In some states, it’s the law…and that’s a good thing.
If it is legal to ride without a helmet in your region, I can’t stress this enough – please please please ride with one anyway . If you’re dense enough to ride without a helmet, perhaps the gene pool would be better without you anyway – because chances are it will be if you have an accident.
Reason 1: Your Helmet Protects Your Head
A recent literature review estimated that helmets reduce the risk of death in a crash by 42 percent and the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. So you’re almost twice as likely to die if you’re not wearing a helmet and you have an accident. This alone should be reason enough to wear one. Unless of course you have a death wish.
Reason 2: Things often hit you in the face when on a motorcycle
If you’re on two wheels often, you will quickly learn that things have a tendency to hit you – whether it be rocks, bugs, or other flying material. Often, when you’re behind another vehicle on the road, the tires will kick up a rock.The friction between the vehicle’s tires and the road propels a rock backward with quite a lot of force. I have been hit in the chest and helmet too many times to recall. Once a rock even shattered the windscreen on my helmet. If any of these rocks had actually hit me in the face chances are I could have broken my nose, teeth or been hit hard in the eye and potentially blinded. Of course any impact like this could potentially also cause a fall from your motorcycle. Large bugs also carry quite a punch.
Also take care on the highway when following construction vehicles or pickup trucks. Items in the back of them have a knack for flying out and potentially hitting you. Dump trucks full of rocks or gravel are the worst.
Check out this picture I took of a cb250 I was riding in Spain. Do you see the dead bugs covering the bike? They’re most noticeable on the headlight, turn signals, and mirrors. This is what it looked like after I rode through a swampy area. My helmet looked the same. My face would have been covered with nasty swamp bugs if it had not had a full face helmet.
- 4 Liu, B.C; Ivers, R.; Norton, R.; Boufous, S.; Blows, S.; and Lo, S.K. 2009. Helmets for preventing injury in motorcycle riders (Review), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1. Oxfordshire, England: The Cochrane Collaboration.