Shocking facts on the consequences of motorcycle riders not wearing protective headgear were presented by Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Spyros Vougias on Wednesday.

Speaking during an event on the contribution of the FIA Foundation to the Special Olympics movement and the UN initiative on safe driving, Vougias unveiled a study conducted by the University of Athens, according to which, 80 pct of motorcycle riders killed in road accidents died from severe head injuries. Specifically, those who do not wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle are twice as likely to suffer head injury.

The study revealed that motorcycles are involved in 1/3 of the traffic accidents in Greece, while 25 pct of the motorcycle drivers do not wear a helmet. Women have a higher percentage (30 pct) in the specific traffic code violation. The facts on motorcycle passengers are equally alarming, considering that 54 pct - women being the majority - do not wear a helmet.

The annual death toll in road accidents in Greece is roughly 1,300 people, with an estimated socio-economic cost that exceeds five billion euros.