Motorcycling News and News Releases

Motorcycling Laws and Legislation

Support for Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle Crash Research:
Causation, Prevention, Mitigation,
Legislation, and Remediation

Motorcyclist Safety Programs

Motorcycling General Interest

Motorcycle Crash Cost Analyses

Impact of Helmet Laws on Containment of Treatment Costs of Injured Crash-Involved Motorcyclists

"The large number of crashes has placed a considerable burden on our Nation’s health care system affecting the economy, reaching $230.6 billion a year, an average of $820 for every person living in the United States."—NHTSA 2006 Action Plan  

Evaluation of Societal Costs of Unhelmeted Crash-Involved Motorcyclists

  • Motorcycle Helmet Laws: The Facts, What Can be Done to Jump-Start Helmet Use, and Ways to Cap the Damages - an April 2007 43-page report well referenced by Melissa Neiman, M.D., J.D., that includes analysis of cost data nationally and of several individual states

    Medical studies have overwhelmingly shown an increased risk of both morbidity and mortality for non-helmeted motorcycle riders as opposed to helmeted riders.5 Further studies have demonstrated the increased cost to society associated with the elevated morbidity and mortality for non-helmeted riders.6 Although the medical literature and the cost analysis studies show universal helmet laws are in the best interest of the individual rider and society as a whole, motorcycle enthusiasts have fiercely lobbied against universal helmet laws proclaiming a right of individual choice.7 The motorcyclists have successfully organized and exerted significant influence over state legislatures in defeating universal helmet laws.8 Because society bears the burden of the increased costs associated with injuries and deaths of non-helmeted riders, the individual rider’s freedom of choice may have to be curtailed.9

  • CDC Study Finds Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws Increase Helmet Use, Save Money - the news release announcing the results of the study below, best summed up by the director of CDC's Injury Center: "It's simple advice - wear a helmet to save your life."
  • The Safety and Economic Costs of Repealing Michigan's Helmet Law - in this report issued March 2012, an analysis conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), citing 17 references and using actual 2009 motorcycle crash and cost data, reveals the devastating monetary and nonmonetary quality-of-life effects of helmet-law repeal:

    In the absence of a universal helmet law in Michigan, the average costs for each crash-involved motorcyclist would have been $136,787 for monetary costs and $180,244 for non-monetary quality of life costs, resulting in $317,031 in total comprehensive costs

    Under this scenario, the societal costs for Michigan in 2009 would have been $497.1 million in monetary costs, $655 million in non-monetary quality of life costs, and $1.2 billion in total comprehensive costs.

  • Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes: A Literature Review - a November 2002 review of 25 studies, most of which examined the impact of safety helmets or helmet laws on motorcycle injuries, but a number of the reviewed studies examined the question of who pays for medical costs

    Who bears the burden of the medical costs of motorcycle crash? Most of the medical costs resulting from motorcycle crashes are borne not by the victims, but by private insurers and the government. Therefore, both insurers and governments, as well as the general public who buys insurance policies and pays taxes, have an interest in ascertaining not only the size of these costs, but also how their impact is distributed among payers.

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