Helmets have long been a source of conflict for motorcycle riders. Safety conscious riders tout the value of head protection while freedom-loving bikers see mandatory helmet laws as an infringement on their freedoms. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, you may not understand the dilemma riders face. Let’s break it down a bit:
Two Reasons Riders Don’t Like Helmets
Not all motorcycle riders willingly don helmets. In fact, many wish Maryland had never reinstated the helmet laws. Why? Here are two common arguments:
I Want Freedom
Part of the allure of a motorcycle is the freedom—the rush of wind on your body and face as you ride along Sunrise Highway or in your Rockville neighborhood. Yes, that sense of freedom is diminished with a helmet. Yes, mandatory laws take away the right to choose between safety and freedom.
Helmets Affect My Senses
Riders sometimes use this argument to say that helmets are not quite the safety feature they’re made out to be. However, recent studies show that properly fitted helmets do not actually diminish a person’s ability to see or hear traffic around them.
Three Great Reasons to Don a Helmet
Perhaps you disagree with the law. Maybe you’re unsure. In either case, here are three arguments in favor of wearing a helmet while riding along the Capital Beltway:
It’s the Law
Like it or not, the state requires that all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, wear helmets and eye protection. Unless you’re prepared to pay the ticket, you better follow the rules.
Helmets Save Lives
This is a well-proven fact. Motorcycle riders are most likely to die in any auto accident than other vehicle occupants, but the use of a helmet reduces that risk by 37 percent. Overall, helmet use saved the lives of more than 1,600 motorcycle riders in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Helmets Reduce Injury
In addition to saving a life, your helmet may also protect you from a serious head injury. Statistics show that a motorcycle rider is nearly 70 percent less likely to suffer a head injury if he or she is wearing a helmet when a crash occurs.
Check out our other blog articles for more information on motorcycle laws, accidents and injuries.