As the sun comes out and the weather warms up, more and more motorcyclists will be taking to the roads. The Governors Highway Safety Administration recently released statistics revealing an increase in motorcycle fatalities in 2012. The GHSA points to several factors that contributed to this increase. One is the decrease in the number of states requiring helmets be worn by motorcyclists. This number has dropped from 26 in 1997 to only 19 in 2012. Without helmet laws, many motorcyclists will choose to ride without protecting their heads.
Helmets have been proven to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries, and thus decreasing their usage has likely contributed to increased fatality rates.
Another factor contributing to the rise in statistics is the overall increase of individuals purchasing new motorcycles. With the economy improving, more individuals are able to afford motorcycles and therefore more are on the road. Increasing gas prices have also lead more people to choose motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation, given their gas efficiency. With all these factors at play, please watch out for motorcyclists on the road this summer! If you are planning on taking your bike on a ride, avoid becoming a statistic.