Helmets: To Wear or Not To Wear

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is lucky to be alive after his motorcycle crashed into a car yesterday. Doctors have upgraded his condition to fair. The 24-year-old football star lost two teeth, broke his jaw, fractured his nose and got a mild concussion from the accident. His coach has lectured him in the past for riding without a helmet. The quarterback says he didn't wear one because he is a careful driver and the Pennslyvania law doesn’t require him to.

Here in Colorado, there is no helmet law whatsoever. But, State Patrol said putting on a helmet is just like putting on your seatbelt in your car. "I went to a few crashes where the driver died. What killed him was head injury, even though there was no broken bones," Trooper Mark Butaud said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in Colorado, there were 80 motorcycle deaths in 2004. 19 were wearing helmets and 61 were not. They say 23 more lives could've been saved if bikers wore the hard hats.

Some bikers say helmets are a must while others say it's optional. “Everyone told me I should wear a helmet, but as long as Colorado doesn’t make me wear one, I’ll take advantage of it until I get hit," Scott Patton, a local biker said. Biker Justin Perkins disagrees. "It's pretty dangerous to ride. Few drivers are paying attention to what they’re doing out there."

Having no state law allows freedom for bikers to make their own decisions and cruise the town without a big brother watching over them.

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