Nearly everywhere you look, you’ll find facts, feelings and myths surrounding the nation’s motorcycle helmet laws. Even though countless statistics confirm that helmets can save lives, the laws remain mired in controversy.

The most compelling arguments made by opponents of motorcycle helmet laws may point out the ways helmets fail to protect riders. Helmets are not perfect, after all, but the question is not whether a helmet can keep you perfectly safe. The question is whether your helmet can keep you safer than you would be without it.

Here are three ways your motorcycle helmet does help keep you safe:

Helmets reduce the chance of life-threatening skull fractures.

The traditional foam-core motorcycle helmet dissipates and absorbs pressure directed straight at your skull by a collision. The goal is to prevent outside materials, including your skull, from penetrating the brain.

Some newer helmets offer protection against dangerous rotational motion.

Your head isn’t just a shell that needs to be kept from cracking like an egg. It has a brain in it.

Studies have revealed what many riders long knew: Traditional helmet designs don’t adequately address the different causes of brain trauma. You could suffer brain trauma – or die – as the result of an accident even if your skull remained intact.

In recent years, motorcyclists have seen companies respond to this revelation by developing new technologies that reduce the injury from the rotational motion created by angled falls.

Wearing a helmet can help you seek recovery.

Your motorcycle helmet may not offer perfect protection, but it does increase your chances of surviving a crash. For that reason, if you do get into a crash where you suffer a head or neck injury, you’ll want to make note of the fact that you were wearing your helmet as you seek legal compensation for your damages.

If you file a personal injury complaint after a crash in which you were not wearing a helmet, you’ll have a much harder time proving that your injuries weren’t the result of your own negligence.