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Support for Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle Crash Research:
Causation, Prevention, Mitigation,
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Motorcycling General Interest

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

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.

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.

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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

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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.

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MLive 2012 Motorcycle Crash Report Analyses and Investigative Reports Following Michigan's Mandatory Helmet Law Repeal April 13, 2012

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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

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