Motorcycle helmets save Connecticut lives; could save $207 million more

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In a new analysis, researchers from CT Children’s Medical Center found that Connecticut motorcycle riders who crash are one and a half times less likely to be seriously injured or die in a crash if they are wearing a helmet but only about half are. The new report published in CT Medicine studied the 4,021 CT motorcycle riders involved in a crash in the three years ending September 30, 2018 including the 145 who died.  Not only are they serious, motorcycle crashes are also costly. The NHTSA estimates that CT would save $207 million if every rider wore a helmet. Women drivers were more likely to wear a helmet, but women passengers were less likely be helmeted and more likely to be seriously injured. Passengers were much less likely to have a helmet than drivers. As found in other studies, rider safety courses provided no protection. The numbers also don’t suggest that CT’s partial helmet law, requiring helmets for riders 17 years old or younger, is having any impact. Death and head injury rates declined after universal helmet laws passed in other states,. With scientists’ typical caution in making statements and in burying the lead, near the end the authors comment, “A law requiring all drivers and passengers to wear helmets would mitigate this risk.”

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