As a motorcycle rider, you may already know that we have a national motorcycle helmet law that was enacted 10 years ago. The law basically mandates all motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders to wear one at all times; whether on long or short rides on any type of road.
Unfortunately, this law is one of the most disregarded in the land as there are still many riders who think there's no need to. Worse, some have kids riding as pillion who are also not wearing their safety helmets.
An emergency room (ER) nurse from New Jersey, USA has appealed to the riding public to sign up as organ donors if they don't want to wear their helmets when riding. Debbie Moore-Black, RN, wrote this piece on her blog entry on the website KevinMD.com, after a funeral procession passed by that was attended by hundreds of motorcycle riders. She further recalled that it reminded her of a patient that they had attended to from a motorcycle crash.
“It reminded me of that 23-year-old male I once had while I worked surgical-trauma ICU. A young man riding his motorcycle with no helmet, no protection, flying freely down the highway. Superman,” she wrote.
Unfortunately, due to the severe head injury, that boy didn't make it, and neither do the other thousands of motorcycle riders who continue to refuse to wear their helmets when riding.
“Don’t wear your helmet — then make sure you register as an organ donor,” she said, noting that since there is a very big chance of not surviving a crash because of a lack of protection. At the very least their organs that do survive can be put to good use, given to patients waiting for one.
Studies on road crashes indicate that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of head injuries by as much as 69%, and reduces the risk of death by 42%. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have verified that there were close to 2,000 motorcycle rider lives that were saved in the US in 2016 because they were wearing motorcycle safety helmets.
Here in the Philippines, many riders still prefer NOT to wear their helmets because, “it's just a short distance to the store”, or “I don't want my hair ruined by the helmet” etc.
There are villages (in Cainta and elsewhere) or barangays that enact their own rules in defiance of the national helmet law due to security concerns (to identify the motorcycle riders in the event of crime).
If you still prefer NOT to wear your motorcycle helmet, please sign up as an organ donor. Not much can be done about the head, but at least other parts of you can be put to good use.