I've been thinking about protective headgear.
I've worn a helmet when bicycling for so many years that I don't notice it when it's there, but very much feel its absence when I don't wear it.
The old "but it's hot!" argument is bullsh!t. My helmeted head is much cooler than my bare-balding-bowling-ball, reflectivity notwithstanding. The same guy who won't wear a "hot" brain bucket will wear an even hotter ball cap or do-rag, so "hot" must be a fashion word for "stupid looking."
My other passion... going scary fast on supersport motorcycles... requires a helmet in all but a handful of states. I'd wear one even in no-law states, and I do when I travel in neighboring South Carolina. I see motorcyclists pull over at the state line, remove their helmets and bungee them to the pillion seats, then ride away... These guys have obviously never been beaned between the eyes by a 130mph kamikaze junebug.
Consider that even a low speed motorcycle accident usually means that the rider flys off of the bike at 30, 35, 40mph... I'd think that a helmet would be a sensible precaution.
Now, what about motorists?
According to our never-mistaken-about-these-things news media, the average Ford Explorer will leap up into the air and tumble onto its roof like a mortally wounded cockroach at the first sign of a driving emergency. (Driving emergency as defined by, say, having to go around a curve and stay on the pavement.) Chrysler minivans will explode if you look at them wrong, and god only knows what would happen to a Kia Rio if you actually tried to drive the thing.
Is it too much to ask that in addition to seatbelts, that motorists should have to wear protective headgear? I'm not suggesting anything as Ricky Racer as my full face Arai, but how 'bout a nice three-quarter open face cruiser-style helmet? Drivers could wear their own glasses, blow or pick their noses, stuff their faces, and still have the protection of foam & fiberglass between cerebellum & sunroof.
I have a Fulmer open face 3/4 motorcycle helmet in my closet. It cost $49.95 from a national catalog. Surely anybody who could put $50 worth of gas into their SUV's tank every four days could spend as much to keep their brains from streaking the upholstery?
How 'bout the insurance company sends you one when you renew your policy? I'd bet that wholesale on a DOT approved Taiwanese-made helmet is $10 - $15. That could easily be hidden in the $800 or so a year the average car driver pays for insurance.
New car dealers could supply color-matched helmets, colleges everywhere could sell school-color football-style headgear, and rugged individualists could plaster their helmets with vulgar, offensive, ordered-from-a-catalog-that-only-Harley-riders-read decals.
Legislators would love this, look at the extra revenue from non compliance citations! Look, I don't like being burdened with all these extra laws either, but it's CAR DRIVERS we're talkin' about here! I say make 'em suffer!
PLUS! Do you have any idea how hard it is to talk on a cell phone when you're wearing a motorcycle helmet? I've tried... I can't Honda Gold Wing pilots have $200 speakerphones wired into their helmets... let car drivers do the same.
... And we smug, self righteous cyclists would cruise on by as the cops ticket yet another non-helmeted Explorer driver, who claimed that she just had her hair done, and the purple helmet rolling around on the passenger-side floor would "just make it all flat and icky."
Next: Why automotive air conditioning... and while we're at it, heaters... should be banned.