I have always wanted a motorcycle. There is something alluring about cruising around with the wind in your hair and the open road in front of you. What has stopped me from getting said motorcycle is fear. Fear of crashing and the subsequent injuries that come along with it.
Inexplicably not every state in the US requires helmets to be worn while riding a motorcycle. Currently only 19 states require helmets. 19!!!! What on earth are the other 31 waiting for? Is it even arguable that wearing helmets makes a difference?
The government estimates that the US could have saved $1.5 billion if people were wearing helmets when they were in an accident. The CDC has noted that in states where there is an option on helmets, helmet use goes down and deaths go up. 2012 saw close to 5,000 motorcycle deaths, a 9% increase from 2011.
With all of this being said Michigan decided to repeal their helmet law last year, requiring only those under 21 to wear one. Want to guess what happened?
For the two years prior to the change the average medical claim for a motorcycle injury was $5140. After the change…$7,257, a 34% increase.
Now look I am sure that the vice president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is a really nice guy but what he says here is just ridiculous. The vice president dismissed the study, saying the insurance industry views helmets as ‘‘the silver bullet that’s going to change the landscape of motorcycle safety.’’ He said insurers are upset because ‘‘ life has gotten more expensive for them and they have to pay out more.’’
First off if I was an insurance company and I had to pay out more because you didn’t want to wear a helmet, I would be ripped…never mind upset!
As a chiropractor, I have seen the devastating effects that closed head injuries cause. These injuries could have been avoided or at the very least a lot less severe if the people had been wearing helmets.
If you are riding a motorcycle this summer or thinking of getting one, please, please, please wear a helmet. Your loved ones and even your insurance company will thank you for it!