Why should you always wear a helmet when riding?
Whether it is motorcycles, scooters, electric bikes, or in-line skaters riders, you will always see them in a full suit, especially with professional riders. One part of the suit is indispensable- the helmet. We will see why a helmet is a must-have for all two-wheel riders that just might save your life.
Young people between the ages of 5 and 15 love to ride bicycles, skateboard, and in-line skates; however, some do not wear helmets. It seems like a right of passage to engage in these forms of exercise—failure to wear protective gear when riding could result in severe injuries and even deaths.
The National SAFE KIDS campaign ranks bicycle injuries second to motor-vehicle injuries, underscoring the need for protective gears for young ones on a bicycle. The most severe injury is the head injury, no wonder all motorcycles and electric bikes come with a helmet.
Several states have enacted regulations demanding that every motorcyclist, biker, scooter, and skater have a helmet. Failure to wear protective gear while on the road could attract fines or jail terms. Governments emphasize wearing a helmet because they reduce fatality or injury risks in the event of an accident.
Despite stringent laws and aggressive helmet campaigns, surveys estimate that the majority of bike riders do not wear helmets. Sometimes they may have the helmet poorly fastened to their head. Wearing a helmet should be a rider’s second nature, especially on the road.
Furthermore, the helmet should be correctly fastened on the rider’s head; otherwise, it will not provide much-needed head protection. You want to salvage your most important organ in the event of a crash, which often happens unexpectedly.
Think about it, if you were playing Sloto Cash, would you bet all of your money on a hand that has a decent chance of losing? So, why bet the most precious thing of all (your life) on the not insignificant chance that you could, heaven forbid, get into an accident?
The Danger of a Two-wheel ride
If you meet passionate motorcyclists and ask them what thrills them, they will likely tell you that nothing is exciting as hitting the road with the wind gashing past your hair. The movies even depict these riders as having attained pure freedom. They become immersed in the riding experience, feeling every temperature change, bump, and curve without regrets.
However, this freedom sensation often has a heavy price tag. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 5,014 motorcyclists died from crashes. This data indicates that motorcycle riders have a higher risk of dying in a collision than passengers in a vehicle.
Since a motorcycle or bike has no doors, windows, or a covering body, the rider’s body is exposed to damaging accidents. The danger is even more severe when you leave your body without protective gear. At the very least, you should wear a helmet to protect your brain.
Several studies have shown the value of wearing a helmet in saving lives in case of an accident or crash. One study showed that a helmet reduced traumas by 69% and decreased crash mortality by 42%. Nonetheless, approximately 35% of motorcyclists ride without a helmet.
This article will highlight the importance of wearing a helmet and how to pick the right one on the market.
The Importance of Wearing a Helmet
Though some states have not mandated wearing a helmet when riding, you have plenty of reasons to have your on when on the road.
A helmet can save your life
Most riders’ death from a crash is accelerated because they are not wearing helmets. The hospitals and physiotherapists can mend broken bones and get you walking; however, no one can fix a broken brain.
If there is one body part you want to protect from a crash, it is your skull. What if you are riding at a relatively lower speed? A crash at a limited speed can still cause your head to hit the concrete or pavement with unbelievable force.
If you don’t have a helmet and your skill rams the concrete, the chances are that you will end up with an internal brain bleed and eventual death. A helmet will provide the needed cushioning for your skull, thus saving a life.
What if you are riding at a slower speed? Since you are high on the two-wheel, a crash can mean that your head rams the concrete with brutal force, resulting in a skull fracture. Your head is a sensitive body part, and blunt force or falls without helmet protection can be fatal even at slower speeds. However, with a helmet, you stand a chance of making it alive from a crash.
A helmet prevents severe head injuries
You may be lucky not to be pronounced brain dead from a crash, but you could still face traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can be debilitating, resulting in various cognitive issues, including memory loss, headache, mood swings, difficulty thinking, and attention deficits.
Nothing is as painful as losing your identity because you did not wear a helmet. Sometimes the brain injury could destabilize one’s physiology, causing limited functioning of your legs, arms, or speech.
TBI can also hamper your thinking ability, and some of these consequences you may have to live with for the rest of your life. Parents want to be extra careful by teaching their children these dangers so that the young one knows why they should always wear a helmet before taking that skateboard on the road.
Data from NHTSA indicate that wearing an approved helmet, especially for motorcycle riders, lowers the risks of traumatic head injury by 67%. The study suggests that even a seemingly small direct blow or bump on your head could result in a TBI or concussions.
A brain injury is no fun; it can lead to paralysis, impaired emotional and cognitive functions, and even death.
Helmet can protect your teeth, eyes, and face from injuries
Only fools would choose any part if you were asked which body part you won’t mind losing in an accident. All body parts are essential and promote our general well-being. Injury inflicted on one body part makes the entire body sick.
You do not choose where to land and how you fall during a crash. You can be headed for the gravel, debris, or rocks with your face. A helmet will protect your eyes from incoming danger, especially a full-face helmet.
Sometimes, a helmet can even prevent an accident by protecting your eyes against incoming insects. A rider without a helmet can be disoriented by an insect forcing its entry into the eyes at high speed. Your vision will be blurred, and your thinking distorted, resulting in an accident.
Your teeth are valuable for giving you a good smile and improving your self-esteem. Losing your teeth on a crash can be a reminder of careless riding. A helmet will undoubtedly salvage your head and face in case of an accident, so wear one next time you are off to the highway.
A helmet can enhance your hearing and vision
Since riding means piercing through the wind, you will have trouble hearing anything. However, you are not the only road user, and you need your sense of hearing to discern potential dangers. A truck may be hooting for you, or a fellow rider may be warning of something, but you are less likely to hear these warnings without a helmet.
Some helmets come with enhanced hearing devices and air-tight cushioning to enable you to hear things within your surroundings. This can prevent unnecessary accidents.
Helmets, especially those with visor lenses, can improve your vision. They protect your eyes from the sun’s glaring rays, allowing you to see the road. No rider wants to ride blinded, and a helmet will prevent the blinding sunlight from affecting your vision.
A helmet protects other riders
Humans are social beings who learn from one another. We love to copy what others do, even if those habits are not beneficial. We can also learn good practices by observing others.
One person can inspire many people to value safety and wear a helmet. If others see you religiously wearing a helmet and the resultant benefits, they will likely adopt this attitude and save themselves from needed injuries.
A helmet can save you from fines
If you live in places where it is mandatory to wear a helmet when using a two-wheel, failure to do so could lead to fines or imprisonment. You don’t want to pay hefty penalties for not protecting your life! Some gas stations may even refuse to serve you if you do not have a headgear, forcing you to push your bike home.
What to look for when choosing a helmet
Besides knowing the value of a helmet, you also want to know how to choose the ideal helmet for you. Selecting the fitting helmet is as important in preventing injuries as wearing it.
The fitting helmet will make your ride pleasurable, while the wrong one will make you uncomfortable and miserable within a few minutes. When buying a helmet, you should consider several factors to ensure you feel good and safe on the road.
Choose the correct size and shape
We all have unique body structures, head shapes, and sizes. Before buying a helmet from the shop, know your head size and shape. Is your head round oval, long oval, or intermediate oval?
Helmet manufacturers follow these three head structures. Before paying for the helmet at the shop, try to fit it into your head. If you feel the helmet exerting pressure on the wrong places on your head, know that it is bad for you.
The correct helmet should fit like a crown on your head and present no discomfort. It should also not be too large, freely moving on your head. You want something comfortable and well-fitting.
A helmet should protect the rider’s eyes and enhance their vision on the road. A visor helps with this function, and care should be taken when choosing the correct visor on a helmet.
Though some riders love stylish tinted and smoked visors, they inhibit clear vision, which is why they have a visor. You could also choose a helmet with a double visor, allowing you to switch to a clear one or a tinted one. Additionally, you can consider an anti-scratch and anti-fog visor for clear vision during winter.
A helmet’s primary function is to cushion your head from potential injuries in a crash or accident. The inner cushion of the helmet is vital in acting as a shock absorber during impact.
When selecting a helmet, do not choose one with a flat inner surface, as it will not protect your head. You want a helmet with a thick cushion yet comfortable.
You want a helmet that will stick to your head during an accident no matter the fall. If your helmet has weak retention and slides off your head with a slight movement, you don’t have protective gear.
You can check for retention by fastening your helmet straps and try pulling them from your back. It is not the best helmet for your ride if it rolls out after adjusting the straps. Modular and half-faced helmets often face this problem, hence the need to check this factor when buying them.
Type of helmet
Not all helmets are used for the same purpose. Manufacturers build helmets of different shapes and faces. For instance, you will find smart helmets, full-face, modular, half-face, and more.
Smart helmets are the latest in the block, with advanced features such as Wi-Fi, voice assistance, GPS, Bluetooth, an emergency button, and an intercom. They provide additional protection, comfort, and safety. Furthermore, if you are a bike rider or a skater, you will not buy a Motor GP helmet. Your helmet type is dictated by what you ride.
The Bottom Line
Whether wearing a helmet is law in your state or not, you can enjoy monumental benefits by wearing one when riding. Riders of skateboards, scooters, or bikes should not think that helmets are for motorcyclists.
If you are on two wheels, protect one of your most important organs; your brain. A helmet goes a long way and can shield you from paralysis and death.