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The laws on motorcycle helmet use are different from state to state. In Indiana, the helmet law only applies to riders under the age of 17, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute. The District of Columbia and 19 other states, though, have laws that cover all riders, which is referred to as a universal law. While each state has the right to enact whatever helmet law they desire, there is a push for all states to adopt universal laws because of the evidence that shows wearing a helmet can save lives.

According to Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, one of the leading causes of disability and death due to an accident is head injuries, which can be protected against by wearing a helmet. In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of death by 42 percent. It lowers the risk of injury by 69 percent.

It is 26 times more likely for a motorcyclist to die in an accident than someone in a vehicle. While motorcycles made up only 3 percent of registered vehicles in 2013, they accounted for 14 percent of fatalities in accidents. In addition, 4,668 motorcycle riders lost their lives in accidents and 88,000 were injured in 2013. It is estimated that 1,630 of those lives could have been saved if the riders were wearing helmets. The evidence is fairly clear when it comes to helmet use: They save lives. Regardless of state law, riders should always wear a helmet before hitting the road for maximum protection.

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