According to a new federal study released Thursday, fewer motorcyclists are killed in states that have helmet laws.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed a study that found nearly five times as many no-helmet motorcycle deaths occur in states that have less restrictive laws.
Researchers with the CDC looked at a government tally of fatal traffic crashes, focusing on the counted 14,283 motorcycle deaths from 2008 through 2010.
This number included 6,057 bikers not wearing a helmet. Research shows about 12 percent of those deaths occurred in the 20 states that require everyone on a motorcycle to wear helmets.
Not only do helmet laws save lives, they lower the costs to society as well, according to the CDC.
The CDC Director claims that more than $3 billion in economic costs were saved in 2010 due to helmet use. If all bikers would wear helmets, another 1.4 billion could have been saved.
More money is apparently saved per registered bike in states that require helmets than in states with fewer restrictions, $725 versus $200, CDC researchers estimated. During the time the study was conducted, three states – Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire – had no helmet laws in place and another 27 states only required helmet laws for teen bikers or other particular riders.
A total of 20 states had universal helmet laws set in place for bikers.
Motorcycle riders have argued that it should be their choice whether or not to wear a helmet, claiming only a small percentage of motor vehicle accidents involve motorcycles.
While motorcycles account for about 3 percent of the registered vehicles on the road, 14 percent of the people killed in traffic accidents are bikers, according to the CDC.
The state of Florida has a partial helmet law, mandating bikers under the age of 21 wear a helmet, while bikers over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet with proof of a medical insurance policy. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risks of serious injuries and save lives. While biking provides riders with a sense of freedom, it is important to understand that motorcycles are inherently dangerous, thus requiring the use of proper safety equipment.
The CDC encourages bikers to be responsible on the road and follow these safety guidelines:
• Always wear a helmet.
• Wear protective clothing that can provide some level of protection from injuries.
• Never operate a motorcycle after consuming alcohol.
• Do not partake in reckless driving or tailgating.
• Maintain a safe speed and always exercise caution when traveling over gravel or slippery surfaces.
The Florida Motorcycle Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton assist motorcycle injury victims and the families of those who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of other motorists throughout the state of Florida. We help bikers that were injured while wearing or not wearing helmets. Unfortunately, many insurance companies try and blame helmetless riders for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents even when it is clear that another driver’s negligence caused the accident. At Whittel & Melton, we understand that every accident has its own set of unique circumstances. We can deal with the insurance coverage issues specific to your case and guide you through the legal process of bringing a motorcycle injury or wrongful death case.
If you or someone you care for has been injured or killed as a direct result of a careless or negligent driver, contact the Florida Motorcycle Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).