Use your head. Wear a helmet!

Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way of protecting yourself. So why do so many motorcyclists and cyclists hit the road without a helmet? Below are a range of common myths, and explanations about the reality. 





Most injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes are head injuries.

On a motorcycle or bike your body is totally exposed, with no metallic framework for protection and no seatbelt to hold you in your seat. Check some of the myths about the use of helmets below.


Unlike hats, helmets have four major components that work together to protect your head from injuries: a rigid outer shell; an impact absorbing liner; a comfort padding; and a retention system to buckle up. Only impact-tested and approved helmets that pass certain government standards for safety should be used. 


Full-face helmets can reduce your vision when looking down, but this is not what matters. What is more important is your ability to see what is happening on your sides, in your peripheral vision, and this is not affected when wearing a helmet. Helmets give you full ability to see what is happening in your surroundings. 


Helmets lower sounds and noises but do not eliminate them. Tests have shown that all sounds can be heard very clearly when wearing a helmet so you do not have to worry about missing any danger signals. Not only that, but helmets actually protect your ears from wind sounds and from ear drum damage that can occur at speeds of more than 100 km/hr. 

In European countries, head injuries contribute to around 75% of deaths among motorcycle users.

This figure rises to 88% in some low and middle income countries. Head injuries that do not result in death may still have a long-term impact. Solutions? Check out the:


Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative 


Wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of death in the event of a crash by up to 40% and the chance of a serious injury by up to 70%.

Yet according to World Health Organization research only 40% of countries have a comprehensive helmet law and effective helmet standards. Check the helmet laws of your country below.


Download the WHO Facts  



Helmet laws


Learn about the other key risk factors

Speeding Drink-driving Seatbelts Distracted-driving