This past week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study which concluded that fewer motorcyclists die in states with universal helmet laws.
The study looked at the 14,283 U.S. motorcycle deaths between 2008 and 2010, 6,057 of which were of bikers with no helmet. Only 12% of the no-helmet deaths occurred in states with universal helmet laws. The study estimated that in 2010, $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use. An additional $1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
Currently 21 states have universal helmet laws. Another 26 have partial helmet laws which require riders under a certain age to wear helmets. Only three states–Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa have no helmet law at all.
In Texas, we have a partial helmet law which applies to all riders under 21-years-old. That wasn’t always the case, however. Until 1997, Texas had a universal helmet law like our next door neighbor Louisiana. A 2010 study revealed that after the law was repealed, motorcycle fatality rates rose 25% in the state.
In the past week many motorcycle lobbying groups have spoken out in opposition to the CDC study. They say that, in the past, universal helmet laws have tended to siphon funds away from motorcycle education courses proven to reduce fatalities. They also point to the fact that motorcycle accidents only account for a small percentage of total traffic accidents and argue that wearing a helmet should be a matter of personal choice.
Authors of the study have retorted that although motorcycles only account for 3% of vehicle traffic, they account for an astounding 14% of traffic fatalities. Moreover, they say, car accident deaths have tended to remain at the same level since the 1950s–despite a significant increase in drivers. Motorcycle fatalities, on the other hand, have risen steadily over the last 60 years.
At the Kyle Law Firm, we encourage all drivers and motorcyclists to practice safe driving and biking measures. This includes not drinking and driving, being courteous on the road, wearing a seatbelt and putting on a helmet. A traffic accident can turn your world upside down and leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Take precaution and protect you and your loved ones on the road.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or car accident and need legal help, contact the Kyle Law Firm today. The longer you wait to call a personal injury attorney, the less evidence we’ll have to build your case on. Call the Kyle Law Firm now and receive the legal expertise you need.