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Strengthened helmet laws in Connecticut may save lives

In an attempt to minimize the number of motorcyclists who receive traumatic brain damage and other injuries as a result of tragic accidents, many states require the use of motorcycle helmets. Statistics reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that motorcyclists who wear helmets are 37 percent less likely to be killed and three times less likely to be injured in a serious collision with another vehicle.

While 19 states in the nation have universal helmet laws, which require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, approximately 28 states mandate helmet use for only people under the age of 17. The three remaining states do not have any helmet laws in place. Currently, Connecticut enforces a partial helmet law, and many people are wondering how many lives could be saved if a universal helmet law was in place.

Research has found that when motorcyclists wear helmets, it can save their lives. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that in states with universal helmet laws, only 12 percent of motorcyclists who died were not wearing helmets. In states with partial helmet laws, such as Connecticut, 64 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If a motorcyclist experiences a forceful impact to the head, a helmet acts as a barrier and is able to absorb a portion of the impact. Since traumatic brain damage is the number one killer of bikers who die in motorcycle accidents, the added protection of a motorcycle helmet should be a must.

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