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Why wearing a helmet could save your life

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Accidents & Injuries

man wearing motorcycle helmet giving thumbs up

Motorcycle riders love the freedom of the road. However, that desire for freedom often conflicts with the idea of wearing a helmet.

Some riders may dislike wearing helmets due to concerns about comfort, restrictions on their hearing or vision or worries about a helmet messing up their hairstyle. Others have a perception of helmets as uncool or unnecessary, especially if they have not been in an accident before. However, these reasons pale in comparison to the life-saving benefits that helmets can provide.

Appreciating the benefits of helmets

It is true that Illinois has no law requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, unlike most other states that at least have restrictions for young riders. Still, using this protective gear significantly diminishes the likelihood of fatal outcomes in the event of accidents.

Helmets serve as a barrier against head injuries, which constitute the primary cause of mortality in motorcycle collisions. Empirical evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of helmets in reducing both the number and severity of injuries in motorcycle accidents.

According to information that the National Safety Council compiled, motorcycle helmets contributed to saving over 25,000 lives between 2002 and 2017. Also, helmets reduce the mortality risk for riders by 37%.

Keeping helmets safe

A helmet cannot do its job properly if a rider does not use it properly or have the right equipment. For starters, the National Safety Council encourages the use of helmets that comply with the Department of Transportation’s standards.

Riders should be sure to wear helmets properly during rides, strapping them on to avoid them coming loose or not protecting the head during a fall. When not in use, a rider should store the helmet in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Banging or dropping the helmet can compromise its structure, so a person should secure the helmet in a spot when not using it and regularly check it for any damage. Replacing a helmet every five years is a common rule of thumb. However, experienced riders and manufacturers recommend not buying a used helmet, as one cannot be sure of its integrity.

These principles also apply to people who ride on other motorized vehicles that expose riders, such as mopeds, electric scooters and e-skateboards. In all such cases, wearing a helmet can save a person’s life or preserve their quality of life if a rider happens to suffer an accident.