Michigan's no-helmet law for motorcyclists has brought more deaths


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Since Republican Gov. Rick Snyder decided to sign into a law that repealed Michigan's required motorcycle helmet law, 25 percent of riders choose to cruise without one, according to Bridge magazine. That, almost entirely expected, has brought about more issues. From Bridge:

The annual cost of that freedom: roughly two dozen more deaths, scores of additional serious injuries and a huge spike in average medical expenses, according to studies of motorcycle crashes in Michigan.

The numbers underscore what law-enforcement and medical data have shown for years ‒ that riders without helmets are more likely to die or suffer serious injuries in a crash than riders who wear helmets.

MT's Jack Lessenberry has continued to rail Snyder over the past couple of years for this short-sighted move, which, according to Bridge, accounted for about half of all motorcycle fatalities last year. 

A longer-term study of crash and injury data by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that reduced helmet use accounts for approximately 24 more deaths and 71 more serious injuries a year in Michigan. The study looked at 15,000 crashes from 2009 through 2013, and calculated that the risk of fatality is 2.8 times higher for riders not wearing a helmet, while the risk of serious injury is 1.4 times higher, largely echoing studies in other states.

Read the full piece here