It is highly-recommended that you wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle; but there are still those who don't follow this recommendation even in the face of all the reported damage and loss of life that was probably a result of one not wearing a helmet.
Some of this "anti-helmet" sentiment out there may be attributed to the myths and misunderstandings that surround the idea of wearing a helmet. Here are some examples of the myths surrounding helmets and motorcycle safety and let's discuss why these are not true:
Myth 1: Helmets impair road vision - There are those who claim that wearing a helmet makes it harder to get a good view of the road. But research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concludes that riders wearing helmets do not suffer from impaired road vision. Helmets have a very insignificant effect on one's lateral field of vision and this can easily be overcome by turning one's head slightly. In fact, helmets protect your face from high winds which may harm your sight.
Myth 2: Helmets impair the wearer's hearing - Studies have shown that helmets do not interfere with a rider's hearing in any way. Any impairment in one's hearing while riding can be attributed to speed. The faster one is riding, the harder it is to hear regardless if one is wearing a helmet or not.
Myth 3: Helmets are uncomfortable - Sure, a helmet might be uncomfortable at times but consider this: helmets help to protect your face from the wind, intense weather, and road debris like small pieces of rocks. Now, which is more uncomfortable?
Myth 4: Helmets increase the possibility of having a spinal injury . Actually, the opposite is found to be true. Helmets not only decrease the possibility of having a serious spinal injury they also help to protect your head from serious injury in a motorcyle accident.
With all of those myths debunked there is no reason to not wear a helmet anymore. A helmet exists for your protection, and the old saying "Better to be safe than sorry" certainly applies here.