Letter to the Editor

Helmet response

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dear Editor,

"Another misquoted statistic is that helmets are only designed to withstand a 14 mph crash. This is true, but taken out of context. The speed an average human head is traveling when it strikes pavement after falling off of a motorcycle is about 14 mph.

This is true whether the forward velocity of the biker is 0, 30, or 70 mph." ["Don't repeal helmet law" (http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1094509.html)] (Bill Mulherin is with the National Safety Council, Greater Omaha Chapter)

Come on.

Of all the asinine distortions of helmet law statistics I've seen over the last two decades, this is the topper (no pun).

And, anyone who believes Mulherin after that offering, needs to rethink everything else they think they know.

Please note, Mulherin did not do a comparison between Nebraska and Iowa on the number of deaths per 100 crashes (the ONLY statistic that holds up to reason).

Fact is, it's three percent, with or without a helmet, in or out of a mandatory helmet law state. The chances of being killed in a motorcycle crash is three percent -- and it's been that way for as long as people have been keeping track.

There are far too many flaws in the rest of the story to even bother to address them.

It's sufficient to understand that Mulherin is no smarter than his understanding of physics indicates. Are you really that hard up for something to fill the paper?


Richard Quigley,

Senior Deputy Director

Helmet Law Defense League

via e-mail

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