Why it’s important to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle

May 11, 2023, 7:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITYAs we approach the 100 Deadliest Days on the road, Intermountain Health doctors said this is the time of year we see more motorcycle drivers on the road and fewer helmets, but it’s crucial to wear one.

Intermountain Health said in 2022, Utah recorded the deadliest year of motorcycle fatalities, with 50 deaths and almost 300 serious crashes.

“It was a record-setting year in a bad way,” said Dr. David Morris, a trauma surgeon at Intermountain Health.

Morris said you should wear a helmet each time you get on a bike.

“The difference between life and death is a good helmet,” he said.

He also suggests wearing other safety gear — like goggles, leather, and boots — and driving without distractions and slowing down when on the road.

“It also increases your reaction time as a driver, so you can react to other drivers that may not be paying attention,” Morris said.

He added that when things go wrong and you are wearing your helmet, most people wind up with fractures and road rashes.

“Unfortunately, if they are here from not wearing a helmet, I am often talking to their family members because their injuries are too severe,” he said.

Hyrum Black, 18, is thankful for his helmet.

“I am very thankful that I was wearing a helmet because I probably could not be here right now,” he said.

Last July, Black was riding his motorbike and his friend was driving the car next to him.

“I had this random thought of, ‘I should pass him as joke.’ Pretty much karma kicked and said nope,” Black said.

Black then rolled his bike.

“I don’t really remember anything after that,” he said.

He was left with a broken nose, wrist, shoulder blade, a concussion and more than a few stitches.

“The last few months of getting over it was probably the roughest part of my life,” he said.

Now, nearly a year later, Black is healing and hopes anyone riding a motorcycle on or off the road wears a helmet.

“Because you can wreck anything, a mile away, two hundred miles away or even just a block away, anything can happen,” he said.

Morris also recommends taking a motorcycle safety class.

To sign up for classes through Ride to Live, visit here.

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Why it’s important to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle