Archive for September 11th, 2008

2008.09.11

Lawrence and the Helmet

I recently learned, via The New Cafe (Racer) Society, that I sort of have the tragic death of T.E. Lawrence to thank for the fact that I’m made to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. This is a good thing, though it saddens me that it took the death of one of history’s more interesting personalities to bring this about. It turns out that Sir Hugh Cairns, one of the neurosurgeons who tried to save Lawrence’s life after a motorcycle crash, became very interested in how to prevent it from happening again. His research led to safety helmets for motorcycles and much of the legislation mandating their use.

It’s interesting to me because Lawrence has always been one of those larger than life characters for me, and I’ve seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia many times. I knew he died in a motorcycle accident, but I had no idea helmet and helmet laws were the result. As they say, The More You Know

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