Ohio should consider helmet laws for bikers

According to the Columbus Dispatch, there were 177 motorcycle deaths in Ohio last year, an increase from 133 in 2004.

And in 73 percent of those 2005 fatalities, not wearing a helmet was a factor.

One thing working against the state, trauma experts say, is the lack of a helmet law in Ohio for adults.

In Ohio, only those younger than 18 and first-year riders are legally required to wear helmets. Twenty states require all riders to wear them.

According to 2006 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,810 motorcycle occupants were killed on our nation’s roads last year, a 127% increase from 1997. Motorcycle helmets have been shown to save the lives of motorcyclists and prevent serious brain injuries (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety)

In 2006, 65% of fatally injured motorcycle riders were not wearing a helmet in states without all-rider helmet laws, compared with only 13% in states with all-rider helmet laws. (NHTSA, 2007)

Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 21 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and four times as likely to be injured. (NHTSA, 2001)

Helmets reduce the risk of death by 29% and are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcycle riders. (NHTSA, 2001)


Tom Lindsay, a spokesman for the 280,000-member American Motorcyclist Association. “Our supporters continue to ask that we advocate for the freedom to let adult motorcyclists decide whether or not to wear a helmet.”Lindsay said it is an “under-informed oversimplification” to blame the declining use of helmets for the rising number of motorcycle-related deaths. But he said his group is “very concerned” that federal statistics released this week show motorcycle deaths in 2005 rose to 4,553, a 13 percent increase over 2004. Motorcyclists now account for more than 10 percent of all highway deaths, the highest percentage on record. (Ohio University)

.Another Ohio University Study says that People on both sides of the issue say men trying to recapture the joys of their youth are spurring the anti-helmet movement.” ( Is it me, or is that just stupid!?)
Deaths in U.S. motorcycle crashes have nearly doubled in a decade, mounting to 4,000 annually, as more states have repealed mandatory helmet safety laws, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study.

One federal analysis concludes that nearly 700 lives could have been saved in one year alone if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

Yet motorcyclists have become so passionately opposed to mandatory helmet laws that they’ve formed powerful state and national lobbies, persuaded Congress to muzzle federal highway safety experts and convinced lawmakers in 30 states to roll back their statutes.

Nine of the 10 states with the worst motorcycle death rates don’t require adults to wear helmets, according to the Scripps Howard study of records provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Six states, including Florida and Texas, have relaxed their laws since 1997. Motorcycle fatalities quickly went up in all of them. Lawmakers in eight other states are considering rolling back their laws this year.

Helmets spoil the ride for many motorcycle enthusiasts. They say they love the feeling of freedom as the wind whips in their hair. Those killed in wrecks are overwhelmingly white and disproportionately middle-aged and divorced men, according to federal death records.

http://flickr.com/photos/everynobody/2326379782/

Okay…so how are the lawmakers missing the facts? why aren’t they taking action? Are those white, divorced, middle-aged men really that scary? Politicians should be looking to save lives. Ohio NEEDS helmet laws now!