Assignment 4: Persuasive Paper Part 2: Solution and Advantages
Motorcycle Helmets save Lives
Motorcycle helmets play a critical role in saving people’s lives. However, some individuals think that it is not right for the government to enforce laws that demand people to wear helmets because they believe that it’s violating their rights of expression and decision making. Despite the criticism of the minority in the society, the implementation of the Universal Helmet Law has helped in saving lives during motorcycle accidents thus reducing deaths caused by motorcycles. Therefore, the federal helmet laws should be implemented and enforced in all region so as to protect motorcyclist and their passengers, thus preventing unnecessary hospital costs.
The implementation of Universal Helmet law and federal helmet laws was meant to reduce the number of deaths caused due to accidents caused by motorcyclists. Wearing helmet is imperative as it will help to prevent head injuries in case of accident occurrence and to some extent save lives. Recently, Federal Safety officials and Highway Association are working together so as to ensure that all states are enforcing the Universal Helmet and Federal Helmet laws, this aim at ensuring that all motorcyclists wear helmets. Creating awareness on the critical of wearing the helmet to both motorcyclists and passages will make them realize how important wearing helmets is thus they could not hesitate wearing helmets.
History and Status
According to the Department of Transport (2016), motorcycles’ accidents and fatalities have increased from around 1,800- 2000 per year. Most of the deaths are as a result of head and brain damages. Some of the states such as New Hampshire, Iowa and Illinois are yet to enforce helmet laws thus it is not a requirement for the motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets. This has increase motorcyclists and passengers ‘deaths caused due to motorcycles’ accidents. However, some states such as Florida, Alaska, Oklahoma only require minors to wear helmets whereas about 20 states among them California, Alabama, Louisiana as well as New York mandate the wearing of helmets for every person, that is both motorcyclists and passengers despite the age differences. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (20016) all states are required to implement Universal Helmet Law and Federal Helmet laws as well as to put them in practice thus helping to prevent severe injuries and deaths.
Problem 1: Motorcyclist’s Rights
Motorcycle riding is an amazing practice to an extent that both motorcyclists and passengers do not see the need of wearing helmets. Thus, the motorcyclists feel that when the government enforce laws demanding them to wear helmets out of their will is as the same as violating their rights to freedom (Erdogan, MO; et al. 2013). Therefore, the motorcyclists have not really accepted the use of helmets thus they are still protecting against the federal helmet and Universal helmet laws and repealing of helmet laws all in the name of fighting for their rights. The demonstrations are motivated by the fact that the motorcyclists believe that such laws are an expression of nanny like government being over-involved in personal choices by forcing them to wear helmet. The motorcyclists fights for their rights so as to have freedom to choose whether to wear helmets or not. According the Helmet Controversy and Bikers Rights (2004), motorcyclists and bikers believe that they have the rights to decide whether and when to wear helmets without law enforcement thus demanding the government to keep off their personal choices. The high growth rate if motorcyclists in the nation has made it difficult for the police to enforce the universal and federal helmet laws thus making the motorcyclists and riders to have their ways and to violate universal helmet laws.
Problem 2: Different States Different Laws
Different states have enforced different federal helmet laws, thus, if a motorcyclist ride from one state to another, the laws will change. This makes it difficult for the motorcyclists to act as per the law in a new state since they are used to other forms of law. For example, some states do not mandate the wearing of the helmets, therefore, if a rider moves in another state where it is a must for the motorcyclists to wear helmets, it will be difficult for them to adapt to the new laws. Therefore, it is important for the rider to familiarize himself or herself with rules and regulations of a given state before riding in the new state. For instance, in New York State, not only motorcyclists and passengers are required to wear the helmet but also to full-face shield (Burriesci 2001). However, in states such as Pennsylvania, are required to wear the helmet only. Therefore, it is recommendable that motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets despite the state they are in, this will not only keep them safe but also, they won’t keep on worrying about federal helmet laws changing from one state to another.
Problem 3: Protection from Head Injury
The increasing rate of motorcycles in the transport sector has as well led to the rise of rider fatalities in the nation. The motorcyclists’ fatalities it’s growing at a higher rate as compared to car casualties. Despite the evidence that wearing helmets are imported as they help to protect the head from injury, motorcyclists and passengers are still hesitating to wear the helmets and to obey the federal and universal helmet laws. According to Jones & Bayer (2011), motorcyclists are well informed of the hazards and dangers associated with failing to wear helmets but still they choose not to wear the helmets due to ignorance and the assumption that nothing will happen to them.
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE, 1996-2016
The table above indicate the percentage of motorcyclists using helmets per year. It is clear that the number of motorcyclists using helmet has been increasing as indicated in the table above (U.S. Department of Transportation, National Occupant Protection Use Survey, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2016)
Many motorcyclists and passengers are not aware of the importance of wearing the helmet. Therefore, increasing awareness on the importance of wearing helmets will be a key step in sensitizing them to embrace the wearing of the helmet without being forced by the laws. The major solution to creating awareness is by placing bike signs highlighting the importance of wearing helmets and the dangers involved when not wearing helmets in all states especially in areas that are prone to motorcyclists’ accidents. Also, the signs will keep reminding the motorcyclists and passengers that cars are not the only one that causes accidents but also the motorcycles do cause the accidents thus is better to prevent rather than to cause head injuries or even death in the case of accident occurrence.
The creation of awareness will probably change the mentality of motorcyclists and passengers. Also, federal and universal laws awareness can be made in driving schools where the focus is put on producing professional riders who will adhere to rules and regulations and make sure that passengers wear helmets. However, some driving schools rarely focus on the motorcycle's safety, and due to little attention on this sectors, a lot of accidents are caused by reckless motorcyclists. All this will be prevented if more focus is put on motorcyclists training and enforcing universal helmet wearing laws and regulations.
According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), most of the accidents caused by motorcyclists occur during the night. Therefore, motorcycles should be installed with lights that are more visible during the night so as to indicate their presence at night thus avoiding collision with vehicles. Having brighter lights, more colored as well as sparkling lights will give more presence to the vehicles thus a lot of accidents will be prevented. Also, at nights, motorcyclists tend to over-speed hence making it risky to both the rider and the passengers. Therefore, motorcycles should make in a way that during the night or even during the day time, they cannot ride above a given kilometers per hour.
Another advantage of the proposed solutions is that enforcing proper schooling for the motorcyclists in highly equipped institutions will ensure that the riders have completed the mandatory training thus can be able to operate motorcycles safely without risking the passenger’s life. According to Burriesci, J. (2001), many of the accidents are caused due to the inexperience of the motorcyclists not having enough skills. Therefore, provision of training and skills will play a critical role in reducing accidents caused by motorcyclists. Also, schools will create awareness on the importance of the motorcyclists wearing helmets as well as make sure their passengers wear the helmets as well. Thus, the schooling platform will not only provide the motorcyclists with skills but also necessitate the importance of wearing helmet hence motorcyclists will start wearing helmets without being forced by the law but rather for their safety and the safety of their customers.
The third advantage of the proposed solutions is that wearing the protective gear will be of great benefits to the motorcyclists as well as to their passengers. Motorcycle safety apparel will help to prevent harm that may be caused while riding the motorcycle or in the case of accident occurrence. In most cases, riders and passengers are thrown away from the bike when an accident occur thus skidding over the road thus causing a lot or damages or even death. Thus, wearing protective clothing and protective helmet will help in prevent damages caused in the body and damaging the skin. Additional, wearing protective clothing and helmet will help to protect the motorcyclists from damages thus reducing serious injuries that could be caused if the rider and the passenger had not worn the protective clothing and helmets. Although protective clothing and helmets are expensive, it is worth purchasing and wearing as it will prevent a lot of injuries and keep the body safe in case of accidents. Some of the protective clothing include helmets, leather jackets, boots shoes, gloves, coats, etc.
Every person is entitled to the rights of freedom and expression in the society. Thus, motorcyclists have the rights to choose whether to wear helmets or not. However, in any given nation, the safety of its citizens is a key concern hence implementing and enforcing laws and policies that will ensure citizens safety is important. Therefore, all states should make sure that the motorcyclists and passengers wear helmets through the enforcement of universal and federal helmet laws. All the states in the United States have the power and the authority to pass laws for passengers and motorcyclists to wear helmets hence helping to prevent serious injuries and to reduce death rates caused by motorcycles. Wearing protective cloth and helmets will automatically reduce the damages caused when riding the motorcycles. Therefore, it is important for the motorcyclists to be taking safety motorcycle riding classes semi-annually or annually so as to make sure that all riders are well aware of the hidden dangers and how to prevent them through wearing protective clothing and helmets. Thus each motorcyclist should be wearing helmets and also to make sure that their customers wear the helmets hence preventing severe damages and injuries in case of accidents.
Burriesci, J. (2001). US Motorcycle Helmet Laws. Hartford: Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Research.
Erdogan, MO; et al. (2013) Roles of Motorcycle Type and Protective Clothing in Motorcycle Crash Injuries. Emergency Medicine International.
Jones, M., & Bayer, R. (2011). Paternalism Burriesci, J. (2001). US Motorcycle Helmet Laws. Hartford: Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Research.
Erdogan, MO; et al. Roles of Motorcycle Type and Protective Clothing in Motorcycle Crash Injuries. Emergency Medicine International. 1-4, Jan. 2013. ISSN: 20902840.
Jones, M., & Bayer, R. (2011). Paternalism & Its Discontents: Motorcycle Helmet Laws, Libertarian Values, and Public Health. American Journal of Public Health 97:2, 208-217. Online publication date 1-Mar-1981
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [and] Highway Loss Data Institute. (2001). Arlington, VA.: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Accessed February 12, 2006. Fatal Accident Reporting System Available at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/ncsa/fars.html. .