Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is important. Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths  and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.  Yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders.

Here is a study. It’s a little old but it is interesting.

Research has shown that when a state repeals its helmet law or opts for less restrictive requirements, helmet use decreases and motorcycle-related deaths, injuries, and costs increase. In 2000, for example, Florida changed its universal helmet law to a partial helmet law that covered only riders aged <21 years and those with <$10,000 in medical insurance coverage. During the 2 years after the law was changed, the motorcyclist death rate per 10,000 registered motorcycles in Florida increased by 21%, deaths among motorcycle riders aged <21 years nearly tripled, and hospital admissions of motorcyclists with injuries to the head, brain, and skull increased by 82% (7). In addition, gross costs charged to hospital-admitted motorcyclists with head, brain, or skull injuries in Florida more than doubled, from $21 million to $50 million (7). Studies that have examined nonfatal injury outcomes among motorcyclists who wore helmets and those who did not have found that hospitalized riders who had not worn helmets incurred higher health-care costs . Riders who do not wear helmets are more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries, and median hospital charges for those with traumatic brain injuries are 13 times higher than for those without such injuries (8). Riders who do not wear helmets also are less likely to have health insurance, and therefore are more likely to require publicly funded health care .

This is the CDC so we can’t do better than #science.

So that’s the issue and it will be coming up in the legislative session.

What do you think? Please vote so we can weigh in.

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