We have all driven on the same roads as motorcyclists, and may have even overlooked them at points. The scary truth is that motorcycle accidents are on the rise. In 2010, statistics showed that motorcycle crashes killed 4,502 people, and motorcycle-related deaths have tragically increased by 55% since 2000.
With the inherent dangers of riding motorcycles, riders and their passengers should always wear helmets. The objective for the Universal Helmet Law is to get every state to adopt a universal helmet law as the most effective way to encourage motorcyclists to wear helmets. The law’s primary purpose is safety, but it is also a way for states to save money. Each state decides its own helmet law.
North Carolina adopted a universal helmet law back in 1968 and ranks first in the nation for lives saved and economic costs saved due to helmet use. A 2010 study estimated that the state has saved a total of $163 million in costs and 80 lives due to helmet laws.
Statistics of Universal Helmet Laws:
- Helmets are estimated to prevent 37% of crash deaths among riders and 41% of crash deaths among passengers
- Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%
- The U.S. as a whole saved $3 billion in 2010 due to helmet save, but could have saved an additional $1.4 billion had all motorcyclists worn helmets
- Cost savings in states with universal motorcycle helmet laws were nearly four times greater than in state without laws, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study
- As of May 2012, 19 states and the District of Columbia had universal helmet laws, 28 states had partial helmet laws (where riders under a certain age must wear a helmet), and 3 states have no helmet law