|Petersburg (Tex.) Volunteer Fire Dept. photo|
Kentucky once had a helmet law for motorcyclists, but repealed it several years ago. Nationwide, 20 states had universal motorcycle helmet laws in 2010, but Michigan has since reversed course and allowed helmets to be optional for riders over 21.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at 14,283 motorcycle-related deaths from 2008 to 2010. Of those, 6,027 bikers did not wear a helmet. “Only about 12 percent of those deaths occurred in the 20 states that required everyone on motorbikes to wear helmets,” Stobbe reports.
The study also found that helmet use saved $3 billion in U.S. medical expenses. Another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all states had helmet laws, the CDC concluded. Motorcycles account for about 3 percent of vehicles on the road, but 14 percent of deaths caused by traffic accidents. (Read more)