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Who’s more at fault for motorcycle accidents, riders with or without helmets?

August 10, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Mlive analysis says motorcyclists without helmets are more likely to cause crashes

Last week I blogged about a disturbing Mlive analysis of Michigan motorcycle accident injuries and deaths since the motorcycle helmet law repeal in April. Sadly, my earlier predictions are coming true, and more motorcyclists without helmets are dying and becoming seriously injured at an increased rate, than before the helmet law repeal.

Now MLive has released an interesting new analysis looking into what group of riders is more likely to cause a motorcycle accident: riders with or without helmets.

Turns out, motorcyclists without helmets were more likely to be at least partly at fault in accidents than those wearing helmets, according to the story: MLive analysis: See who’re more at fault in Michigan motorcycle crashes; riders with or without helmets? The information was based off of Michigan State Police records.

There have been more than 1,300 motorcyclists and passengers who were in motorcycle accidents since Gov. Snyder repealed Michigan’s nearly 40-year-old mandatory helmet law.

Here are some interesting facts from the story:

  • 49.4 percent of the 265 motorcycle accidents involving helmetless riders were due to some form of “hazardous action” on their part, typically speeding or failure to yield.
  • That compares to 42.1 percent of helmeted riders who were at fault in 856 crashes.

Why are motorcyclists without helmets causing more crashes?

MLive found that those without motorcycle helmets are more likely to be older:

  • The median age for helmetless riders in all crashes was 41.5 years old.
  • The oldest was 76 years old.

As for those with motorcycle helmets:

  • The median age was 34 years old.
  • The oldest was 88 years old.

Older riders have more experience. They may also be more prudent and safety conscious  on their motorcycles, which might cause them to be less apt to wear helmets.  Younger riders (and younger drivers of cars as well),  often ride with a false sense of security and can make poor riding decisions that are more likely to cause a serious motorcycle accident.

The takeaway message seems to be this: motorcycle helmets prevent catastrophic injuries and save lives.

– Steven Gursten is an attorney who has been helping injured motorcycle accident victims for nearly 20 years. He has received the highest motorcycle injury settlement in the state, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

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. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys.

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