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Helmets on motorcycle riders make sense

Kentucky law does not require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. However, the dangers in not doing so may be reason enough to don the equipment.

Reports of serious head injuries provide regular reminders of the value of the helmet. Likewise, published statistics point to the vast difference a helmet can make for motorcycle safety.

Double fatality of two riders without helmets

As reported by U.S. News, a driver of a motorcycle and his passenger were killed when in a recent accident with a car. Neither rider wore a helmet.

The driver of the motorcycle may have lost control of his bike near or in an intersection, causing it to collide into the rear of the automobile. The tragic consequences and loss of life followed and one has to wonder if wearing a helmet may have prevented such loss.

Kentucky’s law on helmet requirements

Kentucky is one of the states in the U.S that allows most adult riders to decide for themselves whether to. While at one time wearing this protective gear was mandatory for all riders in Kentucky, presently it is only required for the following:

  • Those under age 21
  • Those with only a motorcycle permit
  • Those with their operators’ license for less than one year

Despite the choice provided most riders, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges motorcycle riders to wear a U.S. Department of Transportation recommended helmet. NHTSA estimates that the use of helmets reduces deaths of riders by more than 20 percent, possibly much more. Traumatic brain injuries diminish by greater than 40 percent and possibly up to 65 percent.

The statistics indicate that by one measurement, motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passengers or drivers of motor vehicles. In addition to wearing helmets, the NHTSA recommends that bike riders make themselves more visible to other drivers by wearing bright clothing or a reflective vest. Operators should also utilize headlights even in daylight, for added visibility to others on the road.

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