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IIHS Releases Motorcycle Helmet Statistics

| Sep 2, 2011

In a news release , the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provided data that shows that helmets, when worn properly, decrease the severity of head injuries, the risk of death and the overall cost of medical care.

When compared to cars, motorcycles are a much more dangerous form of transportation, statistically. The US government estimated that, per mile traveled, the number of motorcycle deaths in 2007 was around 37 times higher than those involving a car fatality. In 2009, there were 4,281 fatalities among motorcyclists. That number is more than double the 1997 amount, but still down from 2008 where 5,112 motorcyclists were killed. By contrast, both 2008 and 2009 reported record lows for passenger vehicle occupant deaths.

Helmets are important to the safety of motorcyclists because motorcycles are not enclosed, leaving the rider exposed to hard road surfaces. They often have excessive performance capabilities like rapid acceleration and high top speeds. They are less stable than cars when performing emergency braking procedures and less visible to other motorists. Helmets are designed to cushion the riders' heads from impact during a crash, but, like seatbelts, cannot provide complete protection against a head injury or death. However, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that helmets reduce the potential of a crash fatality by 37 percent. A recent study showed that helmets are 42 percent effective at preventing death and 69 percent effect at preventing head injuries during accidents.

As a Florence car accident attorney , I know the severity of the injuries motorcyclists sustain during accidents. In my time as a personal injury lawyer , I've seen many reports of fatal motorcycle accidents where a death may have been prevented had the rider worn a helmet. I urge all motorists, whether in a car or on a motorcycle, to exercise caution on our roads to ensure the safety of everyone.

Categories: Motorcycle Accident
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