Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marshall, Michigan, USA
Wee and Half-Helmets?
Seriously ... just a few points ...
You are right. I should be wearing a full-face all the time. I think the stats are that in a wreck, the probability is about 40% that the chin and lower face area will be involved, and I don't know the stats for the lower area in the back of the head. The point you are making is very valid.
However, the benefits of helmets may be overstated.
Experienced riders don't get in that many accidents. I've been riding for about 4 years, and I've been in three incidents, all in the first year of riding, that put me in contact with the ground. A helmet did not help in any of them. You usually need to going at a fair rate of speed or else get thrown from the bike to hit your head. A medium-speed low-side accident won't normally do it. Not that many accidents fit the profile where the head contacts a hard surface.
Many accidents are so catastrophic that the helmet won't save your life; or worse yet, might allow you to be vegetable when you should have died.
I don't argue that helmets are useful ... just that there may not be very good stats on HOW useful.
However, I'm aware of two people in my sphere of acquaintances who had their life saved by a full-face. One popped at tire at 70 MPH and slid face-down on the concrete and off the road. He had no injuries to his face except a small cut where the gravel had bounced through the opening (maybe the visor got ground down or he had a full-face plus sunglasses). Anyway, he would have had no face left and probably also been brain-dead without the helmet. As things turned out, he woke up later in a hospital and made a full recovery, although it took a while.
So, if I hit the superslab after my morning coffee ... the full-face would be a good idea, but the world won't normally stop turning if I break that rule from time to time.
I still am curious about the aerodynamics of the Wee with a half-helmet ...
Thanks, Dave A.