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Wearing a helmet could save your life

Helmet laws are in place to help prevent you from suffering serious head injuries when you're involved in a motorcycle accident. It's everyone's hope that you never have to go through that, but if you do, the shock absorption technology in the helmet can save your life.

Not all states enforce helmet laws, but in California, all riders, regardless of age, must wear a helmet at all times. Studies have shown that helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing deaths and another 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries from motorcycle collisions.

Getting riders to wear helmets can be a challenge, which is why California instated the law. Not wearing a helmet is an offense, and you can be ticketed. There is truly no reason not to wear one; with 4,900 motorcyclists killed on the roads in 2012, helmet use alone could have saved hundreds of lives.

Before you head out on your next ride, consider purchasing an approved helmet. It should state that it has been approved by the Department of Transportation. Remember that this simple piece of equipment could protect you if you're hit by a dangerous driver.

Speaking of dangerous drivers, it's also wise to make sure you stand out. Wearing brightly colored clothing at night and always wearing long pants and long sleeves helps you stand out and prevent road rash if you're thrown from your motorcycle. Consider tuning up your motorcycle to be slightly louder instead of muffled, so others can hear you coming even if they don't see you on the roads. If you're hit, you can seek compensation from the driver responsible, but the best thing to do is always to take preventative measures to decrease the risk of an accident in the first place.

Source: Consumer Reports, "State-By-State guide to motorcycle helmet laws," accessed Jan. 17, 2017

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