States without helmet laws have 5x more fatal motorcycle crashes

Motorcycle helmet laws are controversial among bikers. Some bikers in Birmingham think that helmets should be mandatory for all bikers because they help reduce the chances of fatal accidents. Other bikers think helmets should be optional.

Now, however, there is research that shows there are fewer fatal motorcycle accidents in states that have helmet laws than in states that don't. Moreover, not only are there fewer deaths, but there are also fewer costs to society.

According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about five times more deaths in states that have less restrictive laws than in states that have stricter helmet laws. The CDC study focused on fatal motorcycle accidents between 2008 and 2010. During that period, about 14,250 motorcyclists died in accidents, and about 6,050 of those were not wearing helmets.

Although almost half the country (20 states) requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets, only 12 percent of the bikers who died without helmets were from those states.

But the cost to each state goes beyond the number of deaths. The director of the CDC said, "In 2010, more than $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use in the United States. Another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets."

The study from the CDC clearly shows that helmet laws not only save lives, but they also help reduce costs to society significantly. What do you think: Should motorcyclists be required to wear helmets?

Source: Ocala.com, "CDC: Motorcycle helmet laws reduce deaths," The Associated Press, June 14, 2012

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