Michigan sees 18% spike in biker fatalities

...since making helmets non-compulsory for motorcyclists

Posted: 20 March 2013
by Visordown News

A Michigan biker exercises his right to an unprotected bonce

THE US state of Michigan has announced an 18% rise in motorcyclist fatalities between 2011 and 2012. 

In April 2012, Michigan removed its mandatory helmet law for bikers.

Michigan State Police have stated that a single year is not enough time to judge whether or not repealing the helmet law is the cause of the spike in motorcycle deaths. Anne Readett, of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said: 'That number is very sensitive to what happens in terms of weather from year to year,

'If we have a cold rainy summer we know that motorcycle riding is going to be down and we would likely suspect that crashes and fatalities would be down as well.'

Last year, Michigan experienced a notably hot, dry summer - at times hitting a record 80-degrees in the lower part of the state. This likely contributed to an increased number of riders on the roads. Anne Readett also indicates that the number of bikers in the state has been increasing steadily over a number of years, which may also have contributed to the increase. 

In 2011 there were 109 motorcyclist deaths investigated, 2012 saw 129. Information on the exact injuries that caused the deaths in question, and helmet use (or otherwise) in those cases, has not yet been released.

At the time of the law change, supporters argued that preventing accidents is more important than legislating for the wearing of helmets when it comes to saving lives. 

But wearing a helmet probably helps, right?

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Discuss this story

Are they actually serious? Bullshit governors. I find that really difficult to understand why they would have changed it...

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 11:45

Because Freedom. It's actually quite a low rise when the weather is taken into account, although the number of drooling wounded should also be a significant consideration.

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 12:51

I approve of Americans not wearing helmets, i wish they would do the same over here in England. Re-introduce natural selection into our lives for everyones benefit.

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 13:06

Ahh Michigan, Perpetually stuck in the 1960's

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 14:00

Helmets are now too heavy and too big perhaps due to the increase in padding etc. The human neck is not designed to carry an additional 3 pounds bobbing around however aerodynamic the design claims to be. An obstacle you may have missed by a fraction when sliding down the road you may now hit because of the helmet width. I'm in favour of helmets and have always worn one since well before they became the size of a beachball. Only once have I actually had my head hit the road and that was in the slowest crash possible, all the other times I was sliding on my back looking down the road to see where I was going to end up! Reduce the weight, reduce the size with smarter rather than bulkier internal fittings, and always wear one. JMTpW.

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 16:42

There are so many factors involved in motorcycle accidents. When specifics aren't given for each accident, you can't draw the conclusion that it was lack of helmet use that resulted in the deaths.

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 17:55

Not surprising.

Of course the helmet law will affect fatality numbers.

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 18:18

Racers wear helmets because they save lives, idiots don't wear helmets because their idiots

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 09:32

Personal freedom is more important than anything.
Where are the laws making pushbike riders, skateboard riders, hanglider and paraglider pilots wear helmets ?
Where does it start and stop...?
Wear one by all means....because you CHOOSE TOO.

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 11:11

Natural Selection. I've had a few crashes in my time, only one serious, but at least twice I've hit my head hard enough to have killed myself without a helmet. They weren't even at high speed, it was just the rolling and flick backwards into the road that made the impact so hard. Not had a fault claim since 2006 when I was riding on my CBT. I've been through a Lazer LZ6? two Shoei Raid II's a Shoei XR-1000, and am currently using an Arai Chaser. All bar the Arai (touch wood) have saved me from injury and justified the usage, and purchase price.

Saying that, if American's, or anyone for that matter, want to rock climb without ropes, ride motorbikes without helmets, or just cross the road without looking I support their right to do that. Hopefully in a few hundred years the gene pool will be that bit stronger without them.

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:53

It's about personal freedom, not being sensible.

Unfortunately Brits are so used to having their nanny state government make all their decisions for them that a majority no longer even understand the concept.

So long as I don't have to pay your medical bills, I don't give a crap what you wear while on a bike,.

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 14:04

I don't like helmet laws: we have to get organ donors from somewhere.

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 16:40

Forget yourself, here is the question... would you insist your children wear a helmet?

Even as an adamant personal freedom fan... I insist my kids wear them.

Posted: 22/03/2013 at 04:42

Yes tufty00,

a country where you cannot marry your same sex partner, legally smoke marijuana, only drink at age 21 is definitely "land of the free" :rolleyes:

Posted: 22/03/2013 at 23:59

Black Prince, really want to get into all the things you can do in the UK but can't in the USA? No, I didn't think so.

Besides, as with the helmet laws and all those things that supposedly can't be done in the USA vary by state. Besides currently same sex marriage is illegal in the UK as is possession of marijuana and as for the drinking age, surely that's totally arbitary? Personally I don't kid's should be able to drink or vote until they're 25.

Fwiw, the USA has it's problems but being a nanny state like the UK, it isn't quite there yet. Also, I'm English I just live in Atlanta.

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 14:40

Oh yeah, Obama care, Patriot act, the american dream, if your asleep!...anyway arnt most of you off fighting for otherpeoples freedom all over the world? surprised theres anyone left to turn the lights on ..worry about how many of them will be back, ..worry about foreign policy, and worry about why people like me wouldnt go to america unless extradited there for saying something like,9.11 was an inside job!!

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 16:29

I agree, it's a wonderful way of increasing the available organs for donation.
Perhaps the UK should have a 'helmet free day', a new type of charitable donation to the NHS.
Then we could bring on a Russian roulette game to increase the lottery donations. Six people donate £1 live on t.v. and get shot at by Dale Winton. Each wins a million if they survive, the unluck one just donates their organs.

Posted: 31/03/2013 at 14:22

Is this a nother Heath and safety bull shit agen going to hapen here no a fence but we can't keep doing this coz life is going to end up so shit it won't be worth living at all, come on we need some no safety shit just to feel alive, fucking Heath and safety hoo bloody come up with it in the first place

Posted: 31/03/2013 at 23:16

try Australia for nanny states.Here in Victoria "THEY" who ever the fuck they are?are trying to introduce compulsory wearing of approved boots and leathers at all times.........So it never ends.
Thank God for the yanks who don't just bend other and take it up the arse like Aussies.We are a fuckn police state here have the highest concerntration of speed cameras in the world.Road safety is a distant second to easy taxing of the sheep like public.

Oh and by the way you self righteous bloody safety freaks we all die in the the end. Being born is fuckn dangerous business best we all just stay indoors.

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 00:20

Helmets Yes. Compulsion No.
The creep of legislation is truly scary.
The more we accept, the more the bastards will ran down our throats.
Well done Michigan - Fred Hill would have been proud of you.

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 19:53

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