Motorcycle Helmet Safety

The most important thing a person can do to ensure maximum safety while riding a motorcycle is to practice motorcycle helmet safety. There are over 50,000 motorcycle related injuries and 2,000 deaths from motorcycle accidents every year. In many cases, the main thing that is responsible for saving the lives of these motorcyclists is wearing a helmet. It is recommended that every motorcyclist observe this simple precaution.

Motorcycle helmets provide complete protection from head injuries at speeds that are less than 30 miles an hour. While there is less protection at higher speeds, the difference between a motorcycle accident with or without a helmet is substantial. Likewise, there is also a noticeable difference between helmets with a face shield and the simpler types. Without a face shield, motorcyclists are at risk of injuring their chin, jaw, and teeth more easily.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Studies

Statistics from the government and private studies have shown that requiring motorcyclists to practice motorcycle helmet safety reduces injuries and saves lives. Motorcycle helmet safety is shown to be 67-percent effective at preventing injuries to the brain. Motorcyclists without helmets are more than three times more likely to incur a brain injury.

Motorcycle Helmet Statistics

Reputable organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) have studied the results of motorcycle helmet safety and motorcycle helmet safety laws. The NHTSA estimated that 490 motorcyclists were saved in 1996 because of state motorcycle helmet safety laws. The NHTSA further asserts that if all 50 states had required motorcycle helmet safety by law that the number would be twice as much at nearly 800. FARS indicated a 29 percent effectiveness at reducing fatalities in motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Laws

To further prove the point that motorcycle helmet safety laws play a significant role in reducing injury and death is the result from weakening motorcycle helmet safety laws. In 2012, the number of medical claims from motorcycle accidents increased by about 20 percent in Michigan. This occurred after the state stopped requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. The Michigan motorcycle helmet safety laws were repealed after over 40 years.

The change in the motorcycle helmet safety law only required motorcyclists under 21 to wear a helmet. After the law was changed, there was a $2,000 increase, on average, for insurance payments on motorcycle injury claims. This information was determined by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), who has also accounted for similar results in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

 

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Sources:

Kodack, Anthony. “Motorcycle Lawyer Offers Helmet Safety Tips.” Top Speed. N.p., 25 Jan 2007. Web. 25 Jul 2013. <http://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/motorcycle-news/motorcycle-lawyer-offers-helmet-safety-tips-ar26003.html>.

Lowy, Joan. “Motorcycle Injuries Rise After Helmet Laws Weakened: Study.” Insurance Journal. N.p., 17 Jun 2013. Web. 25 Jul 2013. <http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/features/2013/06/17/295237.htm>.

“Motorcycle Safety.”¬†Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2012. Web. Web. 25 Jul 2013. ¬†<http://www.cdc.gov/Features/MotorcycleSafety/>.