Motorcycle helmet laws are not the panacea to reducing fatalities. Personal responsibility is the answer. I have analyzed all fatal crash reports since 2009: 74 percent of fatal crashes are the fault of the rider; 36 percent involve alcohol or illegal drugs; 38 percent of Idaho licensed riders were not endorsed; only 19 percent of Idaho licensed riders had taken rider training in Idaho; 56 percent of riders didn’t have a helmet, and 43 percent did. Motorcycle fatality crashes are particularly violent. It is a rare occurrence that those involved suffer only a head injury. Just because the rider had no helmet doesn’t mean they would have survived with one.
While fatalities have increased since the 17 lost in 2011 it must be noted that 2011 was an anomaly. The facts are that fatalities have remained relatively flat on average over the last 10 years. Ranging up to 34 in 2009.
The way to save lives is for riders to ride unimpaired and improve their skills by taking experienced rider training classes. A beginner’s course is just that, a beginning. Riders of all skill levels will improve by taking additional training. Get endorsed through training.
Lane Triplett, government relations officer, Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety