Motorcycle safety / Roethlisberger

Today I’ve been reading some commentary about Ben’s accident - Peter King on CNNSI, Woj on ESPN, etc. Everyone’s talking about how he should have been wearing a helmet, and I agree that he should have been. However, there is much less talk about whether he should have been riding a bike at all.

It got me to thinking. I assume that riding a bike is more dangerous than driving a car, though I suppose I don’t know that for sure. If it is, then a person takes on additional risk by riding instead of driving. Then they also take on additional risk by going without a helmet rather than wearing one. My question is which of those two additional risks is greater. Probably there are statistics for this, though I haven’t been too successful in finding them.

But say that driving a car involves a risk of 10 riskeroos (:)). Then is riding a bike like 15 and riding helmetless a 30? Or maybe riding is an 18 and helmetless a 20.

I picture this headline above the fold on the Pittsburg Daily Tribune…

Roethlisberger’s Face Pulverized. Throwing Arm Thankfully Spared.

It always strikes me when folks get all up in arms about their sports heros getting banged up in motorcycle crashes, speeding cars, or extreme sports misadventures. These guys tend to be hard-core risk-takers and it’s the same stuff that gets them into accidents off the field as gets them into the HAll of Fame on the field. I’m glad his prognosis is good and he didn’t get hurt worse. Sounds like he’s still got a pretty tough path to recovery, but he could have easily ended up in much worse shape.

This happened at a timely moment for me. I just took the MSF Basic Rider course this weekend and got my motorcycle license. They warned us repeatedly about two things:

  1. The most common motorcycle/car accident is when a car turns into the cycle’s right-of-way during a left turn.

  2. Hellacious injuries due to lack of helmets.

This is precisely what happened to Mr. QB from what I’ve read. And then there’s the irony that he wears a helmet all the time when playing football…