mission is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to
July 28, 2004
Motorcycle Helmets--They Save Lives
For many years the Trauma Foundation has strongly urged Californians to continue to save lives and NOT repeal the state's motorcycle helmet law. Every year, however, the law comes up for repeal despite the fact that numerous studies illustrate the growing value and efficacy of helmet laws. Two recent studies underscore the importance of California maintaining its current helmet law.
What Happens When
a State Does Repeal Its Helmet Law
Motorcyclist Fatal Crashes and Fatalities in Kentucky 1996-2000
*Years prior to helmet law change. "This table shows that in the two years immediately prior to the law change (1996 & 1997), there were 22 and 24 fatal crashes respectively, involving motorcyclist victims and there were 24 fatalities each year. In the two years immediately after the law change (1999 & 2000), there were 38 and 35 fatal crashes involving 40 and 36 motorcyclist fatalities. That is, annual motorcyclist fatal crashes and fatalities increased by more than 50% following the law change." Evaluation of the Repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Kentucky and Louisiana.
Motorcyclist Fatal Crashes and Fatalities in Louisiana 1997-2001
*Years prior to helmet law change. "In the two years prior to the universal helmet law's repeal in Louisiana (1997 & 1998), an average of 27 motorcyclists were killed in 26 crashes. In the two years after the law's repeal (2000-2001), an average of 56 motorcyclists were killed in 54 crashes. That is, fatal crashes and fatalities have doubled, on average, since the law's repeal." Evaluation of the Repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Kentucky and Louisiana.
Clearly, motorcycle helmet laws make sense. California and other states with successful helmet laws need to prevent future increases in motorcycle fatalities by keeping helmet laws on the books. It's a no brainer!