Motorcycle Deaths Down Since No-Helmet Option Became Law

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(WLNS) – This year crash reports showed more accidents involving bikers wearing a helmet than accidents where the biker wasn’t wearing a helmet at all.

But what about motorcycle deaths?

6 News talked with officials Friday to see why they think the number of motorcycle deaths is so low.

“Strictly defensive watching for that car pull up to the intersection, I’m thinking, are they seeing me?” said

For years the only thing between a car and a motorcyclist was a helmet.

“You can snug is to the back of your head.”

But since Michigan passed a law making it optional to wear helmets, motorcycle deaths have actually gone down.

According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Report System, in 2014 there were 107 motorcyclist deaths, compared to 128 in 2013.

And 129 in 2012 when the law initially passed. Some say helmets or lack thereof may have played a role in the drop.

“People that are riding without helmets figure they’re not wearing helmets or they’re going to slow down a little bit be more cautious,” said Lt. David Cook, Michigan State Police.

Others say the drop is from an increase in motorcycle safety awareness.

“Manufacturers are doing a better job of making the rider visible to non-riders and I think just a general education level of the rider themselves,” said Grayden Bell, general managre, Capitol Harley-Davidson.

“Bikers don’t have to wear a helmet but local sales show more people are buying one of these.”

Capitol Harley Davidson has seen a 69 percent increase in helmet sales over the last year and while the reason for the drop is still up in the air, “that’s personally what I like is having the choice.”

It’s up to bikers to decide whether or not strapping on one of these is a good fit. Crash officials also say every motorcycle accident is different.

And a death from one doesn’t always come from a head injury.

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