Riding a bike gives riders a sense of freedom on the open road. However, there are serious risks involved in riding without a helmet. A motorcycle does not provide the structural protection that a car offers to keep drivers safe in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists need to take extra precautions to protect their bodies. The most important place to start with is the protection of the head.
The head and brain are most vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle accident. Drivers and passengers wearing helmets significantly increase their chances of survival over non-helmets.
In 2012, the National Highway Safety Administration estimated that 1,699 lives had been saved because people wore helmets. Between 2008 and 2010, there were 14,283 motorcycling fatalities in the United States, and 6,057 (42%) of those who died were not wearing helmets.
Motorcyclists need to understand the risks of riding without a helmet. Riders who do not wear helmets are at risk of traumatic brain injury if they are in an accident. Without protection, the head is vulnerable to trauma in the event of an accident, even when traveling at low speeds.
National Highway Safety Administration studies of non-fatal motorcycle injuries show that riders who did not wear a helmet had higher health care costs, more prolonged hospitalizations, longer recovery periods, and increased loss of quality of life.
Because the fatal risk of traumatic brain injury is so high, motorcyclists need to take action to protect themselves while riding. The wearing of a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation is one of many precautions that a rider can take to increase safety on the open road.
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