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Let’s Protect Michigan Motorcyclists: Helmets are the Right Thing to Do on HB 4747

March 25, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

Why experienced motorcycle accident lawyers urge representatives to vote no on a bill that would allow bikers to go without helmets

Today, the Michigan Legislature takes up House Bill 4747. Basically, the bill lets motorcyclists legally ride without a helmet. As a lawyer helping motorcyclists who’ve suffered serious personal injuries for the past 16 years, I believe HB4747 is a terrible idea.

Currently, Michigan law requires all people riding a motorcycle, and anyone less than 19 years old operating a moped on a public thoroughfare, to wear a crash helmet. The Michigan Department of State Police has been given the legislative responsibility to approve crash helmets and to implement this law. Here, you can read more about the current Michigan helmet law.

I have many friends, including former clients, who ride motorcycles and feel strongly about the helmet debate. Many completely disagree with me and believe this is about individual rights and liberty. But the truth is, most motorcycle accident victims that I’ve helped have suffered very serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries. And most have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Here are the facts that many who support HB 4747 might not be aware of:
* Every year, 1.4 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury.
* Of them, 50,000 die from their injuries, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released.
* Nearly 5.3 million Americans currently require daily living assistance as a result of traumatic brain injury.

TBI has a devastating impact on everyone – victims and their families. Since many riders do not have No-fault insurance because it’s too expensive for motorcycles, going without a helmet is not just a freedom issue. Personal freedom ends when society is asked to pick up the bill for thousands of dollars on medical treatment for uninsured, catastrophically injured motorcyclists – because they decided they didn’t want to wear a helmet.

This is a safety issue. And it’s a public policy issue.

Motorcycle helmets are proven to reduce the likelihood of serious traumatic brain injury and other devastating head injuries. I recognize that no one believes a terrible accident will happen to them, but sadly, statistics prove otherwise.

In the last few days, I’ve had several clients and friends call and ask me what I think of HB 4747, and I have also told them it’s a terrible idea. It is a factual statement that no other law firm in Michigan has helped as many injured motorcyclists as Michigan Auto Law. I think that gives our lawyers a unique perspective that is sometimes completely missing from the debate.

Please e-mail your representative and ask him or her to VOTE NO on HB 4747.

If you have questions or wish to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer about your circumstances, please call Michigan Auto Law for a free case evaluation at (800) 777-0028.

Steven M. Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious motorcycle accident injury cases and insurance no-fault litigation. He is available for comment on motorcycle accident law in Michigan, motorcycle crashes and catastrophic personal injury cases.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by purplbutrfly

Related information:

What Insurance is Required for Michigan Motorcyclists?

Motorcycle Accident FAQs

What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. For more information, please read our law firm quick facts.

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