GEICO: Motorcycle helmets improve riders' chances of survival by 29 percent

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 15, 2014 – GEICO says a helmet is a motorcycle rider's best friend. Helmets protect riders against the potential risks of severe injury or even death. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, riders wearing a helmet have a 29 percent better chance of surviving a crash than riders without a helmet.

But only 19 states, plus the District of Columbia have universal motorcycle helmet laws that require all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a helmet. Another 28 states have partial helmet laws that do not require adults to wear a helmet, and three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) do not have any helmet laws or restrictions.

"A motorcycle helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment that a motorcyclist has," said Steve Stojanovich, director of GEICO's motorcycle/RV division. "Because motorcycle regulations vary from state to state, it's important that riders become aware of the dangers they face if they ride without one."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey also found that motorcycle helmet use in the U.S. remained at 60 percent in 2013, unchanged after a significant drop from 66 percent between the years 2010 – 2012. Helmet use continues to be significantly higher in states that have universal helmet laws.

Stojanovich mentioned that all motorcyclists should wear a Department of Transportation - approved helmet even if it's not the law in your state. "Make sure the helmet includes a face shield or protective eyewear to minimize severe injuries in case of an accident," said Stojanovich.

States with universal helmet laws include: Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

States with partial helmet laws include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

For more information on GEICO motorcycle safety, please visit https://www.geico.com/information/safety/motorcycle/.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.