NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- By law, motorcycle riders over the age of 18 in Connecticut don't have to wear a helmet while riding.
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, there are five times as many deaths in states with less restrictive laws on wearing helmets, including Connecticut.
By law, biker Jhunathyn Ellis of New Haven doesn't have to wear a helmet in Connecticut. He's over 18, but says he's never gone without one.
"Actually, I did hit my head and another rider actually hit me in the head with their bike," recalls Ellis. "If I didn't have a helmet on, it would probably be a different day."
Ellis wasn't surprised to read about the latest Centers for Disease Control Study showing only 12 percent of deadly crashes happened in states that required all riders to wear helmets.
From 2008-2010, there were 14,283 deaths in motorcycle accidents nationwide. Researchers also found over $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use.
"I think the majority of the people do wear helmets, but it also depends on what type of riding they do," explained Ellis.
Managers at New Haven Power Sports say they see and hear it all. There are people who say, "What's a helmet?" That's when they start throwing in the scare tactics.
"People who go down without a helmet, if they hit their head they're not waking away from it, they're going to hospital," says Mark Scinto of New Haven Power Sports, "you know, if they live through it."
Out of the New England States and New York, only Massachusetts, Vermont and New York require all riders to wear a helmet.
News 8 caught up with a big group of New Yorkers who said they could go without a helmet here, but they chose to stick to their law.
"If you want to wear one, you wear one, if you don't, you don't," says Jody Baradell of New York.
Baradell says he's lost too many friends who've been hit while riding.
"I kissed the pavemnet and I had a helmet on," said Baradell.
This friend fortunately, is still standing and riding.