For decades, Michigan’s helmet law helped to protect all motorcyclists from death or catastrophic injuries. But in 2012, Michigan’s legislature voted to remove the mandatory helmet requirement for those 21 and over, and for those who had a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or had passed a motorcycle safety class. Because the new law has been in effect for just over a year, it is difficult to assess the results of this change for Michigan motorcyclists. However if we look to other states that have repealed their helmet laws, the statistics are grim.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the effects of Florida’s repeal of the mandatory helmet law are similar to the results seen in other states that have removed helmet laws within the past few years. In Florida, helmet use declined rapidly to about 50% of all riders in a few years after the law was repealed. Helmet use was expected to continue to decline while motorcycle registrations were on the rise. It’s no surprise that Florida motorcycle injuries increased 40%, hospital admissions for head and brain injuries increased by over 80% and motorcycle fatalities increased 50% and could rise to 100% in the future. In states like Louisiana where the helmet law was repealed then reinstated, statistics show that there were fewer fatalities and serious injuries post-law compared to pre-law.
Although helmets may not be the most fashionable or most comfortable to wear, wearing a helmet that meets federal standards, not a novelty helmet, can save your life and prevent you from serious head or brain injury.
Here are some quick facts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37%.
- Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
- The United States saved $3 billion due to helmet use in 2010.
- The United States could have saved an additional $1.4 billion in 2010 if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
- Helmets do not reduce visibility or impair hearing.
It’s important to have proper and adequate insurance on your motorcycle to cover medical expenses and wage losses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident. The CDC quick facts above reflect, in part, the medical costs and wage loss of U.S. motorcycle accident victims. If you have a serious accident, your medical costs could be over $1,000,000.00 The staff at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik hopes you are enjoying the fine riding weather, but are riding safely.
If you or your loved one are injured in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik for a free consultation at 810-720-4000 or 888-905-4632. Here are a few results we have achieved for our clients:
$3.5 Million – Recovered for spinal and head injured victim hit by truck crossing the center line.
$1.0 Million – Awarded to family of man struck and killed by motorist turning left
$750,000 – Settlement and benefits for victim with severe shoulder injury hit by car turning left.