Colorado is one of a handful of states that does not require helmet use by licensed adults operating a legally registered motorcycle. People can and do enjoy the thrill a ride with the wind and sun on their face in Colorado, but not without incurring substantial risks for doing so.

While the law may not require that you wear a helmet unless you are under the age of 18, a ride without protective headgear leaves you vulnerable to severe injuries and even death in the event of a collision, crash or spill. Although helmets may seem restricting or even uncool, they serve a critical function that you would be smart not to ignore.

Helmets reduce fatalities and severe injuries

Clearly, deadly injuries are the worst-case scenario in a motorcycle crash. Particularly in a collision that involves a larger, enclosed passenger vehicle, the person on the motorcycle could easily sustain life-ending injuries in a motorcycle wreck.

Injuries to the head are among the leading causes of fatal crashes involving motorcycles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of helmets reduced the number of motorcycle fatalities by 1,859 in 2016, the most recent year with statistics available. That means that more than 100 people each month live to tell the tale of their motorcycle crash because of their helmet.

What is less clear is how many injuries suffered by those wearing helmets were less severe than the injuries they would have incurred without the helmet. However, if you’ve ever seen the images of the damage even a sliding accident can cause a helmet, there’s little doubt that it serves a critical role in a moment of emergency.

Wearing a helmet makes you seem more responsible to others

As a motorcycle enthusiast, you are no doubt aware of the cultural misconceptions that surround motorcycle culture. Quite a few people still think of those who drive motorcycles as criminals or transients, when, in reality, many educated and successful professionals also enjoy motorcycles.

Internal bias in either the other party involved in a crash and the first responders to the scene of the crash could influence the care someone receives and even how police allocate responsibility for the crash. People will likely consider someone wearing a helmet on a motorcycle to be more responsible. That perception could be a matter of life and death when it comes to the biases held by police or emergency medical technicians responding to the scene of a motorcycle collision.

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