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Helmets and other safety gear could save your life in a crash

Climbing onto your motorcycle is all about freedom. You want to feel the wind rush by, with nothing but your tires between you and the road. You can go anywhere. No matter where you're headed, even if it's for a lazy Sunday cruise, you should be strapping on a helmet and other safety gear. While it may feel like putting on a helmet reduces your freedom, in reality it gives you more. When you ride safely, you're free to continue enjoying life after a serious crash.

You've surely heard it before. In fact, Massachusetts doesn't really give you a choice. You and anyone riding with you, whether behind you on the seat or in a sidecar, must wear protective helmets. Generally, these should be Department of Transportation approved helmets, with the approval sticker or markings visible. A helmet can make all the difference if you're unfortunate enough to get into an accident while on your motorcycle.

Helmets are there when you really need them

The vast majority of times that you climb on your motorcycle, you'll arrive at your destination without any major incident. That can make wearing a helmet feel unnecessary, even silly. However, it's the one time out of thousands when something happens that you'll be glad you had it on. If you get hit by another vehicle, are thrown from your motorcycle or end up sliding out, your helmet will be the only thing between you and the road or a several-ton vehicle. Having a helmet on could save your life or reduce the potential for a life-altering traumatic brain injury.

For those who wonder what helmets can do during an accident, there are hundreds of stories about a helmet being the only thing between a rider and death. Dramatic images published online show how the many layers of a helmet may quickly be worn away when a motorcycle driver slides on pavement. If that were your head instead of a helmet, the accident could very well prove fatal. Protecting your brain and your head can help ensure you make it back to work on Monday with a terrifying story to share with coworkers.

Other safety gear can reduce risk as well

Wearing leather or other safety clothing can also protect you in case of a crash. Donning dark leather during the summer could be very hot, but the rapid rush of wind as you drive will reduce your temperature. Properly made riding gear can reduce the risk of road rash or other injuries in case of a crash. Good sturdy riding boots are also important to help protect your legs and feet.

Reflective elements on your clothing, helmet and motorcycle can also protect you. Catching the eye of other drivers can reduce the risk of an accident caused by someone who didn't see you.

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