ridecamp@endurance.net: Helmet Rules

Helmet Rules

Joane Pappas White (lyoness@castlenet.com)
Wed, 05 Feb 1997 16:57:16 -0700

Have decided that I should jump into the Joe-Roger conversation and add my
two cents. Although I'm a new endurance rider; I'm a "not so new" lawyer who
does a lot of personal injury law. I was surprised when we were not required
to use helmets at my first race. Before I started representing seriously
injured people, I was a firm believer in freedom of choice (still am in most
things). Most major safety changes were "forced" into being as a result of a
stick not a carrot. Seatbelts, infant restraint seats, etc. were all
negatively received at first--now most people not only accept them, but
embrace them.

Interestingly enough, I didn't (and still don't) automatically put on my
helmet when I ride a horse (not exactly the cowboy thing here in rural
Utah), but I wouldn't think of racing my corvette or snowmobile without one.
The day Thumper and I parted company at the top of the wash a month ago, I
didn't have on a helmet. When my head hit the ground lightly--in soft
mud--I was given what I call a wakeup tap. I know what a Closed Head Injury
does to people and their lives.

Believe it or not, I don't think a law suit against ride management will
succeed in this sport (assumed risk is a strong defense) but the FEAR of a
law suit will probably cause change. More importantly, by example, the
children will do what they SEE the leaders in this sport doing (which is a
good reason for pictures of winners in helmets). The real change will come
in the next generation of riders just as it has for motorcycles, seatbelts
and bicycle helmets. So, much as I enjoy the freedom of a bare head and
inspite of the ribbing I will take, I shall wear my helmet. For those who
choose not to wear one, that's okay for you but I would like to introduce
you to a few of my clients and then tell me if you will let your children
ride without a helmet.

Joane and Thumper

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