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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

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From The Injury Board Blog Network:

A motorcycle rider participating in an event in Onondaga, NY to protest New York State’s mandatory helmet law has wrecked and died of a traumatic brain injury doctors say was preventable with a helmet.

According to ABC News, Philip Contos, 55, rode without a helmet in an annual event organized by American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) on Sunday to protest the helmet law. During the ride, Contos applied the brakes of his motorcycle, lost control and flew over the handlebars, landing on the roadway and striking his head on the pavement.

Emergency services transported Contos to Upstate University Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead. He suffered a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury (TBI) from the wreck.

“The medical expert we discussed the case with who pronounced him deceased stated that he would've no doubt survived the accident had he been wearing a helmet,” state Troopers told ABC News 9 in Syracuse.

New York is one of twenty states that have mandatory helmet laws requiring motorcycle riders to comply by wearing a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation, called a DOT Approved helmet.

Keep reading.

Ignoring the obvious irony in this tragic event, I wonder how many people believe motorcycle riders should be made to wear helmets. Or, for that matter, should it be a law to wear seatbelts in a car? (It is most everywhere.) I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I know it's safer to wear them, and I do, but on the other hand, is it appropriate for government to enact laws forcing citizens to do something for their own personal safety? Is this what's meant by the Nanny State? Any opinions?

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Comments:
It has always bothered me to be 'forced' by law to wear a seat belt and to a lesser degree a helmet when biking. My 23 yo daughter was recently involved in a bicycling accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury. She was not wearing a helmet. I am still torn in regards to the "law" as I think it should be our "choice", and not the law. However, you will not see me driving or riding a bike without the proper safety mechanisms in place anymore. I would not want to go through what she's gone through, nor would I want to put my family through what we are going through.
Bottom line: Wear a helmet and seat belt. It's not really a big deal. But passing a law? No, don't think that's the answer either.
 
If I had been wearing a helmet I may not have what I am currently experiencing. Would the helmet prevented it? I fell off a bike and received a concussion and a fractured skull. 10 years after the fall I began having seizures. After time the seizures were no longer controlled by medication. An option, and my choice, was to have brain surgery. Life took on another dynamic. In addition to not controlling the seizures I don't have the capacity to read. Would a helmet have changed this? I don't believe passing a law to wear a helmet is the answer. Regarding seatbelts: in two minor car accidents I was the only person in the car using a seatbelt. I also was the only person to end up with a back injury both times. I believe it was due to being stapped in and not allowing my body to move with the motion of the car. While a seatbelt may prohibit one type of injury it may not have any effect on another.
 
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