There is enough data to show that motorcycle helmet laws save lives. More motorcyclist lives could be saved in accidents in Indiana every year, if the state implemented such laws.
The current laws in Indiana do not require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. Only riders below the age of 18 are required by the law to wear a helmet while riding. Motorcyclists who have a learner’s permit are also required under the law to wear a helmet. Riders above the age of 18 are not required to wear a motorcycle helmet.
There are enough statistics to show that motorcycle helmet laws do help save lives in accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, non-helmeted motorcyclists are as much as 3 times more likely to sustain fatal traumatic brain injuries in a motorcycle accident, compared to riders who were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Those statistics are even more disturbing when you consider the fact that motorcycle accident fatalities have been increasing steadily over the years. In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in accidents. That was double the number of motorcyclists killed in accidents in 1997, just 10 years earlier.
The simple act of wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce your risk of dying in a motorcycle accident by as much as 37%. The data is clear. Motorcycle helmets save life. It is unfortunate that Indiana continues to make it optional for motorcyclists above the age of 18 to wear helmets.
The challenges facing motorcyclists have simply become even more serious over the years. In 1997, the average age of a motorcyclist was 27. By 2018, that average had increased to 50. The demographics have shifted considerably in favor of older motorcyclists. These motorcyclists are at a greater risk of fatal injuries in accidents, especially if they are not wearing helmets.
Motorcyclists also have become more powerful over the years. Super bikes or sport motorcycles have become extremely popular, and the accident risks involved with these vehicles are much higher. Motorcyclists riding a sports bike are as much as 4 times more likely to be killed in an accident, compared to those riding standard motorcycles.