BY: Citizens Count
According to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), motorcycle fatalities in New Hampshire increased over 50% from 2014 to 2015.
There were 26 motorcycle fatalities in New Hampshire in 2015, compared to 17 fatalities in 2014.
This increase may revive interest in a motorcycle helmet law in New Hampshire.
Supporters of a motorcycle helmet law point out that motorcycle fatalities make up a larger share of traffic fatalities in New Hampshire than the national average. According to the GHSA, 14% of total traffic deaths in the United States in 2015 involved motorcycle fatalities; in New Hampshire that percentage was 18%.
The GHSA also asserts that motorcycle helmets decrease the risk of dying in a crash by 37%.
Opponents of a motorcycle helmet law argue that motorcyclists understand the risks and should be allowed to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. New Hampshire's lack of a helmet law is one reason the state's bike week in Laconia is such a popular tourist event.
It is also worth noting that motorcycle fatalities increased in 30 other states in 2015, including New Hampshire's neighbors, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.