Today’s Editorial for August 5: Another senseless road death

We’ve now had our seventh road fatality this year.

That’s seven more than were necessary. At this rate we’re averaging about one fatal wreck per month.

Every death on Cayman’s roadways is senseless.

While we don’t know what caused the motorcycle crash and ultimate death of a 31-year-old female passenger, we do know that neither she nor the driver was wearing a motorcycle helmet.

That’s just plain insane.

We don’t mean to sound callous. We regret that another life has been taken through a crash, but there is absolutely no excuse for getting on a motorcycle and driving it – anywhere – without head protection.

For starters, helmets decrease the severity of head injuries sustained in crashes, as well as the likelihood of death and overall cost of medical care.

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 per cent.

Why anyone would be riding a motorcycle in the middle of the night without the protection of helmets is beyond our comprehension.

We found this quick primer on why you should protect your head while riding a motorcycle on the net at motorcyclistonline.com:

‘Your brain basically floats inside your skull, within a bath of cervical-spinal fluid and a protective cocoon called the dura. But when your skull stops suddenly-as it does when it hits something hard-the brain keeps going, as Sir Isaac Newton predicted. Then it has its own collision with the inside of the skull.

‘If that collision is too severe, the brain can sustain any number of injuries, from shearing of the brain tissue to bleeding in the brain, or between the brain and the dura, or between the dura and the skull. And after your brain is injured, even more damage can occur. When the brain is bashed or injured internally, bleeding and inflammation make it swell.

‘When your brain swells inside the skull, there’s no place for that extra volume to go. So it presses harder against the inside of the skull and tries to squeeze through any opening, bulging out of your eye sockets and oozing down the base of the skull. As it squeezes, more damage is done to some very vital regions.

None of this is good.’

That’s an understatement.

We hope that all motorcyclists think twice before mounting their bikes for a pleasant ride in paradise without their helmets on. They must also ensure their passengers are equally protected with proper headgear.

Condolences to the family of the female passenger who died and prayers are lifted up for the injured driver.

We hope their tragedy turns in to a lesson for anyone who rides motorcycles without head protection.

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