Motorcycle riders know that motorcycle helmets play an important role in their personal safety. The protective gear can make a big difference should a motorcyclist run into trouble on the road, but laws around the U.S. are affecting how these individuals go about staving off injury. The Associated Press reports that laws with loose restrictions regarding helmets are leading to more harmful injuries for riders.
A study from the Highway Loss Data Institute found that the average medical claim from motorcycle crashes in Michigan grew by one-fifth in the past year, rising just as state lawmakers made it legal to ride without a helmet. In the two years before the law was changed, the average insurance claim was $5,410 - which then jumped 34 percent to $7,257 after the alteration.
"The cost per injury claim is significantly higher after the law changed than before, which is consistent with other research that shows riding without a helmet leads to more head injuries," David Zuby, chief research officer for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, told the news source.
The data underlines the need for all riders to equip themselves with the right accessories, regardless of the law. Helmets are a good start, but they are also just the beginning, as things like motorcycle jackets, gloves, boots and other apparel can go a long way to providing safety.