DMV: Deaths of motorcyclists without helmets on the rise

Virginia

FILE – In this March 25, 2010, file photo, a wrecked motorcycle lies at the the scene of a multi-motorcycle and trash truck accident on the Carefree Highway in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Officials in Virginia say the state is seeing an alarming uptick in the number of motorcycle deaths where the rider wasn’t a wearing a helmet.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said in a press release Tuesday that seven motorcyclists who weren’t wearing helmets died this year. The department said the number is the highest it’s been in a decade.

The state says that helmets are about 29 percent effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.

Put another way, the state says a rider without a helmet is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury.

The state also said that motorcycle-related deaths are slightly higher this year. As of November 15, 87 people have died compared to 83 last year.

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