People in Baton Rouge who wear helmets while riding motorcycles will be glad to hear that helmets really do save lives. Your chances of surviving a motorcycle accident are much higher in states that require helmets, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Five times as many people died in motorcycle accidents in states that had lax helmet laws, compared to states that had stricter laws. The study looked at records of fatal accidents from 2008 to 2010. During that time, 6,057 motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets were killed. Only 12 percent of those were from the 20 states that required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
Deaths and injuries from motorcycle accidents are not just personal tragedies. They also place a heavy burden on society, creating large economic losses due to medical costs and lost productivity. The CDC researchers calculated that $3 billion was saved by motorcyclists wearing helmets. Another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all bikers had worn a helmet.
Motorcycle accidents cause a disproportionate number of traffic deaths. While only 3 percent of the registered vehicles on the road are motorcycles, 14 percent of all people who die in traffic accidents are riding motorcycles. Society has an interest in preventing motorcycle deaths, but the laws that save lives remain controversial, as many people want the freedom to choose for themselves whether to wear helmets or not.
Source: Ocala.com, "CDC: Motorcycle helmet laws reduce deaths," The Associated Press, June 14, 2012