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Wear a Helmet

Should I Wear a Helmet for my Summer Evening Bike Ride?

It’s a beautiful summer evening. A nice ride on the bike would be great fun. Do you ever wonder, “should I wear a helmet?” That’s a good question. We present the statistics that answer that question.

First a disclaimer. This post is about riding a motorcycle without a helmet. As a former avid bicycle rider, I always wore a helmet. After my accident, my helmet had only minor scratches, but my body was seriously damaged. However, that could easily have been a very different outcome. Therefore, I admit a bias toward helmets. Actually, with distracted drivers, full body armor isn’t a bad idea. That said, this post doesn’t present any bias. At ValChoice, we only analyze data. We don’t deal in opinions, rumors or subjectivity.

The Real Data on Whether to Wear a Helmet

Here are the hard, cold facts about riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

  • 2011 to 2015, 4,976 motorcycle fatalities
  • 2,922, 59%, of the riders were wearing a helmet
  • 1,938, 41%, were not wearing a helmet
  • Of the 1,938 not wearing a helmet, 740 may have survived, had they worn a helmet

These are pretty sobering numbers. A full 38% of riders that did not wear a helmet could have been saved. That’s one in every 2.5 deaths of bike riders that did not wear a helmet would still be with their family today had they chosen to wear a helmet for that fateful ride.

Let’s look at the data a different way. Riders that don’t wear a helmet have a 31% greater chance of dying while riding a motorcycle than riders who wear a helmet.

The Economic and Social Cost

The cost of dealing with traumatic injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) report we referenced for this blog post quotes the following statistics. 100% helmet use would save more than $32 billion in economic and social costs. For more information on how they calculate these costs, click to go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association report on Costs Saved by Motorcycle Helmets.

Checkout Your Motorcycle Insurance

ValChoice analyzes nearly every motorcycle, car and home insurance company that sells insurance in the U.S. Find out about your motorcycle insurance company using our free service. All you have to do is click below and select your insurance company to get a free report card on the company that insures your motorcycle. Clicking the link will take you to the car insurance product, but all motorcycle insurance companies are included.

Free Motorcycle Insurance Rating

Note: ValChoice does not receive any form of compensation from insurance companies for scoring them in our rating system. The ValChoice rating system is truly independent and unbiased.

Accident history data source: NHTSA,

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