50
Percent

of unhelmeted motorcycle fatalities are preventable

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Motorcycle helmets have been shown to be at least 50% effective in reducing fatal head injury in motorcycle crashes
- 1, 2

  1. Head Injury and Effective Motorcycle Helmets, NHTSA

  2. Helmets For Preventing Injury in Motorcycle Riders (Review) Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

50
Percent

of motorcycle fatalities are caused by head injuries

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Nationally, about half of all fatalities to motorcyclists from 1979 through 1986 were attributed to head injury
- 1

In Nebraska, for 2008-2013, there were 151 deaths resulting from a motorcycle crash, of those 88 (58%) were the result of a head injury
- 2

Head injuries are one of the most common injuries after motorcycle crashes and were estimated to be the cause of death in [over] 50 percent of these fatalities
- 3

  1. Association of Helmet Use with Death in Motorcycle Crashes: A Matched-Pair Cohort Study

  2. Helmets For Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities, Nebraska 2008-2013 , Nebraska Dpt. of Helth and Human Serices

  3. Helmet Efficacy to Reduce Head Injury and Mortality in Motorcycle Crashes, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma

70
Percent

of all head injuries are preventable while wearing a helmet

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Motorcyclists are at high risk in traffic crashes, particularly for head injury. A review of studies concluded that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by around 69 percent
- 1, 2

Analysis of [collected medical records] showed that motorcycle helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. Thus, if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets, 67 percent of those unhelmeted motorcyclists who received inpatient care for a brain injury would not have sustained the brain injury.
- 3

  1. Derrick, A. & Faucher, L. J Public Health Pol (2009)

  2. Liu BC, Ivers R, Norton R, Boufous S, Blows S, Lo SK. Helmets for preventing injury in motorcycle riders

  3. U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Benefits of Safety Belts and Motorcycle Helmets, Report to Congress, Feb 1996

300
Percent

rise in your likelihood to receive permanent brain damage while not wearing a helmet

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Unhelmeted riders are over 3 times (300%) more likely to incur permanent brain damage resulting in lifelong impairment after a crash
- 1

Emergency room personnel at 8 hospitals throughout Iowa recorded accident, injury, and cost data on 268 motorcyclists who came or were brought to the hospitals from April through September 1989. Riders were included only if helmet use could be determined from interviewing the rider, ambulance staff, or investigating officers. The study coordinator, a registered nurse, used the descriptive injury data to assign AIS scores.

Permanent disability was suffered by 6.7 percent of the nonhelmeted riders compared with 1.6 percent of the helmeted riders. (418% or 4 times more likely to receive permanent brain damage)
- 2

Eleven studies that compared the severity of injuries between helmeted and nonhelmeted riders all indicated that helmet use reduced the severity of nonfatal injuries. These studies reported that helmet use reduced the incidence of severe, serious, and critical head injuries by 46 to 85 percent. (two to five times (185% to 666%) more head injuries among unelmeted riders across 11 studies)
- 3

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Benefits of Safety Belts and Motorcycle Helmets, Report to Congress, Feb 1996

  2. Peterson, Tim, MD, and Kim Royer. Iowa Cycle Injury Study. Des Moines: Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Dec. 1989

  3. GAO Report to Congressional Requesters: Motorcycle Helmet Laws Save Lives and Reduce Costs to Society, July 1991

54
Percent

decline in fatalities after California enacts universal helmet law

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California, a state with more than 10 percent of the nation's registered motorcycles and one of only two states that had never had a helmet use law applicable to adults, implemented a universal law in 1992, following extensive debate and publicity.

In the five years immediately before the universal law (1987-1991), the annual average of motorcyclists killed was 596. In the five years following adoption (1992-1996), the average was 274, a 54 percent decrease
- 1.

  1. Evaluation of the Repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Kentucky and Louisiana DOT HS 809 530 October 2003, National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration

30
Percent

increase in fatalities after Texas removes helmet law

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In 1997, Texas became the (one of two of the) first states since 1983 to repeal universal laws requiring all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Helmet use (prior to repeal) was 97 percent in statewide surveys. By May of 1998 (after repeal), observed helmet use had fallen to ... 66 percent in Texas.

Texas motorcycle operator fatalities increased by 31 percent comparing 1998 with 1996.
- 1.

  1. Preusser DF, Hedlund JH, Ulmer RG. Evaluation of Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal in Arkansas and Texas. National Technical Information Service; September2000

70
Percent

increase in fatalities after Florida removes helmet law

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On July 1, 2000, Florida repealed the legal requirement that all motorcyclists wear protective helmets. State law now requires helmet use only by riders under the age of 21, and by older riders who do not have a minimum of $10,000 medical insurance coverage.

Fatalities in the two years following the law change were 71 percent greater than the two years before the law change.
- 1.

  1. FLORIDA’S MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW REPEAL 2005, National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration

Helmet Optional