Not Hard Headed Enough: Why the United States Should Have Universal Helmet Laws

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What would happen if Ben Roethlisberger could no longer play football? The youngest ever quarterback to take his team to a Super Bowl championship almost came to that fate. “Big Ben,” as Roethlisberger is nicknamed, got lucky when he crashed his motorcycle into a car. In 2006, ESPN News announced that Roethlisberger sustained several facial fractures and a laceration to his head, but luckily did not sustain any brain damage, or worse, death. Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet; he was riding in Pennsylvania: one of the twenty-seven states that only require some riders to wear a helmet (Pasquarelli). Motorcycles are probably the most dangerous form of transportation. It only makes sense that helmets should be required for all riders and …show more content…
Motorcycle helmets are the biggest defense against the road in a crash, yet over half of the United States has weak or non-existent laws protecting their motorcyclists. The laws need to be changed, creating universal helmet laws in all fifty states, and therefore protecting motorcyclists. The dangers of not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle are seemingly obvious. Motorcyclists are not protected by doors or a roof as drivers are in cars. Without the protection that a car provides, motorcyclists are in much more danger of injury during a crash. Motorcyclists can do certain things to prevent injury if involved in a crash. Motorcyclists usually wear leather to prevent lacerations, and of course, a helmet should always be worn. Derrick and Faucher, authors in the Journal of Public Health Policy state that the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents is traumatic brain injury. Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury during a crash by almost seventy percent, and reduce the risk of death in a crash by nearly forty five percent (Derrick 228). Prevention of injury and death should be top priority for a motorcycle rider and a helmet is the best protection.
Riders who are against helmet laws sometimes argue that helmets can be dangerous during a crash because helmets add extra mass and weight to the head. They also argue that helmets reduce peripheral vision ability and the ability to hear. The

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