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Helmet Laws: New Study Examines Fatalities and Costs

Motorcycle enthusiasts throughout Texas know how dangerous it can be to be on roadways in the state. Other drivers often do not see bikers until it is too late. When a motorcycle accident happens, the riders will often suffer very serious injuries.

Many people who are injured in these crashes suffer some type of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), has recently released a study that examined helmet laws across the county. The agency was particularly concerned with the number of preventable deaths in motorcycle accidents, as well as the expenses associated with treating individuals not wearing helmets.

The agency examined the number of deaths occurring in states with universal helmet laws, compared to those, like Texas, that have only partial helmet laws. In states with universal laws, from 2008 to 2010, 12 percent of those riders killed were not wearing a helmet. In partial helmet law states, 64 percent of those killed did not wear helmets.

States with universal helmet laws also were able to save significantly on economic costs for those injured in motorcycle accidents. Overall, states with a universal law had savings of roughly $725 for every registered motorcycle. States without a rule only averaged a savings of $198.

The Texas helmet law requires that riders 20 and younger wear a helmet, as well as riders 21 and older who do not have $10,000 in medical insurance who have not passed a motorcycle safety course.

While the partial helmet law has helped to save some lives, it is only of many things that motorcyclists can do to remain safe while on the road. Be aware of other vehicles traveling nearby, because even if you see them, they may not see you.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists Who Died in Crashes and Economic Cost Savings Associated With State Motorcycle Helmet Laws - United States, 2008-2010" June 15, 2012.

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