Many motorcyclists view wearing a helmet as a burden and rather choose to ride helmet-free with the wind in their hair. In many areas, the use of head protection is actually required by law when riding on your bike and for a good reason. Although they may be somewhat restrictive and maybe a bit uncomfortable, they perform an extremely important job. That is, keeping your head safe, especially in the case of a fall or an accident.
Motorbike Accidents Differ from Car Accidents
Unlike in a car accident, when you’re involved in a motorcycle accident there is little between you and other things, whether it be the road, trees or other vehicles. This is what makes the use of head protection so important. Things happen in an instant on the road, and no matter how skillful you fancy yourself, you still have no idea what others will do on the road. A motorcycle is also far smaller than other vehicles on the road and is easy to miss, people might not see you, even if you think that they have seen you. The forces involved in a serious accident are monumental, and the potential consequences of not putting on a helmet are just far too great.
Some riders have said things like wearing head protection is only the difference between an open casket and closed casket at the funeral. This infers that many believe that if they’re in a motorcycle accident, they’re going to die anyway so why not do it comfortably. The truth of the matter is that many motorcycle accidents are completely survivable, some you could walk away from with just a few minor scrapes and bruises, especially if you are wearing head protection!
Bike Accident Statistics
Most doctors have a phobia of motorcycles, and it is not often you will see one parked in their garage. This is because they’ve seen what can happen. This is not to say you shouldn’t ride a motorcycle, just do it safely and take precautions. The following statistics offer good reasoning as to why wearing head protection is so beneficial:
- Head injuries are among the very top causes of death in motorcycle accidents.
- By simply putting on head protection you can mitigate your risk of fatality by 37%.
- A motorcyclist is 37 times more likely to die in an accident than an individual traveling in a passenger car.
- A motorcyclist that chooses not to wear a helmet is 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury and 15% more likely to sustain a non-fatal head injury than the motorcyclist who is wearing a helmet during an accident.
- Helmets, in general, show a 67 % effectiveness in preventing brain injury.
- Wearing head protection is the single most important factor in surviving a motorcycle accident.
Road Biking vs. Other Biking
For some reason, it only seems to be those who ride motorbikes on the road that feel the need to go helmet-free. All those riding track, motocross, and FMX see the need for a helmet, and there isn’t much resistance. Yes, there may be a few jumps involved in some of these sports but, in my opinion, this is still far safer compared to riding on the road. The road is traversed by hundreds of diverse vehicles being operated by individuals of entirely different skill levels, some of whom have never even been on a motorbike.
The Type of Helmet Matters
The type of head protection that you choose to wear is also very important. Full-face helmets have been shown to be far more effective than open versions and prevent nasty facial fractures that can occur in accidents. They will also prevent less severe injuries in minor accidents that the smaller half-face or top helmets will not. Even the use of a proper visor or goggles has significant benefits regarding eye safety.
Many injuries and even death can be avoided with the use of head protection, and this could also save you a lot of time and money that you would’ve spent in the hospital. Riding without one just isn’t worth it, be safe and take the 2 seconds to put your brain bucket on.