Health
10:09 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Motorcyle deaths, injuries up without helmets, researcher says

ANN ARBOR, MI (AP)--   A University of Michigan researcher estimates that there would have been 26 fewer deaths and 49 fewer serious injuries last year if Michigan hadn't changed its motorcycle helmet law. 

Carol Flannagan is an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan. She finds that not wearing a helmet doubles the risk of fatality and increases the risk of serious injury by 60 percent.

Since April 2012, people ages 21 and older can ride motorcycles without helmets if they have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years and passed a safety course. They also are required to buy additional insurance.

American Bikers Aiming Toward Education President Vince Consiglio says rider skill and experience are more important than helmets in preventing deaths.