Motorcyclists mixed on helmet usage

Under South Carolina law, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle isn't required for riders 21 and older.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many motorcycle injuries could be prevented by wearing one.

Some motorcyclists at this year's fall bike have mixed reactions on helmets. Many say it should be a rider's right to decide whether or not to wear one.

"I just always wear it. I just have gotten in the habit of always wearing it. We belong to a club in Sun City and they want us to set a good example," Joyce Martinez of South Carolina said.

Roger Hunt of North Carolina said wearing a helmet is required in his state.

"Well it's the law in North Carolina, but as soon as I get to South Carolina, I take it off," Hunt said.

Horry County is on a list of five South Carolina counties considered to be the most dangerous for collisions, but riders say that doesn't influence their decision.

"They're hot, they can obstruct your peripheral vision, and they say they can break your neck in some cases if you get in an accident," Richard Smith of Arkansas said.

As of May 2012, 19 states and the District of Columbia require everyone to wear a helmet, 28 states have partial helmet laws, and 3 states have no helmet law.

"If you're doing 65, 70 mph and someone does slam on their brakes, your body's going to get pretty torn up, your neck will probably snap, but yes it might save your skull a little bit," Hunt said.

Whether riders choose to wear a helmet or not, they all said safety is their number one priority when on the road.

"I always I wear full long pants. I never wear sandals. I always wear boots, usually always wear gloves, just in case I fall, Martinez said.

The CDC also said motorcycle crash-related injuries and deaths total $12 billion a year in medical care costs and productivity losses.