How Have Helmet Laws Changed Motorcycle Injury Numbers?

Due to statistical research and the vulnerability motorcyclists face on the road, many states have incorporated mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. Currently, only three states do not have any motorcycle helmet laws in place: Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa. Of the remaining 47 states, some have partial requirement laws, while others require every motorcycle rider to wear a helmet at all times. These laws have had a direct effect on the number of injuries to motorcyclists. The states with strict laws in effect have decreased occurrences of motorcyclist injuries, while the states with lenient or missing laws have a higher percentage of injuries and deaths per registered rider.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Their Impact on Fatalities

The state of Florida had a helmet law that was repealed in the year 2000. The only riders who must wear helmets are riders that are under 21 years of age or have less than $10,000 in medical coverage for injuries that involve motorcycle accidents. Since the law changed to exempt older riders, the number of deaths per registered motorcycle owner has risen more than 24%. A helmet is a rider’s only source of protection against brain injuries and neck injuries in an accident.

On the other end of the spectrum, California saw a decrease in the number of fatalities for motorcyclists after it incorporated its own helmet laws. The law in California states that all motorcycle riders must wear helmets when operating or riding a motorcycle. Since California incorporated this law in 1992, it saw a 37% decrease in the number of deaths for cyclists.

Helmet Laws and Personal Injury Cases

Motorcycle helmet laws can affect a motorcyclist who gets into an accident, even if the accident is not his or her fault. If a motorcyclist gets hurt while failing to wear a helmet, this can potentially  affect the motocyclist’s ability to recover damages. It is always best for a rider to wear a helmet, even if the law does not require it. It can save a life.