Your Views: Motorcycle helmet is no cure for fatalities and injuries

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In response to Sunday's Your Views, “Here's shocking truth about motorcycling without a helmet,” Rex Fritschi sites data from The Economist. In part, that article states that biker deaths rose 18 percent after Michigan repealed its helmet law in 2013. ABATE of Michigan, using numbers from Michigan State Police, shows a 4.5 percent drop from 2012 to 2013 from January to August. This data show there is no direct effect on motorcycle safety with or without a helmet law.

The article in The Economist also mentions the Centers for Disease Control's involvement in motorcycle safety. The centers have no background in highway safety but has vast knowledge of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and should focus efforts on those issues.

Due to the fact that 40 percent of Michigan fatalities involved unendorsed riders, providing training is a key. Also, a far better approach is motorcycle safety and awareness. The focus should be on crash avoidance, not safer crashing. Contrary to what many believe, a helmet is not a cure for fatalities and injuries.

Here in Wisconsin, a large percentage of fatalities are also from unendorsed riders. Through awareness, education and training, the fatality rate will be lower. ABATE of Wisconsin offers a Safe Rider Program, a Share the Road Program, as well as a self-funded Motorcycle Awareness Program.



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