Mitch Lucker, singer of the heavy metal band called Suicide Silence, died Wednesday, October 31, 2012 in a motorcycle accident when his motorcycle hit a light pole.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and it is unclear whether he was impaired in any way, or whether he was or wasn’t wearing a helmet.
Unfortunately celebrity deaths can bring a lot of awareness to that person’s cause of death – in this case, thinking of motorcycle safety is a first reaction.
Riding a motorcycle can be very dangerous if you aren’t wearing the proper safety equipment, if you are disobeying traffic laws, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or not are not trained in the proper operation of a motorcycle.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, helmet use by the driver prevents 37 percent of fatal injuries and 41 percent of passenger’s fatal injuries.
Laws are in place to enforce motorcyclists to wear helmets in many areas, but not everywhere.
Universal and Partial Helmet Laws
Only 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. A universal helmet law requires all riders and passengers, no matter the age to wear a helmet whenever they are on a motorcycle. A partial helmet law only requires requires only a specific group or people and ages to wear a helmet. This is left up to each state to decide what groups of people and what ages. Twenty-eight states have partial helmet laws and three states don’t have any laws pertaining to helmet use.
Motorcycle injuries are often more than just skin abrasions and broken bones. Injuries are can be serve or even life-threatening. Injuries to the brain, abdomen, neck, chest, and spine can cause lasting damage.
Preventing Injuries and Deaths
A helmet is the most effective way to prevent injuries and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To prevent injuries, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association recommends that states find ways to increase helmet use, reduce drinking and driving, reduce speed, and adequately train motorcyclists on safety issues and rules. However, the most effective way to prevent injuries and deaths will be to have universal helmet laws in all states.
Mitch Lucker: Suicide Silence Member
In the case of Mitch Lucker, the circumstances of his death are not yet clear, but any motorcycle-related death is a good time to take stock of motorcycle safety. When on a motorcycle, whether you are the driver or the passenger, a helmet can save your life or prevent injuries, and motorcycle safety courses can prevent many accidents as well. Drive safely.
City of Hunting Beach Press Release. (2012). Released November 1, 2012.
Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Motorcyclists Traffic Fatalities by State 2011 Preliminary Data. (2012). Accessed November 1, 2012.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motorcycle Safety Guide: Universal Helmet Laws Increase Helmet Use. (2012). Accessed November 1, 2012.© Copyright 2012 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science