Motorcycle Gear: Lifesaving or Overrated?

The need for and the effectiveness of motorcycle gear in case of an accident continues to be a discussion between motorcycle riders, governments, and scientists. While some wear a full set of gear all the time, governments mandate the use of helmets only. Others, who prefer to wear as little protective gear as possible, even feel patronized by small regulations like that. Which side of the argument is right, or is there a happy medium?

Mandatory Motorcycle Protective Equipment

Not every country has laws regarding mandatory motorcycle equipment. Those who do typically focus on one item alone: motorcycle helmets. Before bikers are allowed to ride, they are obligated to protect their most crucial organ.

The Unique Position of Motorcycle Helmets

While it is true that damage to our internal organs can lead to our death or health complications, the chances of a brain injury negatively affecting potentially every process in our body are much higher. We use our brain to receive and interpret information, it stores our memories, it is the center of thought and emotions, and it controls every other function of our body.

We lose more than our memory, speech, or the ability to move. Damage to the brain can alter our energy levels, mood, and entire personality. A brain injury is more likely to have devastating effects. Therefore, the motorcycle helmet is of the utmost importance.

Pros and Cons

Whether you are for or against protective clothing is usually a matter of perspective:

  • Would you rather be comfortable yet vulnerable every time you ride your bike, thinking there is only a “small chance” of an accident occurring?

or

  • Would you rather endure a bit of a hassle in exchange for a greater chance of protecting your health and life in case of an accident?

Comfort or safety – one or the other might be more important to a person. If you consider yourselfpart of the first group, chances are you rely on your skill as a rider to circumvent the (so perceived) small probability of an accident occurring.And you mightthink the need to wear a full set of protective gear for every ride is silly and unnecessary.

A major reason for people not wearing their helmets is physical discomfort, because of their weight and limited movement.

If you are part of the second group, you might havereadthe many studies that talk about the risk of riding a motorcycle and the ways to reduce it.

The Effectiveness of Protective Clothing

If every person believed that wearing protective clothing was effective, the debate should have ended by now. Yet, there are many opposing opinions still prevalent today.A prominent claim against wearing helmets is that they supposedly cause neck injuries in higher frequencies, can increase the severity of other injuries, and aren’t effective in decreasing mortality rates in accidents in the first place.

However, many scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of protective clothing in motorcycle accidents.

The best solution would be to:

  • a) educate more motorcycle riders about the effectiveness of safety gear and
  • b) reduce the reasons why they chose not to wear helmets & co.

In the case of helmets, it would be the development of lighter, less restricting variants. The same goes for jackets or pants, which are often considered too bulky, stiff, and too bothersome to put on for a quick ride.

Conclusion

While having an accident lawyer on hand is great, it is much more prudent to prioritize other factors: For one, good training and getting schooled on the most prevalent accident causes for motorcycle riders is a great way to reduce the risk of accidents. Since you cannot prevent them from happening entirely, you should make sure to wear the best protective gear. Armor plates and tough materials prevent road rash, cuts, penetrations, lessen the chance of broken bones and effectively redirect impact force from hitting your head unhindered.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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