Death rate twice as high without helmets

Posted at 7:50 AM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 07:50:53-04

Four years ago Michigan joined the list of 30 other states that give motorcyclist the option of wearing a helmet.

And since then the number of motorcycle deaths has gone up.

"There was a lot of statistics that show unfortunately there probably is an impact of an injury on a motorcycle without a helmet is probably death," said Rep. Marilyn Lane, vice-chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee.

The year after the repeal the number of head injuries in the state jumped by 14-percent and because of those risks, "they have to have additional coverage through insurance companies in order to do that," Rep. Lane. "That's what you chose is to be covered."

And once they're covered their rates climb.

"That's why we're concerned when people do not ride without their helmet because we've found that increases the likelihood that they will have injuries or death," said Lori Conarton of the Institute of Insurance.

Drivers must be 21-years-old and have an insurance liability of $20,000 to opt-out of wearing a helmet.

"People don't understand, or aren't aware the unique law and that if they are involved in an accident with a motorcyclists," Conarton said. "That motorcyclists will get their medical treatment under the car's insurance."

She explains to FOX 47 News, no matter who causes the accident because of the no fault law the driver of the car or truck will have to claim it on their insurance.

"I claim against my insurance the other insurance claims against their insurances but that's not the case when it involves a motorcycle," said Conarton.

The policy has been in the books for years but most drivers haven't known about it until they're in an accident.

Because the repeal not only affects motorcyclists but all drivers.