Spring 2024 Newsletter – Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 23, 2024

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the cause couldn’t be more important. As we brought in the New Year, we not only said goodbye to 2023 but also to Nebraska’s motorcycle helmet law of over 30 years. There are still some requirements riders must meet before they can ride without a helmet, but the barriers are minimal for the majority of Nebraska’s 100,000 licensed riders.

Other states, such as Missouri, have also repealed key aspects of their motorcycle helmet laws in recent years. While we can only speculate as to why these changes have gained momentum, what we do know is that these laws have been effective in saving lives—in Missouri alone, there was a 30% increase in fatal motorcycle crashes after the law’s repeal.

Many riders intend to continue wearing their helmets regardless of the law changes. However, for those planning otherwise, please think about the people who want to see you home, alive and thriving, and wear a helmet for them if not for yourself.

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Of course, motorcycle safety isn’t just about riders’ decisions. Speeding, failing to check mirrors, and keeping an improper following distance are all too common bad driving habits, and they endanger riders even more. Pay attention to motorcyclists and give them room; they don’t have the same protections around them as you do in a car, but they have the same right to be on the road.

So far this year, nine motorcyclists have lost their lives in Nebraska, nearly 40% higher than the 2019-2023 five-year average. Let’s heed the lessons we can learn from other states and continue wearing helmets on motorcycles. For those who don’t ride, keep your eyes open for riders and maintain a safe following distance.

For more information on choosing the right motorcycle helmet, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guide here.

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