helmet laws


CDC: Universal Helmet Laws = Significant Cost Savings


The next time you’re in New Hampshire, for instance, and see a motorcycle rider without a helmet you can think, “Not only are you an idiot but you’re costing your fellow residents money…”

That’s Carey’s take on a new study by the CDC that finds states with universal motorcycle helmet laws (like Massachusetts) report on average nearly four times greater cost savings (per registered motorcycle) compared to states without these comprehensive laws (like New Hampshire). The savings, according to the CDC’s June 15 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, come from reductions in crash-related injuries and deaths.

According to a CDC analysis of fatal crash data from 2008 to 2010, 12 percent of motorcyclists in states with universal helmet laws were not wearing helmets. In comparison, 64 percent of riders were not wearing helmets in states with partial helmet laws, and 79 percent of riders were not wearing helmets in states with no helmet law. Partial helmet laws require only certain riders, such as those under age 21, to wear a helmet.

The report concludes:

In 2010, approximately $3 billion in costs were saved as a result of helmet use in the United States; however, another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.