Due to the lack of a protective surrounding barrier, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a collision than car passengers. Given this statistic and the fact that nearly 200,000 traffic crashes a year involve motorcycles, your odds of sustaining a serious injury as a motorcyclist are higher than you may realize.
Despite these odds, you could significantly reduce your chances of suffering road rash, spinal cord injuries, and brain damage with a simple wardrobe revamp.
Body and Mind Protection
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feels that proper protection is essential for motorcycle safety. This is why they strongly encourage motorcycle drivers, as well as passengers, to wear the following five pieces of equipment whenever they take their bikes out for a spin:
- Helmet. Not only will a proper helmet prevent painful facial abrasions, but it will help dramatically decrease your odds of debilitating head, brain, and neck injuries as well.
- Safety goggles or eye protection. Eyewear will not only prevent potentially blinding debris from scraping your eyes, but glasses will also keep dust, sunlight, and wind from temporarily blinding you and causing a crash.
- Leather, ballistic nylon, or durable jackets and pants. Durable and rip-resistant clothing, such as heavy duty nylon and leather, act as a protective layer, saving you from painfully severe and scarring road rash.
- Protective gloves. Gloves can protect the sensitive palms of your hands from being scraped, cut, and mangled, while also providing extra grip on your bike’s handlebars.
- Boots or durable footwear. Not only will durable shoes give you more traction while on your bike, but if you need to suddenly put your foot down, they will also protect your feet from road rash abrasions.
Wearing proper safety gear and equipment can reduce your risk of injury by up to 50%. So the next time you rev up your bike’s engine, remember this article—it could wind up saving your life.
Too Much or Too Little: Putting Safety in Your Own Hands
Given the potential risks involved, do the benefits of full-body protection outweigh the inconveniences? Do you think better protection should be required or should riders be able to choose how safe they want to be? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.