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Mandatory seatbelt/helmet law discussion for United States

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by VolkerP, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    IIRC there were federal states in the US where you are not mandated by law to buckle up. Others had no requirement to wear helmets on motor bikes. Dunno if this is still valid.
     
  2. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Yeah, there is a lot of research that the US's focus on safety for unbelted occupants actually makes the cars less safe for belted occupants as manufacturers have to build safety systems for people flying around the cabin instead of keeping them immobile in their seats.
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I force all my passengers to buckle up, law or no law. I don't get why people don't, personally.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Ditto. Someone I knew died in a head-on collision. His wife survived. Guess which one was wearing a seatbelt...
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Yes. You can be driving a tank and it doesn't matter much if you're not wearing a seatbelt.
     
  6. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

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    Idaho doesn't require helmets on motorcycles (a least up until a year ago). I heard a radio show where they were ranting about it taking away their liberties.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I know that South Carolina, Florida,Texas and Pennsylvania do not have helmet laws. I don't think Hawaii does either but not sure.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The libertarian in me is fine with people not wearing helmets -- if they want to risk death, what business do we have imposing on them? We would, however, need to modify laws to eliminate all liability on a motorist who may have caused or contributed to the unhelmeted cyclist's injury or death.
     
  9. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Don't forget the advanced directive tattooed on his body so that the rest of us don't have to pay to keep his vegetable-self alive after the accident, and he needs to carry life insurance of about 1 million per dependent child (college is expensive) so that they don't end up as a drain on the system. He's also going to need to have insurance to pay for the potential psychological treatment of the poor 16 year old kid who hits him and gets to watch his head go pop like a zit.

    No one lives in a vacuum.
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    True, but again, his family, his decision. If you go far enough to let him do what he wants, recognize that it applies to his direct relations as well. If he cared about them, he'd helmet up or perhaps they'd make him.
     
  11. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    There are so many dangerous ways to live. It's what makes life exciting.

    I suppose you could demand the same insurance from every overweight parent, parents that drink "just a little" and then drive, parents that fly their own private planes, parents that ski or horseback ride. People thrive on excitement. And having been a cycle rider for 50 years, I have to say that speeding, fast starts, pushing the safety envelope on curves is FAR more dangerous than wearing or not wearing a helmet. You should not try to legislate someone else's morality or try to legislate what they can or cannot do to themselves.
     
  12. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

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    Robolab,

    Perhaps not, but then as Lyon indicated no one else should be held responsible for his irresponsibility. No charges as high as manslaughter for his resulting death or permanent brain damage.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    @dmckinstry re: roblab
    I think the distinction is protecting "you from yourself" vs. "protecting others from you". The concern is about government involvement in the former.
     
  14. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    It's not about legislating morality but about realizing that actions have consequences.

    To me it's like not using a condom because you don't like how they feel; I'm fine with it but I'm not fine with paying for that guy's bastards' health care and college.

    I suppose if you want to live dangerously you're probably hoping that the Models S doesn't gets a full 5 star rating! ;-)
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Mods: Can the helmet/seatbelt discussion be moved to a new thread in the Off Topic area maybe?

    This has gotten a little off topic but when someone is in an accident, they expect a few things to happen (even if they have zero insurance and even no income or significant savings): get picked up by EMTs and taken to hospital to be seen by ER/trauma team then taken to surgery if needed. If prolonged ICU stay needed, they want that as well. If they have chronic injuries, they would also like rehab and to be taken care of after that at potentially a cost of millions of dollars to tax payers. All 50 states expect New Hampshire have some sort of seatbelt law. Only 20 states have mandatory helmet laws and 2 states have zero helmet laws with the other states having some sort of age at which your skull hardens enough that a helmet is no longer needed. Anyway, even pure libertarians want to be taken care of in an accident and very few people have the financial resources to pay for a significant hospital stay of many months.
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #16 dsm363, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
    Can you provide a link? Everything I've ever seen says you're significantly more safe wearing a seatbelt. I don't think it's possible to design much of a safety system for people flying around the car since everything depends on you staying in your seat so the passive safety systems can protect the passenger compartment.

    I created a thread here to continue discussion if it's not moved:
    Mandatory seatbelt/helmet law discussion for United States
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #17 dsm363, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
    This started here but thought it might be more appropriate in this area:
    Perfect 2012 Five Star NHTSA Safety Ratings

    Basically, I feel mandatory seatbelt and helmet laws are valid considering people expect to be treated in the hospital and even afterwards regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
     
  18. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I personally am a little on the fence about helmet laws. I have a motorcycle license, and took a MSF course; yet I have never owned or rented a motorcycle. I am (moreso was) an avid cyclist, and would never consider riding my bicycle without a helmet. I grew up in Florida where there are strong forces to avoid helmet laws (I think they have a under 18 law). Because of Daytona and Key West bike weeks. And well crusing along the beach without a helmet is probably really awesome. I now live in GA with a helmet law, and well find it weird when I go to a state without the law.

    I wouldn't ride a motorcycle without helmet, gloves, heavy/armored shoes, armored jacket, heavy/armored pants. But I personally think if you let people ride their motorcycle in shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops (lots of people in Florida do this) wearing a helmet isn't going to do any good. Plus half the 'helmets' people in Georgia use aren't going to really help other than providing a scoop after they crash. Untill laws can address proper 'safety' I tend to thing helmet laws are somewhat arbitrary.

    Granted if you don't use a helmet you are F_ing stupid. Same goes for flip-flops, t-shirts (or shirtless), and shorts. You have no idea how much skin you can lose only going 25 mph until you crash your bicycle in a Criterium race. It can get really ugly.
     
  19. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Some helmet laws are very weak and will allow things that basically provide no protection. I don't ride a motorcycle either but if I did, I'd suit up like that as well. People can often recover from significant injuries (skin, bones....etc) but the brain is different. Significant head trauma can leave someone dependent on others to care for them for the rest of their lives and it is very sad when you see someone that recovered from all of their other injuries expect for the brain injury and probably the only thing that could have prevented that was a simple seatbelt or helmet. Of course there are times where a seatbelt or helmet can't save the day but they are much better than nothing. We can't protect people from everything or even themselves all of the time but helmets and seat belts save lives and the tax payers money as well. I'd consider that a win/win.
     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Quotes migrated from the other thread.

    Strider didn't say it's safer to not wear a seat belt.

    He said there's research suggesting that non-seat-belt-wearing tests are skewing the data (and thus triggering manufacturer reaction).
     

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