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I respect this fellow, and asked him if I could share his personal experience here as well. It makes a salient point about wearing gear, and while we may all agree that good gear is important, this puts a graphic, and disturbing realism to the whole thing. It's not about a motorcycle crash, it's about a head injury, but close enough to what we do and enjoy....
"Some of you know that several years ago I suffered a fall at work. Fell 20 feet onto cement landing on my head and right shoulder. Broke fingers, ribs, shoulder, and fractured my skull in over a dozen places. Fortunately, I have been one of the tremendously lucky ones and made a very good recovery, where others might have been killed or permanently disabled. Still, the recovery has taken tremendous effort and I would not want anyone else to have to go through the experience. Let me tell you what it is like to smash your melon. A little bit of Hell. You never want it to happen to you. You never want to risk it, not even for a minute. For the most part, I am preaching to the converted, but for those who might be waffling, please, please wear a proper helmet every time you straddle your bike.
Otherwise, here is what you might be dealing with when you break your head. It won't take much either. Cement, asphalt, guard rails, trees, and other vehicles are very unforgiving.
If you are fortunate, you will wake up days later in ICU. Your memory for a day or so before the accident and for several days after the accident will be lost forever. Just as well, things weren't pretty. You have a catheter, IV's, and an assortment of other medical devices stuffed in you. You have scared the crap out of family and friends, some of whom are gathered around you. You are hardly recognizable as your head has swollen up so badly. The pressure has bugged your eyes out so far that your eyelids have started to turn inside out. You are black and blue all around your eyes, around your ears and down the sides of your head, to where the blood has obviously pooled in you neck and jowls. Luckily, the pressure of your swelling brain came out through the numerous cracks in your skull; otherwise they would have cut a piece out of your skull for relief, to be stapled back in later. If they didn't deal with the pressure in time, it would have built up inside your skull cavity to where it put enough pressure on your spinal cord to end your life. Now the doctors are deciding whether or not they will have to put a plate or plates in your skull to keep all the pieces together. And talking about the best way to replace the one ear and part of your scalp that disintegrated while you skidded along the asphalt. No one can understand what you are trying to say for many days. It takes that long for your speech center to begin working right. That really worried your wife. When they finally let you get up several weeks later, you are anxious to finally get that damn catheter out. But your motor skills are all messed up. You barely make it to the bathroom, even with help. Soon you get used to dragging your IB rack along with you, everywhere you go. It takes a month just to learn to walk again. You wonder if you are ever going to ride again. Folks this is just for starters. Actually, most victims of serious head trauma end up with some type or types of permanent brain injuries. Ones that might not only change their physical abilities, but may also change mental capacity and personality, often resulting in job loss or changes, and huge family and other relationship issues. For most, the financial and emotional costs add up to be staggering. Even unbearable for some. Believe me, now when I see other riders not wearing a helmet, I cringe inside. Did I ever exercise my freedom of choice "in the old days" and not wear my helmet. Yup, on the rare occasion. Was that a stupid, selfish and irresponsible choice? Absolutely! Will I ever ride without a helmet again? Never!!

Steve Broadhead
Calgary, AB"
 

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Great post. Scares the crap outta me. Thanks. I have always worn a helmet and exercised lots of caution...but I still appreciate the wake up calls from time to time to remind me that we are vulnerable.

Protecting your head is always in fashion. :coffee
 

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excellent post; take a bow and may others learn from it. Additionally, it makes my visor down post I was thinking of writing after a scratched cornea pale in comparison to this example.

ride safe EVERYONE!
 

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Simple said:
Great post. Scares the crap outta me. Thanks. I have always worn a helmet and exercised lots of caution...but I still appreciate the wake up calls from time to time to remind me that we are vulnerable.

Protecting your head is always in fashion. :coffee

:rockon It doesn't take much anymore to sit back and think what could actually happen. There's been too many accidents/fatalities this past year to not heed any advice no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
 

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Flieger sind Sieger!
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That's a pretty intense story. Of course, idiots like Gary Busey come along and make it "cool" to not wear a helmet, even after splitting his head open in a crash.
 

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA Busey!!! I saw that guy doing huge a line of coke in a nightclub washroom a few years back...He is a 'goons' goon...
 

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and that would be the same for bicycle riders as well. How many times have you seen someone riding a bike with the helmet hanging from the handle bars? It only takes one fall and it will be too late.
 
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Whatever happened to the "let those who ride, decide" fools?
Wearing a helmet during and after a crash is a no brainer but there are still a great number of vocal fanatics who still believe that you are safer without a helmet. You'd have to troll some of the more silly US sites for details, but the idea is that open face helmets or beanies give one a better situational awareness and you'd be more likely to ride slow because you can't see through the tears, bugs and rain.
Just silly. Wear you're helmet because helmets save lives.
 

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Its scary meeting someone who's lived through massive head trauma... I remember in highschool a quadrapalegic came to lecture on wearing a seatbelt. He lost use of his body by hitting his head on the dashboard of his wife's Mercedes, that was it, knocked unconcious, big bruise on his forehead, and never felt below his chin again. Kinda shows just how vulnerable the spine/neck/head area is... I've had a couple of concussions from martial arts training and am amazed at how easy it is to get stunned so I will ALWAYS be one of those wearing the safest helmet I can possibly afford, no matter the type of bike I ride (when I'm old and aged riding a cruiser I'll still be sporting a full face helmet and gear to boot)... and if you follow Busey as a role model of no helm then we have Darwin to thank for your soon removal and donation of spare parts and organs... as well as our drain on the medical services.

On the subject of FOD in the face... wonder if anyone's ever done a study on the number of facial injuries to motorcyclists not wearing a full face helm. I've already taken a couple of rocks on the helm thanks to trucks with no mud flaps on the highway and can bet someone out there has been killed due to a rock in the face causing a crash.

Helmet enforcement in the states is just starting to get to the same point as seatbelts in cars in the 80's, I still remember the old 'Buckle up, not because its the law, but because seatbelts save lives' from Michigan TV so doesn't surprise me that they're a strong antihelmet sentiment still so many ppl used to fight seat belts saying they were more dangerous or inhibited movement while driving etc.
 

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I have been advised by my wife that I have to wear a full face helmet while riding: I only barely made it over the "Good looking enough" bar in order to marry her and any even minor facial trauma will drop me below that line, forcing her to invoke the "...until death or the groom getting too fat and/or ugly to be with a hottie like the bride do them part". I knew I shoulda paid more attention to the vows...
 

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Very sobering post. In my own accident, my gear -especially my spine protector- saved my life, or at least my ability to walk again. The dents in my leathers tell the story :eek .

My helmet, well... barely scratched it when I hit the concrete barrier but I still lost my short-term memory from the bump. Took me about 3 weeks to recover. I couldn't remember anything from one day to the next though I hid it as best I could... terrified this would be my new reality. Thank gawd it wasn't.

I'm no gear nazi ["to each their own"] yet I've discovered a simple truth that we might all consider: 'cost' affects riders' choices more than we're aware. Many of the same -often new- riders who scoff at gear ...are the same folks who readily appreciate [and wear] 2nd-hand gear if only they had it and/or could afford it. Seeing this, I've given away a lot of gear -instead of selling it- to friends and strangers alike. This year I'll do the same, quietly and without fanfare... and I'd invite everyone here to do the same [if you're able]. If you have what you need - just let go of the excess ;) .
 
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