The more states allow people to ride motorcycles without helmets, the more people die, according to a study discussed in TheDetroitBureau.com today.

The report, released by FairWarning.org, outlines how for the past 30 years, states have begun to loosen helmet restrictions on bikers and deaths have climbed, even as automotive deaths have dropped to historic lows. In 1972, 47 states required riders to wear helmets. In 2012, only 19 states have laws requiring every rider don protective headgear.

Meanwhile, deaths on motorcycles has more than doubled from 1997 to 2010, from 2,116 to 4,502, according to NHTSA.

"We call it the organ donor enhancement act," a doctor told TheDetroitBureau.com. "We've always had a shortage of donors but expect to see the numbers go way up. "


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  • 293 Comments
      ilmhmtu
      • 2 Years Ago
      1. It's cheaper for insurance companies (and you) because death is cheaper than rehabilitation after an accident. 2. This is darwin's theories at work. 3. "Thanks for the organs!" - a citizen that still wants to live
        rllama
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ilmhmtu
        It's only Darwin's theory at work if they crash the motorcycle before they have a chance to reproduce - but that's a toss up because riding without a helmet is so COOL women will jump into bed with the guys doing it - while at the same time, riding around on those things can't be good for your sperm count. They should also legalize skydiving without a parachute.
      the.ting
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fine by me. Survival of the fittest/smartest.
      Wolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have mixed feelings on this. First, yes, there are some questions as to number of fatalities vs. number of motorcycles on the road. I'd love to see the statistics in the form of the standard deaths per miles travelled or similar metric that compares number of motorcyles being drive over the same period of time as the deaths are being related. A raw number can make things look worse (or better) than they really are. Second, so long as a person is responsible for their own health and insurance coverage, the libertarian in me says that the government shouldn't have the right to tell me how I protect myself. Being a novice rider myself, I wouldn't dare get on my bike without a helmet and ample protective gear. No law is required for me to have purchased this gear. I value my life and would prefer to live if possible if I were to get in an accident, preferably without being maimed. If someone else prefers to risk their life and wants to ride in shorts, flip flops, and no head gear, I think they should be allowed to do it and have to deal with the consequences of such an action. However, in the real world people will make the decision to not wear a helmet and not have the means to take responsibility for that action. If we as a society are lucky, they'll just be killed and won't impose a cost. However, they could live, not be able to afford the consequences of their actions, and may be a drain on society as a result. In those cases, a helmet law makes sense but what stops the government there? Shouldn't riding shoes, a back brace, gloves, and other protective gear be required too? And then where will it all stop?
        Xedicon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Wolf
        First welcome to two wheels! It's awesome! Even as a more seasoned rider and living in a state without a helmet law and having good insurance, I'll never go out without a helmet on. It's still a great experience even with one on and it's just not worth the extra risk. Hopefully the day will never come where I thank myself for wearing one, but if it does arrive I'd rather be relieved than dead or a veggie.
      john
      • 2 Years Ago
      I rode for many years, so i understand the role helmets play in motorcycle safety. Maybe the NHSTA should also look into the increase in distracted car drivers from 1997 to 2010 and the role that is playing in motorcycle fatalities. Remember- LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE!
      Mark S
      • 2 Years Ago
      My Arai helmet left a dent on the back of the Chevy Blazer that had stopped at the light. I don't remember it. But I live with extra hardware in my back from the 5 broken vertebrae since I can still walk and tie my own shoes. God's way of telling me 45 years of motorcycle riding was ended. But I firmly believe in AGATT (All the Gear, All The Time). I apparently sailed over the Blazer and landed out in the intersection. Maybe the backpack I had on a the time accounts for the back injuries. If you choose not to wear the right protective gear, carry good life insurance for those that you'll leave behind. And expect a few folks to mutter: "idiot" at your funeral.
        conrock54
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mark S
        If you had been paying attention and stopped there would not have been an issue. I frimly believe in (PAAAT) Pay attention at all times and avoid those issues all together. Still riding no helmet 45 yrs and going.
      Keldon
      • 2 Years Ago
      And in other news...ice cream makes you fat.
      Sorten Borten
      • 2 Years Ago
      You'd think after a couple of high profile idiots like Gary Busey and Ben Roethlisberger scrambled their brains that at least the younger generation of riders would be rethinking helmet laws. There's no help for older generation hog riders.
      Xedicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Keep those helmets on people - it just isn't worth the risk and the fallout to all your friends and family and loved ones if you get killed or end up a vegetable for want of one single piece of protective gear. I say this as a long time rider with lots of love for two wheeled crusin'. Please stay safe out there.
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here's some perspective: I once crashed my bike after jumping a 12 foot mound of dirt across a 20 foot span. I did it without a helmet and landed on my head, passed out at the scene, my brother and mother couldn't wake me up, the ambulance brought me to the hospital where I was for a week until I woke up. I don't remember anything other than circling the mound before the jump. Had I worn a helmet, I would have not felt a thing and got right up! Now here's the interesting part. I hit the jump at 15 miles per hour maximum and was on light BMX bike, not a motorcyle. My impact was less damaging than a motorcyle rider getting hit by a 5000lb vehicle at a stop light at the same speed of 15MPH. Do the math! Wear a helmet!
        conrock54
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        Or you could have broken your neck and ended up a quad for life. Riding a dirt bike absolutely wear the gear designed for riding, the new gear can even avoid a broken neck.
      Wetstuff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make the dirtbags sign their driver license: "No helmet - No ambulance." Jim
      Boatnmaniac
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is news? It's been well documented for many decades that helmet laws save lives and reduce the number of "vegetables" created by motorcycle accidents. Every time motorcycle laws are implemented the rates of death and serious head injury go down significantly and every time the laws are eliminated those rates go up. Being an ex-motorcyclist myself (who often did not wear a helmet) I can understand and support the rights of people to not wear helmets if they don't want to but when I see motorcyclists today not wearing helmets I can't help but think how stupid (and lucky) I was and how stupid they are. But then, again, there is a significant shortage of organ donations so maybe instead of requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets we should require them to be organ donors if they choose not to wear helmets.
      jorwmu
      • 2 Years Ago
      There are far more people riding motorcycles and scooters these days vs the 1970's! Plus the population has exploded since then. Crap reporting once again and I feel its up to the rider/driver to wear a helmet or seat belt. I always laugh when police tell me to buckle up like they give a hoot and then a Harley roars past without a helmet. Its all about the $$$ folks:) Same with DUI. Cops know that most DUI are people with a job that can pay court costs and fines while most criminals cant even afford bail. The state makes about 10,000 on each DUI
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