Kentucky motorcycle drivers are required by state law to wear a helmet when they get on their two-wheeled vehicles. They may be wondering, however, what other protective gear they need to wear. Savvy riders, perhaps including some who learned the hard way, know that more gear is better when it comes to protection against injuries.

From 2001 to 2008, more than 1.2 million people nationwide were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty-one percent of the injuries occurred to the feet and legs. Head and neck injuries were the next most common, with 22 percent of the injuries. They were followed by injuries to the upper body, hands and arms, and lower body.

The CDC does not say how severe the injuries were or if the injured riders were wearing protective gear. The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine has tracked some injuries, however. It found that riders who wore helmets generally had less severe injuries than riders who went bare-headed.

While motorcycles can be a cool mode of transportation, riders need to be extra careful on the road. All the protective gear in the world may not be enough to protect them from negligent drivers of four-wheeled vehicles. When a car and a motorcycle have an accident, it’s generally the motorcycle and rider who lose. If such a crash was caused by negligence, an attorney may help the victim file a personal injury claim for damages.