How Many Lives Are Saved When Motorcyclists Wear Helmets?

We all know that you should wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. But have you ever wondered exactly how many motorcyclists lives helmets save each year? Or how many lives could’ve been saved? Let’s look a little closer at what the data tells us about how helmets save motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists and helmets by the numbers

Consider some of the following figures from the National Safety Council and the CDC:

  • Helmets saved over 25,000 lives between 2002-2019.
  • An additional 802 lives could’ve been saved in 2017 had helmets been worn.
  • Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for riders.
  • The risk of head injuries is reduced by 69% by wearing a helmet.

Clearly, the case for wearing a helmet is a compelling one. In addition to saving lives and preventing injuries, helmet use can save costs. One NHTSA report found that helmet use saved an estimated $3 billion in economic costs (such as medical care and emergency response) in 2016 alone.

How many motorcyclists wear helmets?

Even though helmets are vital to saving lies and preventing serious injury, not all motorcyclists wear them.

Some states, including Washington, have a universal helmet law, requiring riders to wear helmets or risk being ticketed. Having a law in place is one of the most effective ways that states can increase helmet use and reduce fatalities.

In a newly-released report from the NHTSA, it was found that in states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet. Compare this to just 9% in states with universal helmet laws.

Safety considerations for choosing a helmet

Since your helmet is your most important piece of safety equipment, it’s important to select it with care. Here are a few things to remember when choosing a helmet:

  • Select a helmet that’s right for you. Make sure that your helmet has the DOT-approved sticker or symbol. Also, ensure that the helmet fits your head size and shape correctly. The NHTSA has a great guide for what to look for.
  • Replace your helmet every few years. UV rays, normal wear and tear, and minor bumps can all degrade your helmet over time.
  • Store it safely. Keep your helmet somewhere safe with good airflow and out of direct sunlight.
  • Replace your helped if it shows signs of damage. Obviously, replace your helmet if you’ve been in a crash. It’s also a good idea to replace your helmet if you notice wear or damage.

Take good care of your helmet and it will take good care of you!

Help for injured motorcyclists

If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash and are looking for skilled legal advice, we can help. The attorneys at Ladenburg Law have experience helping motorcycle crash victims recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Please reach out to our firm and ask for a free initial case review.

You might also wish to read our post about motorcycle fatalities on the rise in Washington State.

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