These reports are real bummers for those of us who love scootering. While I encourage people to take up scootering as a fun hobby and mode of transportation, I am amazed by how careless some can be. Especiallly those who put so much thought into saving money on their scooters through bargain shopping but give helmets no consideration at all. I would wear a full-face helmet whether or not my state required it, just as I wear a seatbelt in the car.
As a child, I split my lip when a softball hit my face during a game. I can only imagine what would happen to my head if I fell over at 30mph. In 1991, when I did have a crash at about 25-30mph I had no head injury thanks to my helmet. Photos of it were published in the Fall '05 issue of Scoot! A scrape started about where my right cheek would be and continued up to the top of the helmet. The visor was so scratched you would not be able to see through it. That's hard plastic, so imagine what would have happened to the soft flesh of my face...Bleaagth! I landed with most of my weight on my shoulder which had layers of skin scraped off. I now have a pale scar on that shoulder. My freckles were scraped off and they are slowly but surely coming back 4 years later.
I've heard all of the excuses before. How helmets compromise some riders' sense of freedom, how they miss the wind in thier hair, how they won't let the government cramp their style. But I wonder, if you could survey all the helmetless people that died of head trauma in motorcycle crashes last year and ask them one question, "If you could go back and do that ride again, would you wear a helmet?" What do you think their answer would be?
For statistics on motorcycle crashes & head injury, take a look at the National Highway Traffics Safety Administration's site