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Five Miles or Fifty: Why You Should Wear a Helmet for Every Motorcycle Trip

As an avid motorcycle rider, you’ve heard just about every argument for wearing a helmet. It can save your life, prevent serious injuries, and of course you know that your family is better off with you than without you. But is it just as dangerous to forgo a helmet on a three-minute ride to Sun Fresh Market as it is speeding down I-435?

Why Should I Wear a Helmet for Every Motorcycle Ride?

You may have heard plenty of ways a helmet can save your life, but it may also be able to help you prevent one. Consider the following facts about helmet use and motorcycle accidents:

  • Seeing the crash – A safety-approved helmet not only protects your head in the event of a crash, it helps you ride more safely. Newer models are designed to let the rider see as far to the sides as necessary, allowing you to see a crash situation before a collision occurs.
  • Five-mile rule – Most motorcycle crashes happen on trips that are less than five miles from the rider’s home, and often occur just a few minutes after they have left their starting point.
  • Injury vs. death – Riders who are not wearing helmets are three times more likely to die from a head injury than those who are wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
  • Low-speed wrecks – You may picture a serious accident taking place on a major highway at high speeds, but the truth is that most accidents occur when a motorcyclist is traveling 30 mph or less. At these speeds, it is even more likely that a helmet will reduce injury to the point where the biker is able to walk away from the crash.
  • Neck injuries – While most helmet campaigns focus on head injuries, one out of every five motorcycle crashes will also cause serious neck injuries. Research supports that neck injuries are also reduced by wearing an approved helmet.
  • It’s the law – Under Missouri law, all motorcycle (or motor-tricycle) operators and their passengers are required to wear protective headgear at all times when the vehicle is in motion.

While motorcycle crashes can happen to anyone, they are most common among beginners and untrained riders. It is important that all bikers sharpen their skills to help stay safe on the road, and to inspect their vehicles regularly to discover any flaws that could lead to an accident. Find out how to keep you and your passengers safe in attorney James Roswold’s free book, The KC Biker Bible. Click the link on this page for your copy!


James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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