Helmets cut motorcycle deaths 37 percent

July 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM

ATLANTA, July 13 (UPI) -- Motorcycle helmets saved more than 1,500 U.S. riders' lives in 2010, and about 700 more could have been saved if all riders had worn helmets, officials say.

Rebecca Naumann of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said full-face helmets offer the best protection for your head, face, eyes -- and smile.

"We've seen that helmets reduce the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash by about 37 percent," Naumann said in a statement. "The CDC encourages that every motorcycle rider wear a helmet on every trip. We also encourage that motorcycle riders never ride after drinking."

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to reducing crashes on the roads, said in the early 1970s, almost all the states had universal motorcycle helmet laws.

Michigan was the first state to repeal its law in 1968.

Currently, laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Laws requiring only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 28 states and there is no motorcycle helmet law in Illinois, Iowa or New Hampshire.

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