Tuesday, April 23, 1996

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590

RE: Safety Guide Helmet Brochure


Thank you kindly for sending me your Safety Guide. As a concerned motorcycle rider trying to understand all this new data, I would like some additional information and clarification.

1) Please tell me in descending order the list of the 4 or 5 leading causes of death in motorcycle crashes and the corresponding actual numbers of deaths per year? Please tell me the source for this and also the following statement from the brochure:

"Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes."

2) I notice in the 2nd sentence from the brochure that it says "fatal injury" but not fatal "head" injury. Could you please clarify if you mean from all causes or just head injury and again please tell me the source.

"A rider without a helmet is 40% more likely to incur a fatal injury in a crash than a helmeted rider."

3) These 2 sentences confuse me. In the first it says that helmets absorb the impact, but in the second it says "some of the impact". Could you please tell me how much impact you mean and what percentage is actually absorbed? I realize this must depend on each specific helmet, but please tell me a range or what the minimum amount a helmet complying with FMVSS 218 absorbs? And also please tell me the source on this.

"In a crash, a helmet absorbs the impact before it reaches the head. It absorbs and spreads some of the impact energy through its outer shell..."

4) What is the range or percentage of how much "most of the impact" equals? And again also please tell me the source?

"Most of the impact however, is absorbed by the liner..."

5) Also, could you tell me how to get a copy of FMVSS 218? If you can provide a copy, would you please send me one as soon as possible?

Thank you in advance for your time and reply.


Steven Shmerler

NOTE TO OUR READERS: Today is August 3, 1996, I have yet to receive a reply! If this message has not been updated and you are reading this after 8/3, you can assume that I STILL have not had a reply...


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