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The importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet in California

Motorcycling can be an exhilarating, fuel-efficient and convenient mode of transportation for people in California and elsewhere. Unfortunately, however, collisions involving motorcycles are an all too common occurrence. Lacking the exterior protection that a car or truck might provide, wearing protective gear such as helmets is essential to protecting riders from serious injuries in the event of a wreck.

When they are involved in accidents, motorcycle riders often come off their vehicles. Consequently, they may suffer traumatic brain injuries or other serious head trauma. The effects of these injuries, when they are not fatal, are often devastating for those who suffer them and their families. Often, riders who suffer head injuries require life-long medical treatment and rehabilitation. According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Department of Transportation compliant motorcycle safety helmets are required for all motorcycle, motorized bicycle and motor-driven cycle riders and passengers in the state.

To be most effective, motorcyclists should ensure their helmets fit snugly and are in good condition. Although half shell and three-quarters helmets may be DOT compliant, full-face helmets offer the optimal protection. Although they may have similar looks, noncompliant helmets often do not have adequate lining and padding to protect riders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmeted riders are 69% less likely to suffer head injuries as unhelmeted riders. Further, wearing a helmet cuts the risk of death due to motorcycle accidents by 37%. In 2016 alone, wearing helmets saved the lives of 1,859 people, but as many as 802 more might have been saved if all riders wore helmets.

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