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Universal Helmet Laws Reduce Injuries andSave Lives - page 14 / 14

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An estimated one-third of motorcycle operators killed in crashes are not licensed or are improperly licensed to operate a motorcycle. Being licensed to operate a car does not qualify a person to operate a motorcycle. By not obtaining a motorcycle operator’s license, motorcyclists are bypassing the only method they and the state licensing agencies have to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to safely operate a motorcycle.

The helmet at work.

The single most important safety device a motorcyclist

can have is a helmet. Motorcycle helmets have a hard outer shell that distributes the force of an impact to protect the skull and prevents objects from piercing it. The crushable inner liner limits the force of impacts by absorbing a portion of the energy

that would otherwise reach the head and brain. As the helmet does its job, the number and severity of head injuries are significantly reduced.

Helmets cannot work if they are improperly designed.

Federal safety standards

determine the amount of force helmets should absorb and the amount of peripheral vision the helmets must allow. Only helmets that meet or exceed these standards should be worn.

Source: UCLA School of Public Health, Center for Injury Prevention

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