Seat belts and Helmets, why force people to wear them?

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Within reason, children up to I'll say the age of 16 should be forced to wear them because they are not at the top of their cognitive game. You feel me? Good.

But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection? It's pretty much the same situation when hurricains strike, those that refuse to leave even though they can are foolish and stupid.(doesn't apply to those that can't. Like Haitii for example).

Anyway, it was just a thought. A meaner way to say it would be, according to Chuck The Freak:"THIN THE HERD"

Edit: Well that was fast, my opinion on seat belts has changed. Still nothing on the helmet issue though!

Nanny state has to tell all of it's children to be safe, that's all it is. If you don't want to wear a helmet or seatbelt then you accept full responsibility for when you inevitably die horribly.

Essentially, not wearing a seatbelt endangers everyone in the vehicle, even if they are wearing them.

Because you are dangerous to other people if you don't.

Lets say that you and a bunch of other people are in a car and none of you are using belts. Then the car crashes into something.

Normally the belts would have kept all of you in your seats, but because you weren't using belts you get thrown around the car and crash into each other, possibly bumbing your heads into each other's heads smashing your skulls.

It is also possible that the people in the front seats could get thrown out the front windown and into some random poor person that isn't in the car.

The idea that seat belts only protect the person using it and thus people should not be forced to use them is simply not true.

As for why people should HAVE to use helments, well you got me there. I very rarely use a bicycle but when I do I typially don't use a helmet. Children should always use them though.

EDIT: I guess the above poster was able to beat me to it with that video.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-rider-dies-protesting-motorcycle-helmet-law/story?id=13993417
""The medical expert we discussed the case with who pronounced him deceased stated that he would've no doubt survived the accident had he been wearing a helmet," state Trooper Jack Keller told ABC News 9 in Syracuse."
protest fail lol

The other factor is this: the economic costs that may not be understood by the public.

For example; in my city the council installed some big barriers of clear glass on the side of bridge. The cost of the project was $6 million dollars and, as many said, it seemed like a waste of money. It was to prevent people jumping to their deaths. I argued with a friend of mine (who had a PhD in economics and consulted on the project) that this wasn't a good use of funds because those people would kill themselves anyway. He said this: It isn't to prevent the deaths themselves its to prevent them happening in that area. The estimated cost to the city as whole when a person jumps is around $1.5 million in time and productivity lost from the traffic hold-ups and the direct costs of calling out emergency services. As there were, on average, 2 jumpers a year, the city council felt it was a good idea to spend the six million on this project.

You may find similar reason at play here. It isn't about the protection to the person as much as the associated costs that you aren't aware of but end up coming into play (not that I know what they would be).

Because my car makes this really fucking annoying "ding, ding, ding" sound when someone doesn't have their seat belt on.

If you don't want to wear a seat belt, ride a motorcycle. If you don't want to wear a helmet, ride in a state that doesn't require one.

Well, forcing people to use safety equipment is hardly unprecedented.

Hell, if they didn't force people to do this, in 10 years half the public will have forgotten that its important, and everytime someone died from not wearing a helmet/belt, there'd be an outcry of "We didn't know, why didn't the government tell us?"

ElectroJosh:
The other factor is this: the economic costs that may not be understood by the public.

For example; in my city the council installed some big barriers of clear glass on the side of bridge. The cost of the project was $6 million dollars and, as many said, it seemed like a waste of money. It was to prevent people jumping to their deaths. I argued with a friend of mine (who had a PhD in economics and consulted on the project) that this wasn't a good use of funds because those people would kill themselves anyway. He said this: It isn't to prevent the deaths themselves its to prevent them happening in that area. The estimated cost to the city as whole when a person jumps is around $1.5 million in time and productivity lost from the traffic hold-ups and the direct costs of calling out emergency services. As there were, on average, 2 jumpers a year, the city council felt it was a good idea to spend the six million on this project.

You may find similar reason at play here. It isn't about the protection to the person as much as the associated costs that you aren't aware of but end up coming into play (not that I know what they would be).

I assume the costs of having someone clean up the exploaded heads. But really, a friend of mine saw a motorcyclist hit by a train, the guys arm landed next to his car, so really I guess the helmet doesn't matter that much.

You can endanger those around you with your flying body. It costs extra time and resources to scrape mangled, unrecognisable bodies off the scene of a crime. Not to mention the effect on the minds of those doing the clean-up. More time spent cleaning up serious accidents means longer jams. The issue of seatbelt laws is also something that political parties can raise to get cheap points.

Why wouldn't you want to enforce seatbelt and helmet laws, with this in mind?

EDIT: People who do stupid things will always find another way to kill themselves with...the tools available.

This new 'Why is the government trying to stop us from doing stupid things that harm others?!' kick is almost as sad and incomprehensible as the 'anti-breeder' movement the Escapist had a while back. Because God forbid someone should want a biological child while there are starving kids in Africa or something.

Edit: To contribute something meaningful to the conversation; my Uncle, Roger, died in a motorcycle accident. We were told that if he'd been wearing a helmet, he probably would have survived considering the reason he died was that he landed on his head and his skull cracked open like an egg.

So that's why.

mattttherman3:
]I assume the costs of having someone clean up the exploaded heads. But really, a friend of mine saw a motorcyclist hit by a train, the guys arm landed next to his car, so really I guess the helmet doesn't matter that much.

Well, what can ya do. Helmets can help avoid brain splatter for minor incidents, but they can't exactly make people wear tank armor just in case they decide to play chicken with a train.

Call it nanny state if you want but it gets results from what i've personally seen. Drivers asking there passengers to buckle up because they don't want a ticket, it's not just mom telling her kids to put the seat belt on or they are going through the window.

It's not like someone deserves to die because they are too lazy or scatterbrained to remember a helmet or seat belt.

If seat belts weren't a requirement for drivers, why would they be a requirement for car manufacturers? I doubt the quality and safety of seat belts would be properly regulated and observed if they were optional. Imagine if you actually went through the trouble of wearing your seat belt, but the day you get into an accident the belt just snaps! Or what if the bit that connects behind your chair gets pulled lose, knocks the back of your head causing a concussion?

As for motorcycle helmets...(spoiler for people that don't want to read semi-graphic motorcycle accident details):

The big reason? EMT's and OR surgeons have much more important things to worry about. They are in short supply and don't want to have to risk not being there for a real emergency because someone couldn't take the 7th of a second to put their seat belt or helmet on.

mattttherman3:

But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection? It's pretty much the same situation when hurricains strike, those that refuse to leave even though they can are foolish and stupid.(doesn't apply to those that can't. Like Haitii for example).

Quite simple really. You and your friend are in a car crash you're wearing a seatbelt while your friend isn't. You walk away with at worst a bit of whiplash, your friend gets rushed to hospital after flying out the windscreen head first; and who has to pay for his emergency treatment? You and me through our taxes.

Name 1 way in which a seatbelt actually negatively affects you, I can't think of any. That means the pro:con ratio is massively skewed towards pros. Downside of seatbelt laws, none, downside of idiots not being forced to wear them, massive healthcare costs.

Lets not forget that, for most of the history of seat belt laws and for the time being, many of those people who fly through the window and are saved by modern medicine do not have health insurance and all of us get to pay for it. Hooray!

And I guess the state has a vested interest in it's citizens not killing themselves.

Don't get too many taxes or baby citizens out of mangled corpses.

Karma168:

Quite simple really. You and your friend are in a car crash you're wearing a seatbelt while your friend isn't. You walk away with at worst a bit of whiplash, your friend gets rushed to hospital after flying out the windscreen head first; and who has to pay for his emergency treatment? You and me through our taxes.

No, you don't "pay for it though your taxes", really, or rather, you're not getting some mail from the state "Oh and by the way, we'll need a 0.01€ more from you than you already paid because of that guy.".

What this does is waste the time and resources and thus making them unavailable elsewhere. So if that guy flies out of the car and gets rushed into the hospital the result won't be you having to pay more taxes, it will be worse service for you when you need it because the hospital staff is overworked because it has to take care of people who could have easily avoided being there.

That's what you "pay" with. Having to accept a lower quality of service.

If everyone who didn't wear a helmet or seatbelt was guaranteed to die I would agree, unfortunately some don't and become a burden on the healthcare system as they continue to live as severely brain damaged or paralyzed (or both) people. The resources needed for that kind of care are massive, it's an economically better decision to enforce the safety laws.

Treeinthewoods:
If everyone who didn't wear a helmet or seatbelt was guaranteed to die I would agree, unfortunately some don't and become a burden on the healthcare system as they continue to live as severely brain damaged or paralyzed (or both) people. The resources needed for that kind of care are massive, it's an economically better decision to enforce the safety laws.

Even if they all died they'd incur all kinds costs. Traffic stoppage, police/paramedic road time, loss of workforce, loss of a family member, disposal of the remains, having the place cleaned up...basically, it's a waste of everyone's time in the end. And that's terrible.

mattttherman3:
But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection?

Well, no, that isn't really natural selection at all.

OT: A lot of people like to hate on the idea of a "nanny state", but I really can't see what's so bad about a state trying to protect its citizenry.

SonicWaffle:

OT: A lot of people like to hate on the idea of a "nanny state", but I really can't see what's so bad about a state trying to protect its citizenry.

Well it's bad because MY MONEY!!!!™ and all. Some people simply see no benefit in state services they're not using themselves because it's not a direct benefit to them, but rather an indirect benefit towards them not living in a dump.

Rather galling, really.

Vegosiux:

SonicWaffle:

OT: A lot of people like to hate on the idea of a "nanny state", but I really can't see what's so bad about a state trying to protect its citizenry.

Well it's bad because MY MONEY!!!!™ and all. Some people simply see no benefit in state services they're not using themselves because it's not a direct benefit to them, but rather an indirect benefit towards them not living in a dump.

Rather galling, really.

I still don't get it. If you've never been robbed, how does it make sense to complain about all the state money being used to fund the police? Perhaps it's a side-effect of living in England, but the people who complain about their money being spent on protecting other people really puzzles me.

Then again, did you see this study? None of the conclusions are particularly surprising, but the numbers are - Europe is almost the complete opposite to the USA when it comes to wanting a responsible state that protects their citizenry.

mattttherman3:
Within reason, children up to I'll say the age of 16 should be forced to wear them because they are not at the top of their cognitive game. You feel me? Good.

But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection? It's pretty much the same situation when hurricains strike, those that refuse to leave even though they can are foolish and stupid.(doesn't apply to those that can't. Like Haitii for example).

Anyway, it was just a thought. A meaner way to say it would be, according to Chuck The Freak:"THIN THE HERD"

Edit: Well that was fast, my opinion on seat belts has changed. Still nothing on the helmet issue though!

Why should every one else pay because you could not be bothered to take the minimum precautions to protect yourself?

mattttherman3:
Within reason, children up to I'll say the age of 16 should be forced to wear them because they are not at the top of their cognitive game. You feel me? Good.!

No. Not really. I don't know why people suddenly decide that you're a rational decision-making agent the moment you turn 18, because that's such obvious fucking bullshit. Occasionally people are rational and logical. Some more than others, but most less. People are stupid. People are irrational. People are weak-willed and brash. People are slaves to their emotions. You know why state paternalism was the norm for such a long time?

Because it was ok to point those facts out.

It's far easier to make rational decisions and enforce them on behalf of others than it is to make them and enforce them upon yourself.

mattttherman3:
Within reason, children up to I'll say the age of 16 should be forced to wear them because they are not at the top of their cognitive game. You feel me? Good.

But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection? It's pretty much the same situation when hurricains strike, those that refuse to leave even though they can are foolish and stupid.(doesn't apply to those that can't. Like Haitii for example).

Anyway, it was just a thought. A meaner way to say it would be, according to Chuck The Freak:"THIN THE HERD"

Edit: Well that was fast, my opinion on seat belts has changed. Still nothing on the helmet issue though!

I think it's because if you'll get into an accident, you'll cost the taxpayers and in turn the government money because the police will have to be sent to deal with it, so will the paramedics, all the legal issues will have to be settled etc.
That's probably the main reason. There's also the fact that you're endangering other people but for the government, that's probably secondary.

SonicWaffle:

Vegosiux:

SonicWaffle:

OT: A lot of people like to hate on the idea of a "nanny state", but I really can't see what's so bad about a state trying to protect its citizenry.

Well it's bad because MY MONEY!!!!™ and all. Some people simply see no benefit in state services they're not using themselves because it's not a direct benefit to them, but rather an indirect benefit towards them not living in a dump.

Rather galling, really.

I still don't get it. If you've never been robbed, how does it make sense to complain about all the state money being used to fund the police? Perhaps it's a side-effect of living in England, but the people who complain about their money being spent on protecting other people really puzzles me.

Then again, did you see this study? None of the conclusions are particularly surprising, but the numbers are - Europe is almost the complete opposite to the USA when it comes to wanting a responsible state that protects their citizenry.

I get two very interesting things from that set of data; French "cultural arrogance" would appear to be a total myth, which is unsurprising to someone who's spent time in the country but is interesting to see "in print" as it were, especially contrasted with the results from America; and secondly this would seem to be a pretty solid argument that higher education is not an "optional extra" but actually is a necessity for an informed and rational populace. Even in America, where religion is rampant and half of college-educated respondents consider religion "very important", at least a solid majority of those with a college education have put aside backwards bullshit like "you need God to be moral".

As for the OP; it's been said, and aptly demonstrated several times(I feel for the family of that protesting biker, but that's fucking Darwin Award material right there, made even more depressingly hilarious by the veritable abyss of denial on show from the chap from ABATE they interviewed). Belts and helmets protect the individual from their own stupidity, more importantly they protect other people from that stupidity, and they save everyone money and time by making substantial numbers of accidents less serious and as such requiring of less resources to deal with.

What was the objection again?

mattttherman3:
I assume the costs of having someone clean up the exploaded heads.

Emergency services, yes. A lot of costs end up going on society: healthcare for the seriously injured being obvious whether by state, family or charity. They may also be long-term costs, in terms of permanent injury. It's not just that though, you can also consider that dead, permanently disabled and serious injured people tend to be much less productive than healthy ones, so cost their employers and wider society that way too. It may also lead to deleterious effects on dependents such as children, who have to grow up without mummy or daddy or both. And frankly, economics aside, there are basic human costs: it's just bloody miserable when your friends and family suffer and die, even if it was their own fault.

Are you guys seriously protesting the fact that you have to wear seat belts?

Your definition of freedom is quite strange.

Because the taxpayer is the one who's paying for your medical care if you fuck up from irresponsible behaviour. Why would you ever not want to wear a seatbelt?

If your not wearing a seatbelt and you are in an accident you are also putting the burden of ending another persons life on the other driver. Personally I would rather pay to get a guys car repaired because I crashed into him, than I want to live the rest of my life with his death on my conscience.

Well, to go a little philisophical on you:

The government has an obligation to protect its' citizens. In the interest of maintaining everyone's safety, we do things like make drinking and driving illegal, enfoce mandatory building safety inspections or (in my country, anyway) controlling the distribution of firearms.

We would probably all agree that it's a good thing the government does this, in theory if not always in practice, so why would we suddenly stop and cry foul when it figures it needs to keep us safe from our own stupidity as well?

The number of people who die that might have been saved by seatbelts or helmets is surprisingly large. Even if it doesn't get enforced very often, if someone does die like this, the government and point at the relevant legislation and show us that the law isn't to blame.

Besides, come on, if you're seriously bitching about having to wear a seatbelt then you probably shouldn't have a license in the first place.

Because if you don't force people to wear them, they won't. Not just crazy outlier people, but regular people, who, despite the tremendous safety benefit of seatbelts, are lazy, and maintain the "well, it won't happen to me" attitude until they find themselves flying through their windshield.

Sometimes, the government actually should protect people from themselves. Because in the end, we're all morons in many ways, and sometimes it takes a sensible law to protect us from our own stupidity.

Also, I don't think you quite understand what natural selection really entails.

edit: damn, missed the update. oops.

That would mean some kind of age limit for when someone are allowed to not wear a helmet anymore.
I dont think the benefit of that would be worth the effort of defining laws for it.
There is also the matter of what people do the moment they are allowed to do something that they were not allowed to do before.

mattttherman3:
Within reason, children up to I'll say the age of 16 should be forced to wear them because they are not at the top of their cognitive game. You feel me? Good.

But for adults? What's the point? I mean I wear them because I don't want to die. If someone can't be bothered to care about themselves, why should we? Is it not natural selection? It's pretty much the same situation when hurricains strike, those that refuse to leave even though they can are foolish and stupid.(doesn't apply to those that can't. Like Haitii for example).

Anyway, it was just a thought. A meaner way to say it would be, according to Chuck The Freak:"THIN THE HERD"

Edit: Well that was fast, my opinion on seat belts has changed. Still nothing on the helmet issue though!

This sounds like nanny state socialism to me(children can make their own choices).

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