What Are the Risks Associated with Riding a Motorcycle Without Equipment?

Riding a motorcycle isn’t limited to gang members, hoodlums and rebels as Hollywood taught us. Lawyers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and regular people increasingly ride motorcycles for freedom, escapism and excitement. However, any motorcycle rider proves to be at least ignorant of some facts when riding without protective equipment. According to the authorities and safety experts, it’s not only illegal but also dangerous to ride without protective clothing and equipment.



Motorcycle riders also suffer some discrimination from people convinced that all riders are dangerous punks or gang members. The NHTSA reports 33% of motorcycle riders are killed by speeding. About 40% of drivers killed in 2015 weren’t wearing a helmet. Those facts fuel prejudice against all motorcycle drivers and hurt their chances of recovering fair settlements. That’s why you need to consult an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer regardless of fault.

Statistical Overview

NHTSA reports motorcyclists are already 26 times more likely to die from an accident than passengers in cars. Motorcycle riders also receive five times as many injuries than other drivers. Unfortunately, motorcyclists have little or no protection from being thrown from a bike during a collision. When hitting pavement at high speed, momentum determines whether the rider lives or dies. Injuries tend to be severe and include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, breaks, fractures and internal injuries.

Helmets Are Critical Safety Equipment

Motorcycle riders should always wear helmets because they prevent the worst types of injuries to the head and top of the spinal column. These injuries often result in paralysis or lifelong disability. Unfortunately, some states still allow bike riders to ride without helmets. Florida and Texas both allow riders over 21 to choose whether to wear a helmet. Both states require helmets on motorcycle drivers or passengers under the age of 21. The types of injuries that are common when not wearing a helmet include:

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  • Head Injuries – Head injuries ranks among the worst injuries a body can receive. They are mostly preventable by wearing a helmet. The brute force of a collision between the head and pavement can fracture a skull and cause concussion, bleeding and traumatic brain injuries. These injuries commo[nly lead to death, coma or brain damage.
  • Spinal Injuries – Helmets help to keep the head stationary, which prevents neck and spinal injuries. These results trigger facial or bodily paralysis, paraplegia and death.
  • Facial Disfigurement – Those who escape brain and spinal injuries might receive severe facial disfigurement from the accident, which affects patients both mentally and physically.
  • Facial Abnormalities – Most bikers experience the pain of road rash. Multiply that by the greater sensitivity of the face. Accidents can break and realign noses, jaws and other critical facial functions.

Motorcycle Riding Is More Demanding than Driving

It should come as a no surprise that motorcycling requires more energy, brain activity and focus than driving a car. Operating the machine can drain you physically and mentally. The expanded variables that drivers must look out for generate more opportunities for mental errors. The consequences of even a small error of judgment can prove catastrophic.

Stats for Non-helmet Users

The stats for non-helmet users might persuade many riders to reconsider not wearing a helmet. According to statistics, 16.2 percent of accidents result in death among non-helmet users while death drop to 12% among drivers wearing helmets.

Statistics Related to Non-Helmet Use

Reading off a list of possible injuries usually isn’t enough to convince bikers to wear a helmet. Luckily, the statistics related to helmets and motorcycle wrecks are sometimes enough to sway a rider’s decision. A Michigan study found that 23% of motorcycle accident victims received no injuries when wearing helmets. Only 17.8% received no injuries when not wearing a helmet.

Bottom Line

Before you go riding your powerful bike, make sure you follow all motorcycle laws in your state. Helmets, eye protection gear, passenger safety, daylight headlights, or lane splitting are just some of the aspects you need to consider when riding your motorcycle in the city or on the highways.

Just like car accidents, bike accidents are preventable if all traffic participants would follow the rules and would not engage in prejudiced behaviors, road rage, or road rudeness.

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