of our choices involve risks, from eating the wrong foods, living where there are weather or geologic harmful events, involving ourselves in recreations that could involve injury, etc.  We have to balance regulation against personal freedom and expect (or hope that) people will watch out for themselves and each other.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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DarronS - 04 September 2013 05:56 AM
Rocinante - 03 September 2013 04:13 PM

A car hitting someone or something is going to do much more damage than a motorcycle, and a helmet isn’t going to change that one way or the other.  Wearing a helmet on a motorcycle only makes the difference between an open or closed casket funeral.

That is not only a cliché, it is absolutely wrong. Helmets save lives.

I’ve been riding motorcycles for almost 40 years, and always wear proper protective gear; including a full-face helmet. I have seen friends walk away from accidents that would have killed them if that had not been wearing a helmet, and there have been studies showing the value of full-face helmets.

I also see people riding around wearing shorts and tee shirts. Most of them ride Harleys, but even some sport bike riders dress stupidly. I guess they think they are immortal. They have definitely not experienced road rash or thought about how much harder asphalt is than the human skull.

I remember when the helmet laws were repealed, and it was the Harley riders crying about how wearing a helmet infringes their individual liberties. That argument never made sense to me because it could also apply to seat belt laws, but politicians are not known for their logical consistency. Apparently they were afraid of losing campaign donations from people who have more money than sense.

Darron, when and where were helmet laws repealed?  I don’t think it could have been in California.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lois, most states repealed their helmet laws in the late 1990s after the federal govt stopped withholding highway funds to states that did not have helmet laws. California still requires helmets for street riders, although some of the helmets people wear are useless. Motorcycle fatalities in Texas increased by more than one-third after the demise of the helmet law, although I have seen only numerical studies, not any detailing cause of death.

I would have watched two of my friends die if I had not insisted they wear full-face helmets. One was leading me through a corner and ran off the road into a ditch. My helmet, which he was wearing, absorbed the impact when he landed face first. The other friend wanted to ride my motorcycle around the block. He hit some antifreeze in a corner and crashed at less than 20 mph, hitting his head on a curb. The helmet had a three inch gash just above his right ear, but my friend walked away with only a bruised elbow. His brains would have spilled onto the curb if he had not been wearing the helmet.

No, helmets will not prevent all motorcycle fatalities any more than seat belts prevents all auto fatalities, but not wearing protective gear while riding a motorcycle is stupid.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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“No, helmets will not prevent all motorcycle fatalities any more than seat belts prevents all auto fatalities, but not wearing protective gear while riding a motorcycle is stupid.”


Never understood the desire by some to ignore the laws of physics when it comes to wearing protective gear when riding on motorcycles?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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rhodtpr - 04 September 2013 02:58 PM

“No, helmets will not prevent all motorcycle fatalities any more than seat belts prevents all auto fatalities, but not wearing protective gear while riding a motorcycle is stupid.”


Never understood the desire by some to ignore the laws of physics when it comes to wearing protective gear when riding on motorcycles?

Rationally it makes sense to wear leather jacket on a bike, but not emotionally, like, say, not wanting to touch a snake. The reason why we don’t fear things like motorcycles is because they haven’t been around long enough to adapt to that danger. Since the average IQ of people who ride motorcycles is probably not that significant, you get the idea why the absence of emotional response to the potemtial danger of getting hurt will make these people behave like superheroes.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Also, I think I’ve heard Sapolsky to say that based on some autopsy studies of people who die in motorcycle accidents, around 80% of them are infected with Toxoplasma. It would therefore seem that the desire to ignore the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle is caused by a microbe. And who am I to dispute Sapolsky, right?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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rhodtpr - 04 September 2013 02:58 PM

Never understood the desire by some to ignore the laws of physics when it comes to wearing protective gear when riding on motorcycles?

Rule #1 of motorcycle riding: Gravity always wins.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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OK, I don’t have the slightest idea who Sapolsky is, but if he gave those statistics, I’d guess he’s an idiot.  Toxoplasmosis is a relatively rare protozean disease that exists almost exclusively in the tropics.  I’d say the probability that he’s infected is probably higher than the probability of killled motorcyclists being infected. 

As far as IQ comparisons go, from years of driving, I’d have to say that automobile drivers are no more intelligent than motorcyclists. smile

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sorry, I assumed most people here would know who Sapolsky is: he is one of the leading experts in neuroscience. After all, you can google him. Toxo is very common among cats and since many people have cats I don’t see much problem with that theory. How easy it is for humans to get infected I have no idea, but again, if Sapolsky (and the US military, for obvious reason) thinks Toxo plays a role here, what can I say?

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