Gloves are RECOMMENDED.
There is a chance your hands may come into contact with metal bits from another car, or worse, the pavement. If you care about your fingers, and the palms of your hands, wear gloves.
The material your gloves are made of is important. Thin cotton won't do anything in a crash. We recommend that you find something that is either heavy fiber or leather. Even if it's only leather on the palms, that's OK. You're not likely to scrape the back of your hands to within an inch of their life. Your palms aren't much more likely to suffer that fate, but hey, you never know.