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Lansing, Michigan

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Fatal Motorcycle Accidents More Likely to Involve Helmetless Riders

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About two months ago, Michigan governor Rick Snyder and the state legislature repealed the state law requiring all motorcycle operators and riders to wear helmets. Under the new law, motorcyclists who purchase a minimal amount of personal injury protection insurance can now ride without a helmet. And with temperatures reaching the 90’s in the past couple weeks, many riders have been foregoing head protection to stay cool.

Unfortunately, riding without a helmet has a steep cost, according to a recent report by media outlet MLive.com. Based on data collected via police reports over the last two months, MLive.com has determined that 25% of helmetless riders suffer “incapacitating” injuries, compared to 16% for those wearing helmets. Helmetless riders are also three times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident compared to a rider wearing a helmet. If there is any good news out there for helmetless riders, it’s that fatalities are down overall compared to the last two years.

The statistics will become more refined as more data is collected. However, this much seems clear so far: wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle seems likely to reduce the risk of serious and fatal injury in the event of a crash.