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Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience that offers a sense of freedom and adventure like no other. The wind rushing past you, the open road stretching out before you, and the raw power of the machine between your legs – it’s a feeling that many riders live for. However, with this thrill comes an inherent risk.

Unlike the protective shell of a car, motorcycle riders are exposed to the elements and the potential dangers of the road. In the event of an accident, the consequences can be severe, even life-threatening.

The Importance of Proper Riding Gear

While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks associated with motorcycle riding, wearing proper riding gear can significantly increase your chances of survival and reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a crash. Donning the right protective equipment is not just a matter of personal preference – it’s a matter of life and death.

Head Protection: The Helmet, Your First Line of Defense

Your helmet is the single most important piece of riding gear you can wear. A high-quality, Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet can mean the difference between life and death in a crash. It protects your head from direct impact, preventing traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures. Even in a low-speed collision, the forces involved can be devastating without proper head protection.

Choose a full-face helmet that covers your entire head and has a face shield to protect your eyes and face from debris, insects, and wind. Make sure the helmet fits snugly but comfortably, with no excessive movement when you shake your head. Replace your helmet after any significant impact or every five years, as the materials can degrade over time.

Protecting Your Body: Armored Jackets, Pants, and Gloves

While your helmet protects your head, the rest of your body also needs protection in the event of a crash or slide. Armored jackets and pants, made of abrasion-resistant materials like leather or Kevlar, can prevent road rash, a painful and potentially serious condition caused by skin being shredded against the pavement.

Look for jackets and pants with reinforced padding or armor on the elbows, shoulders, knees, and hips – the areas that are most vulnerable to impact. Gloves with reinforced palms and knuckle protection can prevent hand and wrist injuries while also providing a better grip on the handlebars.

Footwear: The Importance of Proper Motorcycle Boots

Your feet and ankles are also at risk in a motorcycle accident. Wearing sturdy, over-the-ankle boots with non-slip soles and reinforced toe boxes can help prevent foot and ankle injuries, as well as protect your feet from being crushed or caught under the bike.

Avoid wearing sneakers, sandals, or other lightweight footwear while riding, as they offer little to no protection in a crash.

The Role of Hi-Vis and Reflective Gear

In addition to protecting you from the physical impacts of a crash, proper riding gear can also make you more visible to other motorists, potentially preventing accidents in the first place. Hi-vis (high-visibility) jackets, vests, or jerseys with bright colors and reflective strips can help you stand out on the road, especially in low-light conditions or bad weather.

Reflective striping on your jacket, pants, and helmet can also catch the headlights of other vehicles, making you more visible and reducing the risk of being overlooked by distracted drivers.

The Cost of Proper Riding Gear: A Wise Investment

While good riding gear can be expensive, it’s a wise investment in your safety and well-being. High-quality helmets, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots may cost several hundred dollars or more, but the price pales in comparison to the potential medical bills, lost wages, and long-term consequences of a serious injury or fatality.

Think of it as an investment in your future – one that could potentially save your life or prevent a life-altering injury.

The Consequences of Not Wearing Proper Riding Gear

The statistics on motorcycle accidents and the importance of proper riding gear are sobering. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, 5,579 motorcycle riders and passengers were killed in crashes, accounting for 14% of all traffic fatalities that year.

In addition, the NHTSA estimates that in 2020, 1,858 motorcyclists’ lives were saved thanks to helmets and that an additional 749 lives could have been saved if all riders had worn helmets.

The consequences of not wearing proper riding gear can be severe and life-altering. Road rash, a common injury in motorcycle accidents, can lead to permanent scarring, disfigurement, and even infections if not treated properly. Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can result in cognitive impairments, memory loss, personality changes, and a decreased quality of life.

Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even amputations are also potential consequences of a motorcycle accident when proper protective gear is not worn.

Gear Up and Ride Safely

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating and freeing experience, but it also comes with inherent risks. By wearing proper riding gear, including a DOT-approved helmet, armored jacket and pants, sturdy boots, and gloves, you can significantly increase your chances of surviving a crash and reduce the severity of injuries.

Remember, proper riding gear is not just a fashion statement or a matter of personal preference – it’s a matter of life and death. Invest in high-quality protective equipment and make safety your top priority every time you swing a leg over your motorcycle.

If You’ve Been Injured, We Can Help

While proper riding gear can save your life, it doesn’t protect you from crashes. Sideswipe accidents, crashes at intersections, and fatalities caused by distracted driving are more common than they should be.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us today. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience dealing with injury cases just like yours, and we can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Visit our offices at:

  • Westerville – 4151 Executive Pkwy, Suite 355, Westerville, OH 43081
  • Mansfield – 33 S. Lexington-Springmill Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906

Or call now for a free consultation on (614) 224-4114.

We’ve Built Our Firm on Trust