Posted on January 17, 2023 at 4:31 PM by The Biker Lawyers

Decorative image for a blog about motorcycle gear

How safe is it to ride without gear?

Perfectly fine, but we'd recommend you do a quick Google Search for "Motorcycle accident Injuries" first.

In all seriousness, it’s a question asked by bikers of all kinds—those who are just starting out, those who are experienced riders, and even those who are considering getting their first motorcycle.

Is it safe to ride a motorcycle without protective gear?

The short answer is no, it’s not safe to ride a motorcycle without gear.

At The Biker Lawyers, we get this question a lot. As bikers ourselves, we understand the appeal of the wind in your hair and that feeling of freedom that comes with the ride. Riding a motorcycle without gear can be tempting but safety should never be sacrificed for style. Sure, you can ride without gear, but the bottom line is, it’s just not worth the risk.

Wearing protective gear, like a helmet, jacket, boots, and gloves, can dramatically reduce your chances of serious injury in the event of an accident.

Before we dig into the dirt of what can happen if you wreck and aren't wearing gear, here are some stats we figured you should know:

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle accidents are responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020:

  • 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in accidents
  • Of those killed in motorcycle accidents, 65% were not wearing a helmet.
  • Motorcyclists are about 28X more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic crash.

Look, we get it. The risk is part of the thrill of riding a motorcycle. Even so, wearing gear is an easy way to stay safer on the road.

Is your gear outdated? Click below to make sure your helmet is still safe:

FREE NHTSA HELMET GUIDE

Common motorcycle accident injuries

When bikers are involved in an accident without the proper protective gear, they are at risk of a wide range of injuries.

Image of a leather jacket with a list of common motorcycle injuries

The most common motorcycle injuries include:

  • road rash

  • broken bones

  • head injuries

    • Traumatic brain injuries

  • spinal cord injuries

  • Nerve damage


Road rash

Road rash is an injury that occurs when the skin is scraped off as a result of sliding along the pavement. It can be extremely painful and lead to serious infections if not treated right away. It can also cause permanent scarring, which can be emotionally and psychologically damaging.

Broken bones

Broken bones are also a common injury among bikers, and can range from minor fractures to more serious breaks.


Head injuries

Head injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe. The most common types of head injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and skull fractures. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, or even loss of consciousness. Long-term effects of head injuries can include chronic pain, memory loss, difficulty with cognitive functioning, and impaired motor control.

Head injuries are especially concerning, as they can lead to long-term complications.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can cause difficulty with cognitive and physical functioning, and can even lead to death. Similarly, spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, and difficulty with mobility.


Back injuries

Back injuries may include whiplash, muscle strain, fractures, or disc damage. Symptoms of back injuries may include pain or stiffness in the back, neck, or shoulders, headaches, or difficulty with mobility. Long-term effects of back injuries can include chronic pain, weakness, and numbness.


Neck injuries

Neck injuries can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, or even numbness or tingling in the extremities. Long-term effects of neck injuries can include chronic pain, difficulty with mobility, and impaired cognitive functioning.


Nerve damage

Riding without protective gear can also increase the risk of nerve damage. When a rider falls off the bike, the impact of the ground can cause nerve damage in the arms, legs, and other areas of the body. This type of damage can cause lasting pain and numbness, as well as other long-term effects.

With head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and nerve damage from a motorcycle crash, treatment may include physical therapy, medications, or surgery, depending on the severity of the injury. Recovery time can vary but may take months or even years.


Why Motorcycle Protective Gear is Important

Motorcycle protective gear is important for reducing the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.

Helmets are the most important piece of protective gear a biker can wear, as they protect the head from impact and reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries. While a helmet may not help a biker in certain types of crashes, it can make the difference between life and death in a scenario where a biker is tumbling down the road, head bouncing off the pavement.

Jackets, pants, and gloves can help protect the body from road rash, and boots can help protect the feet and ankles from fractures.

Conclusion: the bottom line about riding gear

Whether you’re a first-time rider or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to remember that motorcycle safety gear is essential for protecting yourself in the event of a crash.

At The Biker Lawyers, we understand that riding without protective gear may seem like a good idea at the time, but the consequences can be severe. That’s why we strongly encourage all riders to wear the proper safety gear.

Wearing protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury, and even death, in the event of a motorcycle accident. So, if you’re thinking about hitting the open road, make sure you’re wearing the proper gear to keep you safe.

A good helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves can go a long way in protecting you in the event of a crash.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, The Biker Lawyers may be able to help. We are committed to fighting for the rights of injured riders and their families. We’re dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Click here for a free consultation.

Still not sure you need an attorney after your crash? Learn more about why it may be vital to your recovery, here.

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