Letter to the Editor: Wear helmets

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    If you ever doubt the fact that helmets save lives, just go talk to a Paramedic. We used to call riders who did not wear a helmet “Organ Donors.” I am a retired paramedic with over 18 years of experience. I responded to many motor vehicle accidents involving motorcyclists.

    The first really bad one that I remember involved two cyclists on one bike who were struck by a car. The passenger was thrown down onto the pavement and then slid backwards on his head. He was dead at the scene. The operator suffered only minor injuries. I vividly remember seeing the passenger’s helmet, strapped uselessly to the motorcycle. The operator who walked away was wearing his.

    I never have understood why helmets are good enough for football and baseball players, construction and utility workers, firemen and ski racers but not for many motorcyclists who must consider themselves too good a rider to warrant a helmet. Believe me, I have pronounced DOA quite a few good riders who never had a chance.

    Here in Oregon we currently have a helmet law and I know that it saves lives and alleviates more serious injuries. Motorcyclists have a fatality rate 20 times that of motorists. If you must ride, at least don’t tempt fate; wear a brain bucket. And that goes for all bicyclists and skateborders also.

    Jeff Jones

    Battle Ground, Wash.

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