Before taking off on any trip, a safe rider makes a point to:
• Wear the right gear • Become familiar with the motorcycle • Check the motorcycle equipment • Be a responsible rider
You have a far better chance of avoiding serious injury in a crash if you wear:
• Helmet (A helmet is not required under Illinois law; however, a rider who wears a properly fitted helmet greatly reduces the chance of a fatal head injury in an accident) • Face or eye protection • Protective clothing
Helmet Use/Selection Motorcycle crashes are common, particularly among beginning riders. One out of every five motorcycle crashes results in head or neck injuries. Crash analyses show that head and neck injuries account for a majority of serious and fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Research also shows that, with few exceptions, head and neck injuries are reduced by properly wearing an approved helmet. Some riders do not wear helmets because they think helmets will limit their view to the sides. Others wear helmets only on long trips or when riding at high speeds.
Following are some facts to consider:
• An approved helmet lets you see as far to the sides as necessary. A study of more than 900 motorcycle crashes, where 40 percent of the riders wore helmets, did not find one case in which a helmet kept a rider from spotting danger
• Most crashes happen on short trips (less than 5 miles long), just a few minutes after starting out
• Most riders are riding slower than 30 mph when a crash occurs. At these speeds, helmets can cut both the number and the severity of head injuries by half. No matter what the speed, helmeted riders are three times more likely to survive head injuries than those not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.