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Wearing a helmet: Reducing injuries and costs to society

Universal motorcycle helmet laws aren't in place in the United States yet, but they could impact the country significantly. Helmet laws reduce the public payout associated with motorcycle accidents. It's a fact that riders who don't wear a helmet are more likely to require some kind of money from public assistance to pay for rehabilitation and medical bills after a crash. Additionally, they spend longer in rehabilitation and cost more to treat.

As a motorcyclist, you know that it's possible that a driver could fail to see you and hit you. That leaves you in a position where you need to recover and deal with a potential lawsuit or claim. Wearing a helmet protects you from some injuries related to collisions, and it also has many benefits to society.

As long as there is no crash, not wearing a helmet makes no difference to society on the whole. However, the moment a crash happens, it impacts the public by increasing taxes, health care costs and insurance rates. You, on the other hand, are more likely to suffer severe injuries including head injuries that can impact your life well into the future.

The average cost of inpatient treatment for motorcyclists who suffer a brain injury is over twice as much as motorcyclists receiving care for other injuries. In fact, wearing a helmet has been shown to prevent brain injuries across several states including New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Hawaii, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. It's been shown that it reduced inpatient costs by around $15,000 for each incident recorded the first year data was collected.

Even if you're hit by someone else, society does pay when you suffer injuries. Wearing a helmet can help, and it can help you prevent injuries to yourself that take months, years or a lifetime of recovery.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Costs to Society," accessed July 21, 2016

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