It’s still just barely Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and thus it’s the perfect time to take a look at a study which illustrates the importance of always wearing a motorcycle helmet. The research demonstrates that repealing helmet laws can have a severe impact on safety along the roads.
The Highway Loss Data Institute carried out the research, which sought to take a look at the typical insurance payment paid to an injured motorcyclist involved in a crash in Michigan both before and after the law was passed. The results are somewhat eye-opening. In the two year timespan prior to the law’s alteration, the average claim hovered slightly above $5,400, but afterwards, that number leapt to $7,257, a startling jump of 34%.
What’s interesting about this particular study is the fact that it looks at claim amounts rather than death and injury rates, which previous research has already shown go up when helmet laws fall by the wayside. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President explains that an increase in the mandatory insurance level can’t even begin to encompass the lifelong damage that could be sustained by someone in a motorcycle crash.
Not everyone buys into the study, though. An official with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation explains that no one is stopping riders from utilizing helmets, while the president of motorcycle group ABATE says many crashes are attributable to persons without the proper training.