Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Helmet Saves Man after Four Story Plunge

Last July, I picked up the local newspaper to read about a man who plunged four stories from a city parking garage. He was not drunk, or on drugs. In a freak accident, his motorcycle lurched forward and over the wall he went to drop 40 feet to the pavement below. Every bone in his body was broken, his lungs collapsed and he had some bleeding on the brain. However, it was his helmet that prevented his head from being crushed.

Fast forward to February 2009; again I pick up the paper and Leon Belesca is in the news. As I read about his recovery, I wonder if anyone is getting the message. In this latest updated story, it is reported that the helmet Belesca wore was a $475 Shoei helmet. There is a lot of talk about personal freedoms and the liberty to make our own choices. I am all on board with personal choice. In New Hampshire, we can still make the choice to wear a helmet or not. However, $475 seems like a bargain for anyone’s life.

Wisdom comes with age, so the old adage goes. In my younger years, when I employed the personal freedom mantra, I had little concern for how my choices affected those who love me. As I grow older and hopefully wiser with age, I realize the ramifications of how my actions affect those closest to me. Will I stop riding a motorcycle to protect my loved ones from grief? Not likely. I will however, continue to wear a helmet and rider gear to minimize the consequences of my personal choice.

A few weeks ago, my friend had an unfortunate incident with a blue haired lady driver. You may have read about this in an earlier post. In this low speed crash, he was tossed like a rag doll from his motorcycle. Later in examining his riding gear, the one thing that stood out most prominent was the extensive scratches and gouges along the side of his helmet. It could easily have been his head, and instead of getting up to continue on with his life, he might be enduring any number of unimaginable consequences.

When deciding on your personal choice, add to the list unintended consequences. Make a list if it helps of pros and cons. Whatever you decide, please use sound judgment when you decide to ride and remember another old adage; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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