Motorcyclists' lack of safety in Texas

Special to The Star

Whether someone is riding a motorcycle, ATV or moped, not wearing a helmet is one of the most dangerous and inane things the individual can do.  

Not only is the lack of head protection putting your life in complete danger, but contrary to how you think you look, it makes everyone who fails to secure their cranium appear completely stupid.

My comments may sound like something from a driving safety video, but it only takes one accident to change someone’s views. It only takes one accident to end his or her life.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 4,500 people die each year from motorcycle accidents, 80 percent of which are fatal hits to the head. So for all those “wild ones” out there that want to feel the wind in their hair, I would think twice before having a freedom moment. It might just save your life.

Thankfully my sister and I are two of the 1,630 people annually who are saved by wearing safety helmets. So I’m not speaking as a random figure—I am speaking from experience. I know just how dangerous motorbikes can be.

To prevent deadly and injurious crashes, there needs to be a law in place requiring all License A holders and their passengers to wear helmets. It seems like a common sense law to have, but it’s not in Texas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 64 percent of all motorcyclists said they wore helmets in 2014. Perhaps if Texas invested in a law requiring helmets for all people, that number would increase.

Being the survivor of what would have been fatal motorcycle accident, I can easily vouch for the passing of a law that would require wearing helmets while on motorcycles. If it were not for the helmet I wore, I probably would not be writing this right now.

Unfortunately, the law in Texas only requires bikers to wear helmets if they are under the age 21. It is plain to see that only a few of the students who ride their motorbikes to school every day wear helmets.

Even with statistics put aside, it simply puzzles me why bikers decide not to wear helmets. Whether it is the bulkiness or the “uncoolness” of wearing something that can potentially save your life, there simply isn’t a sufficient enough excuse not to wear one.

It is just sad to see how our generation cracks under pressure of looking “cool” by not wearing a helmet. That’s almost identical to the old saying, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”

Who cares what other people think? Protecting one’s life should always take priority over impressing random people in the streets of San Marcos. Without a helmet on, you are definitely not going to impress them with your intelligence, so do not bother.

I suppose next, people will just stop wearing air tanks when they scuba dive and harnesses when they rock climb. It is times like this I see why older generations mock ours, considering we find being stupid cool. All I ask is that people wear a helmet.

Follow Michael Meier on Twitter @lifeofmik.