The freedom of riding your motorcycle on Kentucky roadways is something to enjoy. Many riders love to feel the wind blowing through their hair. However, this is a dangerous practice. Riding without a helmet is also illegal in some situations. Before you set out on your next ride, make sure you understand the helmet laws.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety explains that years ago, the law required all riders to wear a motorcycle helmet. This is known as a universal helmet law. However, it changed in 1998 to restrict the requirement only if you have a permit, have not had your license over one year or are under the age of 21. In all other situations, helmets are optional.

Before you ditch the helmet, though, consider the fact that wearing a helmet can greatly increase your chances of survival in an accident. Once the law changed, the number of deaths in motorcycle accidents increased by 50%. Out of the 76 deaths due to motorcycle accidents in 2014 in the state, 46 of those were people not wearing a helmet.

Studies show time and again that it is smart to wear a helmet. It may seem cumbersome or restrictive to wear one, but the safety it provides is so important. So, while the law may not make you wear one, you really should consider always strapping a helmet on before you get on your bike. It could be the best decision you make all day. This information is for education and is not legal advice.