According to a story by the Associated Press, a government report says deaths and injuries from motorcycle crashes cost the U.S. $16 billion in 2010.
The report from the Government Accountability Office says 82,000 bikers were injured in crashes in 2010, with 4,502 fatalities. Fatal crashes cost an average of $1.2 million, and injuries ranged from $2,500 to $1.4 million.
According to the AP’s story, the report says the cost of motorcycle accidents is actually higher, but the report’s creators couldn’t measure certain long-term factors (employment or health issues) resulting from motorcycle crashes.
The report put a good word in for helmets, saying they reduced the risk of death in a crash by 39 per cent and saved an estimated 1,550 lives in 2010.
However, the report didn’t paint motorcycles in a very encouraging light overall, saying motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile passenger.
You can read the report itself here. It certainly comes at an interesting time; with the U.S. marching closer and closer towards public health care, you can bet legislators are going to look for ways to reduce costs. Are they going to start targeting motorcyclists, starting with new helmet laws?