Early data suggest the state may not be causing a big jump in the number of biker deaths since the Legislature repealed a law requiring them to wear helmets. The group American Bikers Aiming Toward Education – or ABATE – released those numbers this week.
However, state officials say it’s too early to come to any conclusions.
The state Office of Highway Safety Planning says it’s impossible to know exactly what’s happened in the six months since the helmet requirement ended. Officials say the available data does not present a complete picture.
"It's provisional, and it's going to chance," says the OHSP's Anne Readett. "And it really doesn't provide an accurate picture of what's happening currently."
Readett says the preliminary numbers do show a 14 percent rise in disabling injuries this year. She says safety experts will have a better understanding of the trends when they analyze the data for all of 2012. That should be ready in a few months.