SCORR Endorses the AMA's support of helmets.
The AMA's position in support of voluntary helmet use:
"The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has always encouraged the use of helmets, gloves, sturdy footwear, and protective garments in general, as part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of a motorcycle accident.
The Association will not oppose laws requiring helmets for minor motorcycle riders and passengers. It believes that many young motorcyclists and passengers may lack the maturity to make an informed decision regarding the use of motorcycle helmets.
Although the Association strongly encourages helmet use by all motorcyclists, it maintains a long-standing fundamental belief that adults should continue to have the right to voluntarily decide when to wear a helmet....The Association further believes that helmet use alone is insufficient to ensure a motorcyclist's safety."
Full Version of the AMA's position on helmet use
Colorado Helmet Law:
Requires a person under 18 years of age who is an operator of a motorcycle or motorized bicycle or who is a passenger on such vehicles, to wear a protective helmet that is designed according to certain specifications; sets the penalty and surcharge for failing to wear the helmet; sets an additional surcharge for each violation to be deposited in the state Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund.
80% of motorcycle crashes are fatal vs. 30% of automobile crashes.
$10,122 average treatment with helmet vs. $30,365 without a helmet.
A helmet reduces the chance of a fatal injury in an accident by 29%.
A helmet reduces the chance of a debilitating brain injury in an accident by 67%.
Sources: Journal Of Trauma; Accident Analysis and Prevention; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
"Claims have been made that helmets increase the risk of neck injury and reduce peripheral vision and hearing, but there is no credible evidence to support these arguments. A study by J.P. Goldstein often is cited by helmet opponents as evidence that helmets cause neck injuries, allegedly by adding to head mass in a crash. More than a dozen studies have refuted Goldstein's findings. A study reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in 1994 analyzed 1,153 motorcycle crashes in four midwestern states and determined that "helmets reduce head injuries without an increased occurrence of spinal injuries in motorcycle trauma."
Orsay, E.M.; Muelleman, R.L.; Peterson, T.D.; Jurisic, D.H.; Kosasih, J.B.; and Levy, P. 1994. Motorcycle helmets and spinal injuries: dispelling the myth. Annals of Emergency Medicine 23:802-06.
"Regarding claims that helmets obstruct vision, studies show full-coverage helmets provide only minor restrictions in horizontal peripheral vision. A 1994 study found that wearing helmets restricts neither the ability to hear horn signals nor the likelihood of seeing a vehicle in an adjacent lane prior to initiating a lane change. To compensate for any restrictions in lateral vision, riders increased their head rotation prior to a lane change. There were no differences in hearing thresholds under three helmet conditions: no helmet, partial coverage, and full coverage. The noise generated by a motorcycle is so loud that any reduction in hearing capability that may result from wearing a helmet is inconsequential. Sound loud enough to be heard above the engine can be heard when wearing a helmet."
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