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Saddle-Up, But Don’t Forget Your Helmet

By Evan L. Kaine

Spring will be here before we know it!

Many of us are looking forward to the warmer temperatures and weekend getaways.  And if you are one of the nearly 200,000 Georgians that own a motorcycle, you may be bringing the hog out of hibernation.

While the sound of the engine or sharp turns ahead may get your blood flowing, it is important to first think safety before hopping on your Harley. Unfortunately too many riders are ignoring safety precautions before they hit the pavement and it is costing them their life.  In 2013, the federal government estimated that per mile traveled, the number of deaths on motorcycles were over 26 times the number in cars.

We thought we could share some statistics and logic so your riding season can take those turns with a bit more precaution:

Fact: Motorcycles are not enclosed like cars.

Fact: As compared to a bike, when in an accident, you are more likely to survive due to the extra protection that a car provides.

Fact: Wearing a helmet is smart.

The latter of the three facts would make you believe that all riders wear helmets. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case as each state has some variation of helmet laws. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only 19 states, including the District of Columbia, require all cyclists to wear helmets. Laws that require only some motorcyclists to wear helmets exist in 28 states. And three states (Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire) have no motorcycle helmet law.

According to the IIHS, helmets are nearly 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.  A total of 4,381 motorcyclists died in 2013 and accounted for 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths the same year. What is even more frightening is that the statistic has doubled since 1997.

It’s a no-brainer! Wearing a helmet increases your chances of survival in an accident. Before you rev the engine this spring, protect yourself by having your bike looked-over and always wear a helmet!

 

Published February 16, 2016
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