Biker deaths reduced in states with motorcycle helmet laws

The scene of a horrific accident in Mine Hill, N.J., where on September 21, 2009 a distracted driver hit a motorcycle head-on.
CBS News

(AP) ATLANTA - A new government study shows far fewer motorcyclists die in states that require helmets.

On average, about five times as many bikers without helmets die in states with less restrictive laws.

The researchers counted about 6,000 deaths over three years of motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets. Only about 12 percent were in the 20 states that required everyone on motorbikes to wear helmets.

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They also calculated that helmet laws save money, too. States that mandate helmet use save about $500 more in medical and other costs per registered bike than states with fewer restrictions.

Three states had no helmet law when the study was done. Another 27 required helmets for teenagers or certain other riders.