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Do mandatory helmet laws reduce fatalities for motorcyclists?


Motorcyclists throughout the country may not experience any hotter debate than the arguments for and against mandatory helmet laws. As many of our readers most likely know, Georgia is one of the states that have laws making it mandatory for all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet at all times. There are 18 other states that do so as well. But, the big question when it comes to these laws is, "Do mandatory helmet laws reduce fatalities for motorcyclists?"

For some, the answer lies in data that can gathered and analyzed. In Georgia, we have the convenience of looking at data from neighboring Florida -- both before and after a helmet law existed in that state. Many of our readers may not know, but Florida actually had mandatory helmet laws in place at one point, but they were repealed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which tracks many statistics when it comes to accidents and fatalities on America's roadways, found that after the helmet law was repealed in Florida, the number fatalities that occurred in motorcycle accidents almost doubled.

Now, is that ironclad proof that mandatory helmet laws prevent fatalities in motorcycle accidents? Not necessarily. Every motorcycle accident will have its own unique factors, even though the majority of motorcycle accidents are most likely ultimately found to be the fault of another driver. However, it seems that there can be no denying that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is probably a good idea.

When motorcycle accidents occur in Georgia, the negligent drivers who cause these collisions may spend a great deal of time on whether or not the rider and any passengers were wearing helmets, as required by law. However, this should not be allowed to distract from a finding of negligence.

Source: TheLedger.com, "For bikers, an inescapable conclusion about wearing a helmet," April 23, 2016

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