Impacts of the April 2012 Michigan Helmet-Law Repeal
Helmet-Law Repeal Affects Motorcycle Helmet Use Rate
- Michigan motorcycle helmet use drops to 73 percent - a Michigan OHSP news release reporting on a 2013 observational study conducted by the Wayne State University–Transportation Research Group that found that motorcycle "helmet use rate at randomly selected roadside locations was 73.0 percent while the rate at motorcycle events and rallies was 58.8 percent," a significant drop from the nearly all-compliant rate of 99.4 percent in 2006
- 2013 Direct Observation Survey of Motorcycle Helmet Use - a 31-page document outlining the methodology and results
Helmet-Law Repeal Affects Outcomes of Crash Victims
Michigan suffers the same negative ramifications of repealing its mandatory helmet law as has been found by studies examining the impact of helmet-law repeal in other states.
The early evidence is consistent with the predictions members of the Heads First Coalition made that the number of deaths and injuries would increase following repeal of Michigan's all-rider helmet law. One year post repeal, leading members of the Coalition held an Apr. 10, 2013, news conference at the Michigan Capitol to highlight the research findings and call for reinstatement of the law. Read full text of SMARTER's companion news release.
- Repeal of the Michigan helmet law: early clinical impacts - a study highlighting the negative ramifications of repealing a mandatory helmet law, published in the Mar. 2014 American Journal of Surgery and posted here with permission of the lead researchers
Motorcyclists not wearing helmets increased significantly in a short period of time. Nonhelmeted motorcyclists more frequently died on the scene, spent more time in the intensive care unit, required longer ventilator support, and had higher medical costs.
- Analysis of Motorcycle Crashes in Michigan 2009–2013 - a Nov. 2014 analysis by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) of crash data for the two years before repeal and the year and a half after repeal
- Study: Helmet law weakened, motorcycle injuries up - a May 30, 2013, AP article reporting on a study conducted by the IIHS Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) that found that in Michigan the average medical claim from a motorcycle crash rose by more than one-fifth in 2012
- Michigan's weakened helmet use law leads to costlier injury claims - the HLDI May 30 news release
- New Study a Reminder of Importance of Motorcycle Helmet Use - the GHSA comments on the study and iterates its six specific recommendations for states
[The study] from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) is a reminder of something we have long known—the repeal of state motorcycle helmet laws is a bad and dangerous idea.…
The new data from HLDI adds to the evidence that motorcycle safety is going in the wrong direction.
- 2012 Michigan Traffic Crashes Down, Traffic Deaths Up - a Mar. 18, 2013, news release by the Michigan OHSP reporting motorcyclist fatalities increased 18 percent, from 109 in 2011 to 129 in 2012
- Motorcycle fatalities up 18% in 2012; total number of crashes down 4% - Michigan State Police - Mar. 18, 2013, MLive article
- "Blame the weather? No helmet law? Cause of spike in motorcyclist deaths uncertain" - scroll down for Mar. 19, 2013, Michigan Radio report by Lindsey Smith
Analysis of 2012 Crash Data No Surprise: Helmets Save Lives
Fifty-five helmetless riders died and 195 suffered incapacitating injuries. Research conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the findings of which were presented at the 2013 Michigan Traffic Safety Summit, tells us that had all these riders been wearing a helmet, 26 would still be alive and 49 would not have suffered such serious injuries.
- Analysis of Motorcycle Crashes: Comparison of 2012 to Previous Years - presentation at the 2013 Michigan Traffic Safety Summit by Carol A. Flannagan, Ph.D., Center for the Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation (CMISST) Biosciences Group, UMTRI
- Michigan's Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal: Using Data to Illustrate Its Effect - a one-page brochure describing the methods, key facts, results, and conclusions of an analysis of Michigan Traffic Crash Facts data to determine the effect of the motorcycle helmet law modification that went into effect on Apr. 13, 2012
- 21 percent reduction in motorcycle deaths projected if Michigan helmet mandate was in place, researcher says - March 28, 2013, MLive article detailing UMTRI analysis of 2012 motorcycle crash data announced at the Michigan Traffic Safety Summit
- "Motorcyclists who drank and drove in 2012 more likely to ride helmetless, die in crashes" - scroll down for Mar. 29, 2013, Michigan radio report by Lindsey Smith
Viewpoints Supporting Reinstatement of Michigan Helmet Law
- Michigan Radio Sounds off on Helmet Law Repeal - scroll down to read or listen to analysis and commentary this year and last related to the repeal of Michigan's mandatory helmet law
- "Dying without Helmets" - Apr. 1, 2013, commentary by Jack Lessenberry
It has turned out to be a disaster that has cost human lives and suffering.
The governor’s decision is also costing money. In fact, the law he signed is going to cost us all, if not in blood, in cold, hard cash, added to the medical bills of everyone with health insurance.
—Jack Lessenberry, Political Commentator
- "Dying without Helmets" - Apr. 1, 2013, commentary by Jack Lessenberry
MCCA Hikes Mandatory Per-Vehicle Assessment
"Freedom riders" claim that whether they choose not to wear a motorcycle helmet while riding is nobody's business but their own. Or is it?
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) 2011–12 rate increase over the 2010–11 assessment was 1.3 percent, and then it reported a whopping 21 percent increase for the assessment period July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, raising that by another 6 percent for 2013–14.
- Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association increases rates amid discussions on changing no-fault auto insurance - Mar. 27, 2013, MLive report saying that "most claims involve brain or spinal cord injuries that cause permanent disabilities"
- MCCA Sets 2013–2014 Insurance Company Assessment - Mar. 27, 2013, news release announcing rate increase [to $186] states, "The assessment represents an increase of $11.00 (6%) from the current MCCA charge of $175.00 and represents $156.44 to cover anticipated new claims."
- MCCA Premium Set at $175.00 for 2012–2013 - Mar. 16, 2012, news release states, "This represents an increase of $30.00 (21%) over the current MCCA charge of $145.00."
- MCCA Premium Set At $145.00 for 2011–2012 - March 25, 2011, news release states, "This represents an increase of $1.91 (1.3%) over the current MCCA charge of $143.09."
MLive 2012 Motorcycle Crash Report Analyses and Investigative Reports Following Michigan's Mandatory Helmet Law Repeal April 13, 2012
- MLive series of comprehensive investigative reports about motorcycle helmets - a page with a compilation of links to all MLive stories featuring information about motorcycle crashes and motorcycle-helmet use, including the online "daily debate" between Dan Petterson, president of SMARTER, and Vince Consiglio, president of Michigan ABATE, posted Dec. 2–6, 2012
- MLive analysis: See who's more at fault in Michigan motorcycle crashes; riders with or without helmets? - article by John Barnes published online July 26, 2012, concludes from analysis of Michigan State Police records that "Helmetless motorcyclists were more likely to be at least partly at fault in crashes than those with helmets..."
- MLive analysis: Motorcycle helmet use falls, injury rate climbs in third month since Michigan repeal - article by Jonathan Oosting published online July 19, 2012
- MLive analysis: Motorcycle helmet or not? See the difference in rider crash injuries in Michigan so far - article by John Barnes published online June 21, 2012
- MLive analysis: Motorcyclists mostly keeping helmets on, but helmetless crashes had higher injury rate - article by John Barnes published online May 15, 2012
Michigan-Specific Motorcycle Crash Studies Before 2012 Repeal
- Motorcycle Crashes in Michigan: An Overall Analysis - an Apr. 2006 report, replete with 38 charts and 10 tables, compiled by Sgt. Steven J. Spink, of the Michigan Department of State Police Traffic Services Section, using 2004 data from 3,495 Official Crash Reports (UD-10s); an epilogue (p. 70) about a hypothetical scenario provides a vivid, real-world perspective of the statistical data
- Serious Motorcycle Crashes in Michigan: An Analysis of - a Jan. 2006 report, compiled by Sgt. Steven J. Spink, of the Michigan Department of State Police Traffic Services Section, at the request of the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC), to understand the circumstances surrounding serious crashes to then construct a plan to reduce their occurrence