Motorcycles and EMS

As a police officer and EMT, I have seen many types of accidents.  As a motorcyclist, seeing motorcycle accidents sometimes makes me consider giving up riding, but I enjoy it so much even though I don’t have time to ride often.

Here are some of my personal observations:

*     Riders who wear protective gear fare much better in single cycle accidents.

*     Riders who are hit by cars who wear protective gear fare better than those without but it doesn’t always make a difference depending on  speed and how the accident occurs.  Higher speeds means more severe injuries, no matter the vehicle.

*     If you don’t buckle your helmet securely under your chin, there is no point in wearing it; It will fly off in an accident.

*     Road rash is painful, takes a while to heal up and looks ghastly.

Driver’s of other vehicles, be aware that sometimes you may not see a cyclist.  Pay attention.

Motorcyclist, other drivers may not see you, always try to have options for avoidance.  Practice these techniques.  Pay attention.

Whatever your choice, to gear up or ride free…take into account weather, road conditions, time of day, where you plan on going before discarding safety gear altogether.

It is hard to tell if there has been a difference in fatalities since the helmet law in Michigan was overturned, the jury is out yet, and it depends on the study.  Either way, think about the impact you have on family, friends, EMS workers should something happen.  Drive safely, don’t do anything stupid.  This is in no way a recommendation to go with or without gear.  I am not knocking anyone’s individual choice.  It is your decision.  Me, I am not a very experienced rider so I wear the gear.  Some say , “Hey if I am gonna crash I might as well do it right and go all the way.  I don’t want to end up on life support.”

No matter what the reason for any crash, or the type of vehicle involved, we responders always carry with us the memories of those who didn’t make it and rejoice in those we are able save.

Here are some links to the debate that continues:

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/did_michigans_helmet-choice_la.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/michigan-motorcycle-injuries-helmet-law_n_3359586.html

http://www.abateofmichigan.org/HelmetLawInfo.htm

http://www.abateofmichigan.org/Legislative/2012MotorcycleStats.pdf

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/04/10/impact-of-michigans-motorcycle-helmet-law-debated/

 

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