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Michigan motorcycle accident statistics – death rate up 21 percent

January 11, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Motorcycle accident attorney says the numbers show the need to keep our helmet law requirement

It may be cold outside, but the debate over the proposed Michigan helmet law repeal (SB 291) is red-hot.

As motorcycle accident attorneys, I would like to share some recent statistics on Michigan motorcycle accidents that involved injury and death from crashes.

These 2010 statistics highlight the dire need to keep our state motorcycle helmet law requirement.

Motorcycle registrations: 266,772 motorcycle registrations (up .02 percent)

Motorcycle accidents: 3,362 reported motorcycle accidents (down 2.5 percent)

Motorcycle accident injuries: 2,664 injured motorcyclists (down 2.2 percent)

Motorcycle accident deaths: 125 motorcycle accident deaths (up 21 percent from 2009)

Death rate based on 10,000 motorcycle registrations: 4.69 percent (up 21.5 percent)

Estimated mileage based on 3,000 miles per motorcycle: 800,316,000 (up .02 percent)

Death rate based on deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled: 15.62 percent (up 21.37 percent)

As you can see, motorcycle accident deaths are up more than 21 percent from 2009 to 2010. I’ve written about this before. While motorcycle accident deaths are declining throughout the country, Michigan’s death rate from motorcycle crashes is only worsening.

So imagine what will happen if we repeal our helmet law requirement. More bikers will come to Michigan to ride “with the wind in their hair.” But with more riders and no helmets, that sadly means many more serious motorcycle accidents and deaths — that could have otherwise been prevented.

Michigan motorcycle helmet repeal: SB 291

SB 291 would repeal Michigan’s nearly 40-year-old motorcycle helmet law requirement. If passed it would allow Michigan motorcyclists 21 years of age and older to ride without a helmet — if they purchase only $20,000 in No-Fault insurance coverage.

As I’ve said before, $20,000 is an odd amount because it’s not enough to cover medical costs in case of a serious motorcycle accident personal injury. It very likely could be exhausted before the motorcycle accident victim is even released from the hospital. Presumably after this $20,000 insurance requirement is exhausted, the cost of future lifetime care for an injured motorcycle rider will be shifted to Medicaid, and our Michigan taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.

Please, contact your Michigan Senators and even Governor Snyder and tell them you oppose SB 291. Here’s how to find your state Senator.

And Here’s Snyder’s e-mail: [email protected].

– Source, 2010 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning


Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle accident attorneys. Steve received the highest motorcycle injury settlement in the state last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He frequently appears in the media on the helmet law issue and is available for comment.

Related information to protect yourself:

Cartoon: Ignore the spiel on Michigan’s helmet law repeal

7 reasons every state should pass a motorcycle helmet law

Motorcycle accident statute of limitations in Michigan

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 to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan motorcycle accident attorneys.

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