Data published by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning shows that between 2014 and 2018, there were approximately 131 motorcycle fatalities each year. This marked an increase of over 13 annual deaths over the previous 5-year period. An increasing number of motorcyclists are dying in crashes because they’re not wearing helmets when they take to the open road.
Before Michigan’s mandatory helmet law was repealed back in 2012, there were only five motorcyclists who died on an annual basis due to not wearing a helmet at the time of their crash. Now that it has been repealed, 56 of those who are killed each year die because they weren’t wearing helmets. This shows just how much they can potentially save lives.
One poll conducted by the local paper, The Cadillac News shows that 65% of area residents believe that motorcyclists shouldn’t be given an option as to whether to wear a helmet or not. Their same research shows that 78% of the bikers still wear them even though they’re not required to do so.
Supporters of the mandatory helmet law argue that these head coverings protect motorcyclists from serious injury if something makes contact with their head. They note that the brain or head injuries that result from individuals not wearing them are far more difficult to heal than abrasions and broken bones. Opponents of the mandatory helmet law believe that motorcyclists should be allowed to do what they see as fit.
Aside from helmet data, safety analysts are trying to determine if increases in speed limits that were implemented in 2017 in Michigan has impacted motorcyclist safety. They’re found that it doesn’t seem to be linked to an uptick in motorcyclist fatalities here.
So far, only one roadway has had an increase in the 5-year average fatality rate. It has decreased along all the other thoroughfares where the speed has been increased. The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to continue studying the impact that speed has on driver safety.
Car manufacturers are always working on are new ways to make vehicles safer to prevent serious injuries or death. It’s unclear if motorcycle companies focus their attention on similar types of concerns. Protective clothing and helmets can keep you safe. A hands-on personal injury attorney who has you covered and will fight for you is who you’ll want representing you if you’ve been seriously hurt in a Rochester crash.