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HOW $19.99 SAVED MY LIFE

Jason Rogers, an Air Force veteran, rides his bicycle May 2, 2011, through Hahira, Ga. Mr. Rogers rode his bicycle 2,500 miles across the U.S., to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel)

What’s your life worth? One-million dollars? Priceless? What if I told you something that cost me $19.99 saved my life? (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) -- What's your life worth? One-million dollars? Priceless? What if I told you something that cost me $19.99 saved my life?

Two years ago, I paid $19.99 for a bicycle helmet, and recently its value far surpassed its cost.

I was doing what a lot of us at Osan Air Base do -- riding my bike. I went to work, to the gym and then rode home to my offbase residence.

On this day, at about 2 p.m., the sun was shining brightly as I came across a busy downtown intersection. The green cross light was counting down, and I had about five seconds to cross the street. I made it across safely, but was going so fast that I lost control of my bicycle.

Everything happened so fast. I swerved left to miss a person. Then, I went to the right around a bus bench. Despite every effort to avoid all the hazards, my left handlebar clipped a light pole. ...

I flew over the handlebars.

My right temple hit the ground so hard I blacked out.

When I woke up I started checking my limbs and looking for blood. I had road rash here and there from the fall, but I didn't feel I had any broken bones.

Then, I took off my helmet and found it broken in two, right near my temple.

This is the point where I realized just how important safety gear is and how much it's worth.

Some people think it's a waste to spend money on safety gear. I have to be honest; I was one of them. This experience taught me that spending a few dollars now could save a lot of pain and suffering later.

Applying some risk management to the situation made me realize I would still be wearing that helmet, but I would have waited for the next green light rather than hurrying across the street. Looking at the same traffic light now, I realize there was a lot going on and there were a lot of potential hazards.

On the day of my accident, had I scanned the area a little better and taken a little extra time thinking of what could happen, I would have made a different choice.

Still, $19.99 saved my life.