Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Time for a Helmet Law in Minnesota

According to the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota [BIAM], "88 percent of bicycle-related brain injuries could have been prevented by helmets." So far, legislative efforts have focused on motorcycles and bicycles. But why stop there? Also from the BIAM, causes of brain injury include:
  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Assaults
  • Sports-related concussions
  • Strokes
  • Aneurysms
  • Diseases, such as encephalitis
  • Near drowning
  • Family Violence
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) /inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury
So far, legislative efforts have focused on motorcycles and bicycles. This just isn't enough. Our kids are hurting themselves on skateboards, snowboards, skis, strollers, big wheels, merry-go-rounds, stairs, and uncountable other places. How many motorists each year suffer brain injuries in accidents? How many pedestrians suffer brain injuries on our streets and sidewalks?

How many times, in kitchens all over Minnesota, are cabinet doors left open? These are vicious predatiors, just waiting to crack skulls. Consider slips and falls in the bathroom, especially in the shower.There are low rafters in the basement and the attic.Don't overlook hard headboards during bedroom antics. These are all dangers to cranial and phrenologic health. It's time to do the right thing.

Call your local legislatures and demand mandatory helmet use. All the time, everywhere, for everyone. Permit law enforcement to enter any building or structure in order to ensure 24-hour helmet compliance.

It's the only chance we have to survive as a species. Do it for the children.

Googlebombing for a cause: 


Lord Carnifex said...

No, because there are those who want to pass a law making it mandatory. As if it were a function of government to remove all risk.

phaedrus said...

You're Mean!


I'm thinking though, why stop at helmets? What about joint, back, and hand injuries.

We need to also require armored jackets and gloves for everyone.

phaedrus said...


There have been studies showing that more bicyclists on the road reduce the danger of bicycling on the road. Presumably due to greater driver awareness.

Combine that with these studies that show that every place that has a mandatory bicycle helmet law results in significant drops in bicycle use. Even significant efforts to promote helmet use reduce ridership.

This means that helmet laws result in making it more dangerous to bicycle.

Combine that with somewhat confusing results to studies on the efficacy of helmet use, and one has to conclude that while the choice to wear a helmet may sometimes be a good one (for example, if you're racing or riding heavy risk routes), helmet laws are a horrible idea.

Anonymous said...

Ah, protecting those who are too stupid to protect themselves.
It would help if they did not reproduce before smashing against a tree or into a truck.

Lord Carnifex said...

Phaedrus, last night I stubbed my toe in the dark getting out of bed. I have to believe it's the state's duty to protect me from that. Let's add 24 hour use of steel-toed/steel-shanked boots to the list of impending legislation.

Seriously folks, I've seen numbers that suggest that in the twentieth century a person (barring illness and disease) was six times more likely to die through an act of government - war, genocide, state terrorism, police action, neglect - than any other single cause, including accidents.

Expanding the scope, influence, and power of government *will not* keep you safe.