By ROBERT KLAINE | Associated Press | Published June 10, 2018 12:18:55The number of injuries that result from motorcyclists wearing helmets has risen dramatically since the introduction of the law in 2009, according to an analysis by the National Safety Council.
The law has reduced the number of fatal accidents in California by 40 percent compared with a decade ago, according a study published Thursday by the Council on Foreign Relations.
In 2016, 568 people died in California when motorcyclist killed in a crash with a school bus hit a guardrail and rolled.
More than half of those deaths involved crashes that resulted in fatalities.
This year, 667 people have died in motorcyclism-related crashes in California, according the study, which analyzed data from the California Highway Patrol.
There were 4,946 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in the state in 2016.
California, like many states, has implemented motorcycle helmet laws.
Some states have adopted the mandatory helmet law, while others have not.
On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would require bicyclists wearing a helmet to ride at least 10 mph over the speed limit, a requirement that is currently in effect in other states, including New Jersey and Texas.
Under the new law, bicyclists who do not wear a helmet will have to ride for at least an hour and a half after a crash to comply with helmet requirements.
The new law also mandates that riders wear helmets if they plan on riding for more than 20 minutes after a ride, and if they do not have a helmet on, they will be fined $50 and face up to six months in jail.
As of Wednesday, about 15,000 California drivers were using helmets.
Among the factors that may lead to helmet use among drivers is fatigue and fatigue related injuries, said Scott M. McDonough, an associate professor at the University of Washington who has studied how the law affects the number and severity of injuries.
“It is certainly a factor, but the more important factor is the severity of the injury,” McDonought said.
“The more severe the injury is, the more people are likely to wear a safety helmet.
If you have a high-risk riding behavior, then the greater the likelihood is that the helmet is going to make a difference.”
Some states are considering requiring cyclists to wear helmets.
New Jersey has considered making it mandatory for riders, while Massachusetts and Vermont are considering similar laws.
Maggie R. Gannon, a policy analyst for the Center for Transportation and Safety Research, said she does not think the state will see a significant impact in the number or severity of motorcycle-related injuries.
“This is not going to affect the number that we see, because there is not a lot of change that is going on,” she said.
She said the increased use of motorcycle helmets in California was mostly driven by the desire of the motorcycle industry to avoid lawsuits.
Bike helmets have been the most common method of protection among drivers and riders in the United States since the law went into effect in 2009.
Motorcyclists have been wearing helmets since at least the 1950s, and some states, such as New York and Connecticut, have mandated helmets.
In some cases, riders have been cited for not wearing helmets, although most cases have been dismissed.
Other states have increased their helmet laws and made helmetless riding a mandatory practice, but California’s new law was designed to be enforced as a whole.