A new government report says direct costs from deaths and injuries due to motorcycle crashes were $16 billion in 2010, but the full cost is likely higher because long-term medical expenses are difficult to measure.
Motorcyclists are involved in fatal crashes at higher rates than drivers of other types of vehicles, and are 30 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than passenger car occupants, according to the Government Accountability Office report.
It says in 2010, 82,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,502 were killed in crashes. The average cost for a fatal crash was estimated at $1.2 million, while the cost for injuries ranged from $2,500 to $1.4 million depending upon the severity.
Laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets are said to be the only strategy proven effective in reducing fatalities and injuries. Several studies have estimated helmets reduce the risk of death by as much as 39 percent, the report said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated helmets saved the lives of 1,550 motorcyclists in 2010.
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