Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Insurance payments on motorcycle accidents up after changes to helmet law in Michigan

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin is reporting (here) that the average medical claim from a motorcycle crash rose by more than one-fifth last year in Michigan after the state stopped requiring all riders to wear helmets, according to an insurance industry study.  According to the report, crash deaths are also on the rise

This should not be surprising.  The risk of injury is greater when people ride without helmets and, if there is an injury, it is likely to be worse. 

For more than 40 years, Michigan required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. State legislators changed the law last year so that only riders younger than 21 must wear helmets.  The average insurance payment on a motorcycle injury claim was $5,410 in the two years before the law was changed and $7,257 after it was changed — an increase of 34 percent, the study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found. After adjusting for the age and type of motorcycle, rider age, gender, marital status, weather and other factors, the actual increase was about 22 percent relative to a group of four comparative states, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, the study found.

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