Motorcycle Crashes and Deaths Increase in Pennsylvania With Lack of Helmet Use

motorcyclist wearing helmet

Statistics show that 10 years after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill allowing motorcyclists to choose whether to wear a helmet, this one choice could be deadly.

Since 2003, new motorcycle registrations have increased 53 percent. More motorcyclists on the road have led to more fatal collisions. Motorcycle accident deaths have increased 35 percent, and the percentage of riders killed in accidents who were not wearing helmets has increased dramatically since that time as well.

Motorcycle Deaths and Injuries by Year
Year Accident Deaths Percentage of Riders Killed
Not Wearing Helmets
Percentage of Riders Injured
Not Wearing Helmets
2003 156 18.6% 22.2%
2004 156 45.6% 37.8%
2005 205 43.4% 38.9%
2006 187 44.9% 37.6%
2007 225 51.6% 36.5%
2008 237 48.1% 36.0%
2009 204 48.0% 35.6%
2010 223 55.6% 37.3%
2011 199 47.2% 35.9%

The Governors Highway Safety Association published a report detailing motorcycle fatality statistics for the first 9 months of 2012. Approximately 184 motorcyclists died from January through September 2012—13 more deaths than the same time period in 2011. Of the motorcyclist deaths in 2012, only about half of the victims were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Since the beginning of 2013, there have already been six motorcyclist deaths in Western Pennsylvania alone.

Although the bill passed in 2003 allows riders individual choice when it comes to wearing a helmet or not, medical experts still agree that riding without a helmet increases the chance of death, traumatic brain injury, and neck injury.

The risk of not wearing a helmet isn't just costly in terms of pain and suffering. Here's the financial toll—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that including medical bills and lost wages, a motorcycle death can cost up to $1.2 million. A serious injury can cost up to $172,000.

Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you, or someone you love, were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have a case, and you need to learn your legal rights. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we have over 35 years of experience helping motorcycle accident victims, and we can help get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Edgar Snyder & Associates for a no obligation, free legal consultation at 412-394-1000, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage. Our phones answer 24/7—see if you have a case today.

"Motorcycle deaths in Pa. rise in 10 years since repeal of helmet law." May 28, 2013.