A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention places a renewed emphasis on the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
In compiling their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that was released today, the CDC looked at fatal crash statistics from across the country between 2008 and 2010. What they discovered was that those states which have laws in place mandating universal helmet use, meaning that everyone on a motorcycle is required to wear a helmet, save four times as much money in their budgets. This is due to the enormous costs that typically accumulate in a serious crash. These losses can include legal costs, insurance fees, the cost of emergency services, and the costs that are associated with an injured or killed motorcyclist no longer being able to work and thus requiring some form of disability compensation.
The CDC figures that the state of California saved $394 million because of their universal helmet law. This was the highest among various states. The CDC has also said that helmet usage was able to save the United States $3 billion in total costs, but if every motorcyclist in the country wore a helmet, an additional $1.4 billion would have been saved as well.
The safety organization stated that helmet usage prevents motorcycle driver fatalities 37% of the time, and that figure increases to 41% among passengers. Not surprisingly, states with universal helmet laws have more people who wear helmets. In states without, 79% don’t wear helmets, while a scant 12% don’t wear helmets when there is a universal law in place. This seems to show that the laws do what they’re intended to do.