Even in Hawaii Your Head Won't Bounce

by DavalosMcCormack on June 1, 2009

I ride to work on a little scooter, a 125cc Buddy. I love it. It’s really cool. Now my Buddy is not the fastest or the most powerful machine on the road but it’s definitely one of the most fun. It zips up the steepest of hills in San Francisco, you can park it anywhere and it costs less than $4 to fill up. And you only need to fill it up every two weeks!

So, when I went to Kauai recently I was delighted to see that there are scooters everywhere on the island. They’re perfect for the island, unless of course you have a big surfboard you want to take to the beach.

But I was less than delighted to see that most of those riding the scooters were not wearing helmets. Now, in California we are used to having to wear a helmet everytime we go for a ride; it’s the law. Clearly the law in Hawaii is different. But while the laws of man are different in the two states, the laws of gravity and nature are not.

If you fall off your bike in Hawaii it will hurt every bit as much as it does in California. If your head hits the ground in Hawaii it hits it with the same force as in California. Only in California your head is protected. In Hawaii, it’s likely to end up as scrambled as the eggs you had for breakfast.

Being on holiday in such a gorgeous place is incredible. But it’s not worth losing your head over. I’m sure riding a bike without a helmet is tremendous fun; feeling the sun on your face and the wind blowing through what’s left of your hair. But you can enjoy it more if you are not in intensive care.

That’s not just my opinion. A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2006, found that wearing a helmet – even if you are just riding a bicycle let alone a scooter or motorbike – can reduce your risk of head injury by 85 percent and of brain injury by 88 percent.

Those are pretty good odds to have in your favor. You’d have to be brainless to ignore them. And if you do ignore them, well, you could end up brainless.

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