Motorcycle Accident Deaths Increase in States with Partial Helmet Laws

Every motorcycle rider realizes the dangers every time he or she heads out on the road. Even a minor motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries, simply because the rider is the one who absorbs all of the impact. Often, the motorcyclist will be thrown from his or her ride and suffer serious injuries.

In many states, like New Jersey, helmet use is mandatory. This means that any driver or passenger on a motorcycle must wear a helmet. While some motorcyclists claim that helmets are unsafe because they reduce visibility, a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how many more people die in states that have partial or no helmet laws.

In states with partial helmet laws, only some motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Often, this is for new or inexperienced riders. The CDC study examined fatalities in motorcycle accidents nationwide from 2008-2010. In states with partial helmet laws, 64 percent of deaths involved motorcyclists not wearing helmets. In states with mandatory helmet laws, this number was only 12 percent.

Helmet laws also significantly economic savings, that is money not spent on accidents or other costs associated with motorcycle accidents. In mandatory states, the average amount of healthcare costs saved per registered motorcycle was $725. States with no or partial laws only averaged a saving of $198.

Even with a helmet law in place, New Jersey motorcyclists need to exercise care when they are out for a ride, especially during the summer months. More traffic means there are more cars on the road, and some of these drivers may not see the motorcycle until it is too late. Taking a few extra precautions could help reduce the amount of serious accidents.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists Who Died in Crashes and Economic Cost Savings Associated With State Motorcycle Helmet Laws - United States, 2008-2010" June 15, 2012.

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