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Why should you wear a helmet?

As we are in the middle of Spring I have started to see people getting out their motorcycles and enjoying the sun. I have also noticed that many of these riders, and their passengers, are not wearing helmets. I never thought much about helmets and while I don’t ride a motorcycle, I do mountain bike a lot. When I bought my bike I decided to go ahead and buy a helmet just for safety. I figured I wouldn’t ever really need it as I don’t take many risks with my riding, but I wore it regularly anyway. I believe it was last year that I was riding in Red Rock Canyon and as I went over a rock step, my front tire caught in the groove between two of the rocks. As you can imagine, I went over the top of my bike and landed hard head first. I was okay other than a bruise on my hip, but when I took my helmet off I saw several deep scratches from where my helmet had hit another rock step below the first. I immediately realized that my helmet had not only taken the brunt of that impact, it had also saved my head from likely serious injury, and possibly traumatic brain injury. Needless to say, I became a helmet advocate on that day.

I tell this story because I’ve talked to many riders who tell me that they don’t like helmets and that if they get into an accident, they would rather die than survive and be either crippled or brain injured. My point would be that the greater likelihood is that without a helmet a person will most likely survive AND have a brain injury. Helmets greatly decrease the likelihood of suffering a brain injury due to impact of the unprotected skull with a roadway or other object. The impact of brain injuries on survivors and their loved ones is unimaginable. Imagine knowing that once you could do simple things such as figuring out how much to tip a waiter, but because of a brain injury you can no longer do that. Helmets can help you avoid brain injuries which is protection not only for you, but the ones you love as well.

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