Motorcycle Fatalities Decline After New Michigan Law Is Passed
In April 2012, a new law was passed in the state of Michigan that allowed select motorcyclists to operate their motorcycles without wearing helmets. This new law requires these motorcyclists to be older than 21-years-old, and either have completed a rider safety course or had their motorcycle license for a minimum of two years.
Data compiled from the Michigan State Police shows that there were less fatalities in 2012 than there were in the first eight months of 2011. In 2011 during that time frame, there were 89 motorcycle fatalities in the state. In the first half of 2012 there were 85 fatalities that were a result of motorcycle accidents. A motorcycle group in Michigan stated that the numbers declined even though more motorcycle registrations took place in the state.
The motorcycle group, American Bikers Aiming Toward Education, claims that the decline in motorcycle fatalities is due to the new helmet law being passed in the state. At this time, the data is too preliminary to make a direct connection between these two claims, according to a AAA of Michigan spokesperson. The spokesperson stated that other states that changed their motorcycle helmet laws saw an increase in fatalities over time.
More data will have to be reviewed in order to determine the correlation between the new motorcycle helmet law and the decline in fatalities across the state of Michigan. The spokesperson for AAA revealed that the company has predicted an extra 30 fatalities to occur as a result of the passing of the no-helmet law.