I need to apologize right at the beginning of this post. I know my rant is useless. Those of you, who has a good sense of safety, know very well what I am talking about. Those who disagree with me will not be changed by this post. I still would like to put this post together, so we can have a clear consciousness because we gave the warning.
So here is the story. Someone is set out on a month long, or so tour to Morocco. The choice of weapon to tackle the route is a 18 years old 1100cc touring bike. Our guy knew very well he will ride mostly on roads in bad condition, gravel and dirt roads but he still went on with half worn road tires with no spare. He did not do a very minimal preparation. The brakes worn out in the first week and crashed his bike on a gravel road. He is constantly struggling with electrical and mechanical problems and does not have an adequate set of tools, not even spare fuses. It still could be OK, some people like to gamble.
My fuse was blown because he does not not wearing proper riding and safety gear. He’s argument for not wearing a jacket with protectors is the hot weather. I agree, in hot weather a waterproof jacket with protectors is like a sauna, but this is why there are mesh jackets and body armors. In his post after crashing the bike he said: “Luckily I did not wear the jacket, it would be ruined now.”
He does not want to wear a full face touring helmet because he feels trapped in it. This is what the MX helmets or dual sport helmets are for. Plenty of air, huge eye port but still good protection. He rather goes on in a Chinese designed and made open face retro “fashion” helmet.
According to a study published in The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery by a group of Brazilian researchers has concluded that an open-face helmet gives almost as little protection against facial injuries and brain trauma as not wearing a helmet at all.
The study looked at 253 motorcyclists who were victims of road incidents. 156 wore no helmet, 51 open face helmets and 46 full face helmets.
I don’t want to go through the whole stuff now, just putting here the conclusion.
|Protection||Number||Suffered facial fracture
with traumatic brain injury (%)
|No helmet||165||98 (62.82%)|
|Open face helmet||51||35 (68.83%)|
|Full face helmet||46||16 (34.78)|
The numbers are speaking for themselves.
Another addition is a study done in the late 70’s that illustrates the likelihood of various points being hit of a helmet in an accident.
I know very well a helmet does not mean protection against everything but we still should do what we can to minimize the risk and it does not mean leaving the fun out of the game.
What I don’t understand is, if someone like to recklessly risk his life, why he is not playing Russian roulette with a gun in his basement? If he dies there, there would be no inconvenience for others and no extra burden on society. There is no body to repatriate after a fatal road accident, or if he is slightly luckier, no expensive hospital treatment and year long recovery on taxpayers money.