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Dillon Young

Cadigan

English 9 Per. 4

11/1/17

Helmet Law

In 2015 over 5000 people died in the USA because of motorcycle crashes and there were

over 100,000 serious injuries, how many of these do you think could have been avoided by

wearing helmets? Motorcycles have a much higher fatality rate than cars, especially when the

rider isnt wearing a helmet, so we should pass a law requiring riders to wear a helmet.

A motorcycle is a dangerous vehicle, just like a car, and in a car, you are required to wear

a seatbelt, so on a motorcycle, you should be required to wear a helmet. Although statewide

universal motorcycle helmet laws effectively increase helmet use [1], most state helmet laws do

not require every motorcycle rider to wear a helmet. (Eltorai). This evidence tells us that most

states do not require riders to wear a device that would save their lives. This is a massive

problem when there is over 5000 deaths per year just in the USA on motorcycles. If riders wore

the proper gear for riding a motorcycle, like helmets, gloves, chest protectors, and boots, then the

number of deaths and injuries on US highways would be greatly decreased. Helmets prevent

fatalities and can reduce the number and severity of head injuries [1, 2]. After implementation of

the California statewide universal motorcycle helmet law, fatalities decreased by 37.5 %

(Eltorai). If these helmet laws were implemented throughout the country, 1875 lives would be

saved, just in the US, and many head and neck injuries would be completely avoided, that would

be a massive decrease and would make highways safer. This proves that we need to have a law

requiring riders to wear a helmet.


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Helmet laws should also regulate helmet type, so that people arent wearing fake or non-

protective helmets. Recent research has found that as many as 40 percent of motorcyclists in

Florida, which at the time the research was conducted had a mandatory helmet-use law for all

riders, wore non-compliant helmets. (NHTSA). One problem that helmet laws face is that

people will buy helmets that are cheap and dont protect them in the event of a crash. If a helmet

law is passed, there should also be a law regulating the type of helmet. If a rider wearing a non-

compliant helmet were to get in a bad crash, the likelihood of said driver dying would be much

higher than someone wearing a DOT certified helmet. If a rider can afford a 5000$+ motorcycle,

they should be able to afford a lifesaving device that costs 150$. If a helmet law is passed, so

should a law that regulates the type of helmet.

One issue helmet laws may face is enforcing the law. It may be hard to enforce a law if

many people wont comply. The drop in helmet use compliance rates has, in turn, corresponded

with an increase in traumatic brain injury and death. This example shows that with a helmet

law comes a new responsibility for the police. In a large state like Montana, Alaska, or

Wyoming, that is scarcely populated, it will be very hard for police to enforce a helmet law for

all riders. One solution for this could be making consequences harsher, like taking away

motorcycle licenses if caught without a helmet. There are many other solutions to this problem,

this is just one possibility.

In conclusion, we learned that motorcycles are fun, but dangerous and come with

responsibility. The evidence shows that a helmet law greatly decreases rider fatality rates, but

also that helmet laws come with lots of work for the police, helmet companies, and especially the

rider. Let's hope that someday, rider fatalities will hit zero!
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Works Cited

Eltorai, Adam E. M., et al. Federally Mandating Motorcycle Helmets in the United States.

BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4784405/.

National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/00-


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NHT-212-motorcycle/human27-29.html.

Mandating the Use of Motorcycle Helmets: What Are the Issues? The Bulletin, 11 July 2016,

bulletin.facs.org/2013/09/mandating-the-use-of-motorcycle-helmets/.

Motor Vehicle Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention, 2 Dec. 2015,

www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/calculator/factsheet/mchelmet.html.