Thursday, November 5, 2009

helmets for the brain buckets; belts for the passengers and the arms, necks, heads, faces

I didn't regularly wear a bike helmet until I was 22, so I'm not unaware of the process of smarts-acquisitions. Then again, my mother-in-law smoked and drank through three pregnancies, kept her first born in the top dresser drawer, and let that same kid 'ride' in the steering wheel. No one in the front seat wore seatbelts, really, and definitely not in the back seats.

I go to lots of collisions, crashes, mashups (non-disco types), obliterations. I can say confidently that 99% of the injuries sustained by those wearing their seatbelts would be exponentially worse if they hadn't been restrained. I see so many smashed faces: teeth embedded in dashboard or steering wheel (or merely poking through the gouged lips), foreheads and scalps encrusted with windshield glass, facial trauma due to airbags meeting unrestrained body, eyes crushed by force of impact against window or door columns. Then there're the ejections. Enough said there. But in-car damage is significant. Libertarian il/logic fails when considering that the freely un-buckled become projectiles. Flying around the passenger area like a bony rag doll is dangerous for yourself AND the others in the car.

'Mommy arms' won't stop the beloved child from shooting from the parent's grasp and eating the windshield or ceiling or dashboard.

Helmets won't save your life, but they protect your head from many head injuries. That is obvious. I wiped out three weeks ago. Dumb and clumsy, I was, as gravity and slickness worked against me. I dislocated my shoulder against a steel barrier. My head struck the barrier at an angle. I was dazed, briefly. My helmet absorbed the blow better than my shoulder.

We never leave the house expecting the have an accident. That's why they're called accidents...

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