Recent motorcycle accident deaths prompt safety concerns - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Recent motorcycle accident deaths prompt safety concerns

By Michael Slother - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – After Tuesday night's fatal motorcycle accident in South Lubbock, many questions were raised about riders wearing helmets. Police say that Richard Bagwell and Christy Winters were not wearing helmets when an SUV collided with them at 87th Street and University Avenue.

Thursday we talked with a couple of riders who have different opinions when it comes to wearing a helmet.

John Hall says a helmet saved his life when a car collided with him on University Avenue many years ago. "Well we wouldn't be standing here talking right now if that day I hadn't had a helmet on," Hall continued. "I actually was struck by an automobile on University and knocked down and my head impacted the pavement pretty hard, but I walked away from it."

Terry Mooney says it's his right to ride without one. Both men have been riding motorcycles for the past 30 years, but they have very different opinions on the use of helmets."I choose to ride without a helmet because it feels better," Mooney said.

State law requires all motorcycle drivers to take a safety course before getting a license to drive a motorcycle.

"The course is a huge plus for anything, I wish they would have done that a long time ago," Mooney said.

That same course can get you out of wearing a helmet.

Hall teaches the course at Reese Center on weekends and says if you take the course and have at least $10,000 in insurance coverage, you don't have to wear a helmet by law. Statistics say you should.

"A helmet reduces your chance of serious injury in an accident by 85%, that's a Motorcycle Safety Foundation fact," said Hall.

According to Mooney helmets can make it harder to hear and see your surroundings. "Your peripheral is out here. You can see more. With a helmet you're more confined, your vision is limited to right here and what you see whereas without a helmet you have clear view," he said.

Hall says because of his experience he will always wear a helmet and encourages others to do the same.

Mooney doesn't feel any less safe without a helmet and he'll continue to ride without one. "It goes back to personal choice and freedom, to be able to be on the road with no helmet the wind blowing on you and just the openness of mother nature. There is no other feeling like it."

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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