Motorcycle Deaths Decline in 2017; Helmet Laws Still in Contention
ATLANTA, GA. – August 8, 2018 (patch.com) As reported online by patch.com, the number of motorcycle deaths dropped across the country and in Georgia in 2017, but state helmet laws remain a point of contention.
In 2017, the number of motorcyclists killed in vehicle accidents decreased compared to 2016, a year in which motorcycle deaths reached an eight-year high. In 2016, 5,251 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. In 2017, that number dropped to 4,798.
In the state of Georgia, the number of motorcycle deaths also declined. In 2016, 170 people died in Georgia motorcycle accidents. In 2017, that decreased to 126, a drop of 25.9 percent. All of this said, motorcyclists still die at much higher rates than other motorists, both in Georgia and around the nation.
Many factors contribute to fatal motorcycle accidents, one of them being helmet use. Georgia has a “strict” helmet law that requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets, regardless of age. Georgia joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in requiring all riders to wear helmets. Twenty-eight states in the country require helmet use for riders under a certain age (usually 18), and three states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire) do not have helmet laws at all.
While many people in the Georgia community support the state’s helmet law, some people feel it is too restrictive and would like to see it loosened. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says helmet use is about 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle accidents and about 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injuries. Though some riders might not approve, the data leans toward keeping Georgia’s law right where it stands.
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