Pryor Priest & HarberPryor, Priest, Harber, Floyd & Coffey
Speak with one our attorneys today for a Free Consultation.

Helmet laws weaken as motorcycle deaths surge

We recently told you about a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that shows how motorcycle helmets save lives. Despite the evidence, fewer states require motorcycle helmets than in decades past, and there's an alarming trend in the number of fatal motorcycle accidents.

Back in the 1970s, all but three states required riders to wear motorcycle helmets. Now only 19 states maintain this requirement. (Most of those states do require helmets for younger motorcyclists.)

This may be a result of pressure from motorcyclists who do not think they should be forced to wear helmets if it's not their preference. The American Motorcyclist Association says that it opposes helmet requirements because they have "unintended consequences." Instead, the group emphasizes rider education and awareness.

Still, it's hard to argue with the numbers. Back in 2002, there were about 3,200 motorcycle deaths. Less than a decade later, in 2010, there were 4,500. And that number has essentially doubled since the 1990s. Yet the number of people dying in car accidents is at its lowest point since the 1940s. Something's off here, but what?

It all comes back to the CDC report, the results of which have been mirrored in many other reports over recent decades: Helmets save lives. In fact, hundreds of lives are saved every year by motorcycle helmets.

Still, many riders look at the helmet issue as one of personal liberty. The question comes up again and again: Can laws require people to do something for their own safety even if they don't want to? Or do the social costs of not wearing a helmet outweigh that concern? The debate isn't going away anytime soon.

Source: PBS, "Why rise in motorcycle deaths hasn't meant tougher helmet laws," June 19, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
    Badge Super Lawyers Timothy Badge Super Lawyers Adam Badge Super Lawyers John Badge Super Lawyers Robert Badge Super Lawyers Stephen Badge American Association for Justice
    Badge ABA Badge AV Peer Review Rated Badge NACDL Badge TACDL Badge Tennessee Association for Justice Badge Tennessee Bar Association
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our Office

Pryor Priest & Harber
625 S. Gay Street, Suite 600
Two Centre Square
Knoxville, TN 37902

Toll Free: 888-778-8095
Phone: 865-223-6303
Fax: 865-522-0910
Knoxville Law Office Map