Traveling the roads of New Jersey on a motorcycle may give people a sense of freedom that drivers of passenger vehicles do not have. They also face a greater chance of injuries in an accident. However, the state does have legislation in place for safety, and one example is the universal helmet law. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, all motorcycle operators and passengers in New Jersey must wear a helmet.
Avoiding a ticket is not the only reason to wear the right headgear. Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety notes that statistics prove helmets save lives. In fact, they reduce a rider’s risk of dying by 42 percent. Nationwide, motorcycles made up only 3 percent of all registered vehicles, but riders accounted for 14 percent of accident deaths. Because motorcyclists have a 26 times higher chance per mile traveled than a passenger vehicle occupant to be in a fatal accident, any safety measure that improves the odds should be welcome.
In spite of the overwhelmingly positive statistical evidence that riders should wear helmets, some people would not do so without the law in place. In states that did not have a universal helmet law such as New Jersey’s in 2013, 59 percent of the riders who were killed were not wearing helmets. States with laws reported only 8 percent of those who died were not wearing them.
Those motorcyclists who do not die of their head injuries may still find their lives permanently changed. Traumatic brain injuries are among the top causes of disability in the United States. The chances of a head injury are 69 percent lower for motorcycle riders who wear helmets.