Motorcycle accident fatalities account for one out of every seven traffic accident deaths. While car accidents have been decreasing, the number of fatal motorcycles has more than doubled in the last 15 years. In 2011, about 4,500 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) believes that helmet laws make a difference. In the states where the number of motorcycle accident deaths decreased dramatically—Connecticut (37 percent), North Carolina (21 percent), and New York (16 percent)—the decrease is attributed to a combination of helmet laws, safety education, and law enforcement. They believe that strengthening helmet laws would prevent motorcycle accident deaths.
Currently only 19 states have universal helmet laws. In Wisconsin, only riders under 18 are required to wear helmets. Yet, motorcycle accident deaths in Wisconsin decreased in 2011. So what is the real cause?
The answer may be gas prices. As gas prices increase, more people are using motorcycles as an alternative means of transportation. This means that there are more inexperienced riders on the road. And, inexperienced riders are more likely to become Wisconsin motorcycle accident victims. And science backs this up. Dr. James Hedlund of Highway Safety North has tracked gas prices, motorcycle registrations, and motorcyclist fatality trends since 1976. He has found that when gas prices rise, motorcycle accident fatalities also increase.
What do you think?
The Wisconsin motorcycle lawyers at Hupy & Abraham would like to remind all motorcyclists to ride safely and stay visible. If you are injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle crash, we’d like to offer you a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. To learn more, contact Hupy & Abraham at 800-800-5678.