new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association says the trend in motorcycle accident fatalities is headed in the wrong direction. According to the report, deaths due to motorcycle crashes have risen 9 percent, which is the equivalent of 5,000 lives.

The study looks at many factors, but motorcycle helmet use is a key concern. Throughout the nation, use of protective headgear is steadily decreasing. Another study, recently released by the Highway Loss Data Institute, connects weaker helmet laws to more expensive injury claims in Michigan.

Since Michigan revised its universal law in 2012, allowing motorcyclists over the age of 21 to ride without helmets, medical costs for injured riders have drastically increased. In fact, medical insurance claims have gone up 22 percent, with an average claim amounting to $7,257.

The Governors Highway Safety Association cites the Michigan findings to support its conclusion that motorcycle safety is getting worse. It believes that required helmet use for riders at every age is the most effective way to reduce motorcycle injuries and fatalities. This recommendation is at the top of the association’s list of suggestions, which also includes:

  • Reducing alcohol use
  • Addressing motorcycle speeding
  • Increasing rider education courses
  • Making sure riders are properly licensed
  • Ensuring other drivers share the road with motorcyclists.

Currently, just 19 states have universal helmet laws for all riders. South Carolina has a partial helmet law.

How South Carolina Ranks in Motorcycle Safety

In South Carolina, riders who are 21 and older are not required to wear helmets. In addition to not requiring helmets for all, South Carolina increased motorcycle registrations in 2012 without any increase in rider training.

Need Legal Help?

Serious injuries can occur in motorcycle accidents, especially if a rider is not wearing a helmet. Even the most experienced biker can be seriously hurt or killed when the driver of another vehicle doesn’t see the motorcycle. If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident due to somebody else’s negligence, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm.

Whether you need guidance on motorcycle crashes involving traumatic brain injury, paralysis or other serious injuries, call 888-594-7752 or use our online form so our attorneys can explain your rights.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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