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State wants helmet law to save lives in motorcycle accidents

The Connecticut Transportation Department has estimated that close to 50 motorcyclists will die each year for the next two years as a result of crashes. These figures were possibly offered in support of the renewed efforts to reinstate helmet laws. However, there are many who are opposed to such laws as such safety measures may not make a difference in many motorcycle accidents.

One safety agency reports that fatalities can be prevented in 37 percent of these crashes and an estimated 70 percent of head injuries may be prevented if riders wear helmets. The state also released figures for the years 2010 to 2014 that reported the number of crashes and the corresponding fatalities that occurred for riders that were not using helmets. However, the number of deaths for each of those five years did not rise above 36, and there was no explanation as to why the predicted number of deaths would increase by more than 11 for the next two years.

None of the agencies shared information regarding the number of deaths that occurred when a rider was wearing a helmet. New riders are required to enroll in a safety course when they are issued a motorcycle license, and there are riding clubs that encourage helmet use when members ride in state and require helmets whenever riders are out of state. Many bikers believe that the state does not have the authority to require helmets as a fatal accident can occur no matter the precautions a rider takes.

Earlier this year, Connecticut lawmakers reintroduced a bill requiring all riders to use helmets, but that measure has not progressed any further. The state currently only mandates helmet use for those under the age of 18. While the DOT offered information regarding the most frequent causes of crashes, it admitted that many motorcycle accidents occur through no fault of the rider. Victims who have suffered injuries have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against individuals deemed responsible for their injuries and monetary losses.

Source: norwichbullentin.com, "Motorcycle helmet law debate rages on in Connecticut", Kyle Ewald, June 6, 2017

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