This month, the Washington, D.C. based, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) released their 2021 state traffic safety rankings. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is troubled that the methodology used in studying motorcycle safety takes the flawed view that safer crashes are better than no crashes.
The MRF has long believed that proper safety training of motorcyclists and education of other motorists is the most effective tool in protecting all roadway users. The MRF remains committed to working with our partners in the public and private sectors to ensure properly trained instructors impart skills that have a track record of creating safer riders.
Additionally, the AHAS report takes direct aim at the over 30 states that have freedom of choice helmet laws. Recent studies show the state with the highest motorcycle fatality rate (Mississippi) has a mandatory helmet law, while the state with the lowest fatality rate (Montana) does not require a helmet for those over 18 years old. In fact, the AHAS study shows that 61% of motorcyclists killed were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. It should also be noted that the absence of a requirement does not prohibit someone from choosing to wear a helmet. The MRF firmly believes that any attempt at a federal helmet mandate or blackmail techniques designed to coerce states into enacting a helmet law is unacceptable.
MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, put it simply, “Encroachment on our personal freedoms and attacks on individual state laws goes against the foundational principles of this country.” He added, “We all agree that deaths on our roadways are tragic but surrendering our freedoms in pursuit of safety is a dangerous path.”