When bikers strap on a helmet before zooming out of the driveway, whether commuting to work on their motorcycle or going for a scenic ride, they’re usually not thinking about money. But according to a new study by the Center for Disease Control, that seemingly simple act of wearing protective headgear on a motorcycle translates to healthier state budgets. From 2008 to 2010, the CDC examined motorcycle accidents across the nation in order to establish how much each state saves when bikers and passengers wear helmets, and the results are startling.
According to the study, over $3 billion was saved in 2010 alone, with total costs saved due to helmet use ranging from $2.6 million in New Mexico to $394 million in California. In Pennsylvania, the savings was just over $300 per registered motorcycle and New Jersey came in just below that figure. Because the cause of motorcycle accidents is typically attributed to speeding or negligence of other drivers, it makes sense for bikers to wear helmets, particularly on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and New Jersey Turnpike. Though in New Jersey, universal helmet law applies, with all riders required to wear a helmet regardless of age, in Pennsylvania, the law only requires helmets for bikers under 21 years old.
As Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, we know that the most important take-away in the CDC study is that lives are saved and motorcycle accident injuries are reduced thanks to helmet use. “Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than the occupants of the other vehicle,” attests the firm, “which could lead to a potential wrongful death lawsuit. Motorcyclists are also five times more likely to sustain some injury than are the passengers in the other vehicle.”
Nationally, says the CDC, helmets lowered deaths by 37 percent for motorcycle drivers and 41 percent for passengers, and that meant 1,544 fewer motorcyclist fatalities in 2010. Over 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents between 2008 and 2010 were not wearing a helmet, says the CDC report. In states where helmets are not required, 79 percent of the motorcyclists killed were not wearing one, compared to 12 percent in states where helmets are the law.
This study offers yet another reason for motorcyclists to wear helmets, if there weren’t enough already. It is also strong motivation for Departments of Motor Vehicles to promote helmet use more aggressively, and for elected officials to support legislation that helps reduce motorcyclist injuries and fatalities. They’ll be saving money for their state and saving lives in their constituency, so everyone wins.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to motorcycle accident injuries, or you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash death, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates. Call 215-953-5200. or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your options. You may be entitled to compensation.
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