Seven motorcyclists have died on Wyoming's highways so far this year, and with half a million bikers expected to roll into Sturgis next week, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging riders to exercise safety.

Even though minors are the only ones required to wear helmets in Wyoming, Sgt. Jeremy Beck says it's still a good idea for everyone to wear one.

"You don't have a lot of protection when you're riding a motorcycle, so any little bit that you can do -- wearing proper clothing as well as wearing a helmet with a face guard -- is very beneficial if you were to be involved in a collision," he said.

According to fatal crash reports, 18 motorcyclists died in crashes in Wyoming last year, 11 of whom were not wearing helmets; and of the seven riders killed so far this year, only one was wearing a helmet.

"I can't say that ... if you're wearing a helmet you're going to live, but your odds are way better of being able to live and not sustain a traumatic brain injury if you are wearing a helmet," said Beck.

​​