Missouri may soon be attracting more motorcycle riders in the future with the recent repeal of the motorcycle helmet law in the Missouri House of Representatives. The House voted 95-57 to repeal the current motorcycle helmet law which requires riders to protect their heads while riding at all times. The new motorcycle helmet law would allow anyone over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet.
There have been mixed emotions about proposed changes to the law. Many riders expressed opinions that they will most likely continue to wear a motorcycle helmet while riding, but were pleased that the law would allow a rider to have a choice. Some other critics stated that motorcycle helmets should always be worn for the safety of the riders, while others stated they did not believe riding while wearing a motorcycle helmet reduced the likelihood of a serious injury or death in the event of a crash.
Are you more safe while wearing a motorcycle helmet?
The NHTSA has found that 55,000 people are injured in motorcycle crashes every year, and approximately 2,200 people are killed as a result of a crash each year. More than 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death the the rider. Although a motorcycle helmet will not prevent a crash, research shows that a rider wearing a helmet reduces their risk of injury or death by 1/3. They conducted a study of 900 motorcycle crashes. The NHTSA found that the motorcycle helmet was the single most critical factor in preventing a serious injury or fatality.
Do motorcycle helmet laws work?
Riders against the law often cite obstructed vision as their main concern in wearing a motorcycle helmet. Although the helmet may restrict your field of vision, the benefits to wearing one when involved in a crash are enormous. The State of Louisiana repealed their motorcycle helmet law and subsequently re-enacted the law in 1982. They saw a reduction in motorcycle crash fatalities of approximately 30% in the first year. Between 1976 and 1980, 28 different states weakened or repealed their motorcycle helmet laws. There was an 55% increase in fatalities over that period of time.
Although it may become your right to choose whether you wear a motorcycle helmet while riding in Missouri, we hope that you will choose wisely. Comfort is important while riding a motorcycle, but your life may depend on whether you choose to live with discomfort or not.