Many states have repealed laws that made motorcycle helmets mandatory. Riders typically must be at least 21 years old and/or meet other requirements to forgo a helmet. They may also be required to carry an insurance policy with a minimum amount of medical coverage.
Many riders complain that helmets are too hot and say they like to feel the breeze blowing through their hair. While that sense of freedom can be profound, before getting out on the highway it’s important to know that 93 percent of motorcycle crashes end in fatalities nationwide. That doesn’t even account for riders and passengers that are injured, maimed, and sustain traumatic brain injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can result in broken bones that can be treated and heal within a few months. Without a helmet, concussions can occur. The worst-case scenario, short of a fatality, is a traumatic brain injury that can leave riders or a passenger with lifelong disabilities.
There are many reasons why motorcycle accidents are more prevalent. The conveyances are smaller and more difficult to see by other motorists. They also lack the protection that a car’s structure provides. On a motorcycle, a helmet is the only protection available to mitigate a brain injury. Alcohol consumption also plays a role in motorcycle accidents, particularly during what’s known as a Poker Run.
A helmet has benefits that many don’t consider. It reduces sun glare and prevents flying debris that can distract riders or cause an injury. A helmet also keeps a rider’s head dry in a storm, thereby improving range of vision. It decreases noise from wind whistling by, allowing individuals to hear disturbances or nearby vehicles.
Motorcycle helmets do save lives. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent and decrease the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. Riding with a helmet just makes good sense when compared to the alternatives.
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