A recent report has found that the number of motorcycle fatality accidents decreased in 2010; compared to 2009 and previous years statistics. However, the study also found that helmet use among cyclists is declining. Only about 50 percent of motorcyclists are wearing helmets, and only 20 states have mandatory helmet laws.
Motorcyclists are in a class of their own. You don’t have to ride a motorcycle; a person chooses to ride a bike. They say it gives a certain feeling of freedom and exhilaration like nothing else can. Motorcycle riders must be twice as alert as automobile drivers. A rider always has to assume that a motorist does not, or will not, see them.
Helmets are the only safety measure there is to protect a cyclist, and if they aren’t wearing helmets, their risk of death or severe head trauma increases greatly. Motorcyclists are 16 times more likely than car occupants to die in a traffic crash, and four times as likely to be injured.
Only 20 percent of car crashes will result in an injury or fatality; for motorcyclists that number jumps to 80 percent. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle wrecks, and unhelmeted riders are 40 percent more likely to die from head injuries. For several years biker fatalities increased, until two years ago and the numbers dropped by more than 15 percent.
For last year, the decrease in fatalities dropped another two percent. However, researchers discovered that the number of bikers wearing helmets dropped by over 13 percent. This causes a big concern that fatality numbers will start increasing again.
The downturn of the economy and soaring prices of gas are causing an increase in the number of motorcyclists on the road. With only 20 states having mandatory helmet laws for all riders, other safety measures need to be pursued. Campaigns for motorists to be more alert and on the lookout for cyclists, and offering more motorcycle safety and training courses are two options to consider.