This is the classic argument of, “just stay out of my life, man. It ain’t none of your business.” Unfortunately, if the government stays out of your life, it has to reach into my pocket. 4,500 bikers are getting killed in accidents every year. That’s not the problem as far as I am concerned. If you are foolish enough to ride your motorcycle without a helmet and get into a crash and die, then that is your business. Yes, you will leave grieving family, friends, children et al who will never be the same because of your stupidity of riding without an approved helmet but what the hell.
This is the problem:
...NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) has also estimated that helmetless riders cost society some $1.3 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity. "If you don't wear a helmet, and you sustain a moderate to severe injury that doesn't kill you, you are going to be a drain on society for the rest of your life," explains Thomas J. Esposito, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.
Why should we as taxpayers foot the bill for your brain injury because you refused to wear a motorcycle helmet approved by the US Department of Transportation? (Many motorcycle helmets you see people wearing are decorative and don’t meet government protection standards.) I think the answer is obvious: we should not. Of course, we could require motorcyclists to carry medical liability coverage. A few states do. The highest amount required is $20,000 - not a lot for life time care for a brain injury. Here is a fascinating article about this.
Here is a good pic of what is left of a motorcycle that slid under a truck.
[Source: Mother Jones.]