The Highway Loss Data Institute’s (HLDI) study shows that since Michigan’s repeal of its universal helmet law in 2012, the medical costs of injured motorcyclists increased substantially, while motorcycle injury crashes also increased. This is consistent with many previous studies showing that repealing a law requiring all riders to wear helmets inevitably and quickly increases motorcyclist fatalities.
Michigan is one of six states that have repealed their universal helmet law since 1997. Only 19 states currently have universal helmet laws, and no state has enacted a law since 2004. This is despite the fact the helmet use has been cited by researchers as the single most effective countermeasure in reducing motorcyclist injuries and deaths.
The new data from HLDI adds to the evidence that motorcycle safety is going in the wrong direction. Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reported that helmet use declined six percentage points in 2012, to 60 percent.