Iowa Fatal Motorcycle Crash Statistics
Iowa is one of three states that does not currently have any motorcycle helmet laws. Helmets are worn at the operator’s and passenger’s discretion. In 2015 there was a total of 41 motorcycle deaths on Iowa roadways. Of these, 31 were not wearing helmets. Most states have either a universal helmet law requiring all riders and passengers to wear helmets, or a partial law requiring anyone under a specific age to use helmets.
For the past ten years, the number of unhelmeted deaths has always surpassed the number of helmeted deaths. While deaths do occur even to those that do wear helmets while operating a motorcycle, the numbers prove that helmets can save lives. In 2013, about 31 riders died without helmets, while only 10 riders who wore helmets died in crashes. In 2014, there were 37 unhelmeted fatalities and 15 helmeted fatalities.
Iowa did not have any specific age group that dominated the fatality statistics. Each year, from 2011 to 2015, various age brackets claimed the most lives. In 2015, ages 50 to 59 had the most rider deaths. In 2011, ages 30 to 39 had the most deaths, and in 2012, both age groups 20 to 29, and 40 to 49 tied with the most fatalities.
Iowa has 99 counties. The majority of these counties had zero fatalities to report. 22 counties reported one to five motorcyclist deaths. Only one county, Pottawattamie County reported a higher amount of death with six to 15. Pottawattamie is ranked 9th in population and is located on the southwestern border of the state.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides statistics on the average amount of motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles. In 2014, over 187,000 motorcycles were registered and per 100,000 registrations there were approximately 27 motorcycle fatalities. This shows a small increase from 2013 that had 22 fatalities per 100,000 registrations.