Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Motorcyclist death across the nation are on the rise. A CDC report found deaths had increased by 55 percent since 2000, with injuries, deaths and productivity loss costing amounting to $12 billion dollars in one year.
That upward is seen here in South Carolina too, due in part, to lack of training and riders not using helmets.
"When you're riding a motorcycle you feel like you're a part of the machine," said Brandon Collins, a motorcycle rider and salesman.
He admits he hasn't always ridden in the safest way possible, skipping a helmet sometimes.
Collins says for those who choose not to wear a helmet, it is often to maintain the feeling they get from riding.
"Just the freedom of having the wind in their face the wind in their hair," described Collins.
That freedom can sometimes come with a cost. Of the 55 motorcycle deaths that have happened so far this year on South Carolina roads, the Department of Public Safety says 41 riders didn't have on a helmet, accounting for about 75 percent of the deaths.
South Carolina state law only require riders under age 21 to wear helmets.
"I have seen a lot of our customers get in accidents and a lot of them die from not wearing helmets," said Collins.
A report from the CDC found that universal helmet laws can keep the cost of medical care and lost productivity down.
It said in South Carolina 13 lives and $27 million dollar had been saved over 30 years in medical costs by putting a helmet law on the books, for every 100,000 registered motorcycle rider.
The report still suggests South Carolina look into creating a universal helmet law.
Earlier this year, the general assembly didn't take any action on a bill that would have allowed for signs promoting motorcycle safety to go up around the state. That bill never made it out of a house committee.
The CDC report says helmets are prevent an estimated 37 percent of crash deaths in riders, and 41 percent in passengers.