MLive story quotes biker adage: ‘ATGATT – All the gear, all the time’
The right to ride a motorcycle without a helmet is now the law of the land in Michigan, but that freedom will do precious little to protect Michigan motorcyclists in the event of a crash, according a recent MLive article.
In “Motorcycle safety clasess face new questions and challenges with helmets now an option” by MLive writer Gus Burns, two motorcycle accident victims recall how their use of motorcycle helmets were the likely reason they lived to tell about their harrowing brushes with serious injury or even death.
In 2007, when a car came barging into her lane, leaving her nowhere to go, bank manager Marie Adamisin, who was wearing a helmet at the time, had to lay down her Harley Davidson motorcycle to avoid becoming “‘the meat in a car sandwich.’”
When asked if she planned to free herself of the confines of her helmet now that Michigan gave her the right to do so, she told MLive:
“‘Heck no, I’m not going to stop wearing a helmet.”
Certified Rider’s Edge motorcycle safety course trainer Frank Calzaretta, who teaches at Biker Bob’s Harley Davidson in Taylor, agreed.
An avid motorcyclist since 1975 and a former Dearborn motorcycle cop for 18 years, Calzaretta told MLive that, despite the April 2012 helmet law repeal, he always wears a helmet and he continues to give the following advice to his motorcycle safety students:
“I’m recommending they wear helmets …”
Calzaretta said helmets’ protective capabilities in low-speed crashes cannot be overstated:
“‘It’s those low-speed accident where you might not normally have died or had mild injuries, but you fell and hit your head on the curb or pavement, and you now have a closed head injury that might have been saved had you been wearing a helmet.’”
According to an MLive analysis “of six months of state police motorcycle crash data” after the April 2012 repeal of Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law, “[m]otorcyclists without helmets were 40 percent more likely to suffer ‘incapacitating’ injuries and three times more likely to die …”