I live in New York State, where all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet, and so I'm used to riders on the highways and the country roads wearing protective headgear. I couldn't help but notice that many riders in Florida do not wear helmets. I've seen more than a few speeding along the third lane of the freeway, going 70+ mph -- and, honestly, to me they look like sitting ducks, like a fatality waiting to happen, like road kill. I also noticed several cases where the rider had no helmet, but the woman riding on the back of the bike was protected by headgear.
So I looked it up. In Florida you're not required to wear a helmet unless you're under 21. Presumably anyone 21 or older is mature enough and wise enough to decide on his own. But chivalry is not dead in Florida, since the men either allow or insist, or at least go along with the idea, that the women riding with them wear a helmet, even if they don't themselves.
Meanwhile my cousin, who is an engineer-type of person who used to fly airplanes for the military, and then worked in computers for most of his career, is a big motorcycle enthusiast. He's also a family man who's been married for 30-some years.
My cousin recently bought himself a new, bigger bike as a Christmas present to himself. He lives in New Hampshire, where there is no helmet law at all. He concedes that a helmet can protect the rider in certain circumstances . . . but, oh, how he loves being out there, feeling the wind and getting an unobstructed view of the hills and the mountains towering in front of him.
So he is pretty vocal about his opposition to any law that would tell him he has to wear a helmet. He knows he's taking a risk, but he's fatalistic about it. He doesn't think the government should "protect" him for his own good. He believes that choice should be up to the individual biker. Apparently, just like the people in Florida.
I've probably tipped my hand about what I think. But what do you think?