Brown County death trap

October 7, 2008
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Just about everyone whoâ??s taken advantage of a nice day to trek to Brown County on State Road 135 has seen a lot of motorcycles.

The winding road to the tourism hot spot may indeed be picturesque. But itâ??s also dangerous.

The stretch produced 29 motorcycle accidents as of Sept. 6 this year, according to the Reporter-Times of Martinsville. Most resulted in injuries, and two in deaths.

How do you feel about helmet laws? Many motorcycle riders hate the laws with a vengeance because helmets detract from the open-air experience. Yet, insurance companies say helmet use is an easy way to minimize injuries.

Where do you draw the line between the freedom to make oneâ??s own decisions and the health concerns that come with risky choices?

And if helmets should be mandated for motorcycle riders, what about bicyclists, who have their own share of bad accidents?
  • Helmets should absolutely not be mandated. If someone decides to be an idiot and ride their motorcycle without a helmet that's their choice. Insurance companies have the right to insist on helmet wearing (i.e. if you get in an accident and you weren't wearing your helmet we can drop your coverage) but that is the free market taking care of it. The government should not be our baby-sitter and should not be responsible for forcing its will on others.
  • I think a trip through a rehab ward or hospital should be mandatory with either licensing or insuring a motorcylist. I volunteered in Methodist Hospital's pediatric wards and I will always wear a helmet when bicycling and will always wear a seat belt. I will never ride a motorcycle. Head injuries are devastating and tragic and often preventable.
  • The state should require insurance coverage, but let the insurance industry dictate helmet usage. They could (should?) offer tiered benefits based on helmet usage. Head injuries resulting from failure to use a helmet should cost the rider more.
  • We live in a democratic (means freedom of lots of things) not socialist (means government controls most everything) society folks. If someone chooses to not wear a helmet, so be it. I'm sure they understand they are also choosing to suffer any associated consequences.

    If an insurance company chooses to insure this person, it should be at the insurance company's discretion as to how to pay any costs associated with the aforementioned consequences provided they inform the insured party prior to the operation of the motorcycle and only if everyone has signed on the dotted line stating they understand the policy. This is a cost of doing business and I am sure the insurance companies understand this concept. In fact, I am sure they have built in more than enough money in insurance premiums to cover these costs.

    Bottom line: Neither the motorcyclists nor the insurance companies need their hands held (by the government) - we're all adults.

    Oh, one more thing... can't we all just get along? There's plenty of room on the road for cars, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles if everyone would just be courteous and safety-minded. IT IS REALLY NOT THAT HARD PEOPLE.

    Thank you for reading.
  • Yeah, the cost of covering the people dumb enough to not wear a helmet while riding is built into ALL of our premiums. Meaning that I have to subsidize the healthcare of these idiots, how can I opt out of this? We subsidize smokers' healthcare as well! This, my fellow Americans, is SOCIALISM at it's worst!
  • sfj,

    how about when you file your taxes, you get rebates x amount for being healthy, not smoking, or following certain parameters.
  • I like it. I'm sure that we all have some behavior that would count against us, but that seems more fair.
  • I'm all for the rider making their own choice but I cringe when I see teenagers zipping around (especially at night) with other teenagers as passengers and sometimes young children. I don't know, maybe underage passengers should be required to wear helmets.

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