Statistics Show That Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Could Be Deadly for Riders

female motorcyclist wearing helmet

Recently I saw a disturbing statistic: Motorcycle accident deaths have increased 35 percent since 2003, when Pennsylvania lawmakers repealed the mandatory motorcycle helmet law. I decided to compare statistics from every year since 2003, and what I saw was even scarier:

Motorcycle Deaths and Injuries by Year

Year Accident Deaths Percentage of Riders Killed Not Wearing Helmets Percentage of Riders Injured Not Wearing Helmets
2011 199 47.2% 35.9%
2010 223 55.6% 37.3%
2009 204 48.0% 35.6%
2008 237 48.1% 36.0%
2007 225 51.6% 36.5%
2006 187 44.9% 37.6%
2005 205 43.4% 38.9%
2004 158 45.6% 37.8%
2003 156 18.6% 22.2%

Statistics are only available for the first 9 months of 2012, but they don't look much better. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 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.

Not wearing a helmet also can hurt you and your family financially. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a motorcycle death can cost up to $1.2 million, and a serious injury can cost up to $172,000.

Our law firm respects motorcyclists, and we respect a rider's right to choice. However, the statistics speak for themselves. They clearly show an increase in injuries and deaths over the past 10 years. If you don't make a habit of wearing a helmet, please consider it.

We've already seen several tragedies in the Pittsburgh area this year. Mothers, fathers, siblings, children, grandparents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends have lost loved ones. We witness their struggles firsthand, and we want to save you that agony. Please, make motorcycle safety a priority, and have your passengers wear helmets. It's a choice, but it's one that could save your life.