A number of fatal motorcycle crashes in Alabama recently prompted the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to release the state’s current motorcycle fatality statistics for 2017. In only four months, local NBC affiliate WSFA reports, there have been 12 fatal crashes on Alabama roads involving motorcycles and 87 other motorcycle crashes involving non-fatal injuries. ALEA also reminded motorcyclists of the need to take additional safety precautions, including proper use of helmets, to reduce their risk of serious injuries and death.

This warning comes at a critical time – just ahead of summer, when the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Fatality Analysis Reporting System information shows motorcycle crashes typically peak.

The U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more often than fatal accidents in other vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2015 were motorcyclists – more than double the number of motorcycle fatalities nearly two decades earlier.

Motorcyclists killed in crashes frequently suffer serious head injuries, but NHTSA research shows helmets can decrease a motorcyclist’s risk of death by 37 percent and reduce the risk of serious brain injuries by 67 percent. Alabama is one of 19 states that require all motorcyclists to use helmets, according to Consumer Reports. It also notes that the type of helmet is key to reducing the risk of serious injury or death.

Beasley Allen explains that motorcycle helmets sold in the U.S. are evaluated by DOT and must meet certain standards of protection for the head and brain in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, manufacturers use loopholes to put sub-par or even counterfeit products on the market. These products may appear to meet safety standards, but closer inspection shows they offer little to no protection.

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Lawyers at Beasley Allen are currently investigating potential cases involving individuals who have suffered injuries because of faulty helmets. For more information on this subject, contact Mike Andrews, a lawyer in our firm’s Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at mike.andrews@beasleyallen.com. Learn more about motorcycle and other helmet injuries by visiting helmetinjuries.com.

U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

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