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Motorcycle Safety Guide: Helmet Laws Save Lives and Money

How Do States Measure Up?

In 2010, 42% of motorcyclists who were fatally injured were unhelmeted. Helmets saved over 1,500 riders’ lives, but about 700 more lives could have been saved if all riders had worn helmets in 2010.24

On average, states with a universal helmet law save 8 times more riders’ lives per 100,000 motorcycle registrations each year, compared to states without a helmet law, and save 3 times more riders’ lives per 100,000 motorcycle registrations each year, compared to states with a partial helmet law.24

Economic costs saved in states with universal helmet laws were, on average, nearly four times greater per registered motorcycle than in states without such a law.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in the United States, as of May 2012

This map of the United States shows motorcycle helmet laws by state as of 2010. Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire have no helmet laws. All other states have either partial helmet laws or universal helmet laws. Specific laws by state are listed on the State page.

[ View text version of helmet laws by state ]

**In April 2012, Michigan changed their helmet law from a universal to a partial helmet law. Please note that the lives saved and dollars saved analyses use 2010 data and reflect the status of the helmet laws at that time.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute37

Lives & Economic Costs Saved, by State

Chart legend

Note: In April 2012, Michigan changed their helmet law from a universal to a partial helmet law. Please note that the lives saved and dollars saved analyses use 2010 data and reflect the status of the helmet laws at that time.

Lives Saved

This graph contains the lives saved by helmet use per 100,000 registered motorcycles by state, 2010. The values are listed in the table below.

Lives saved by helmet use per 100,000 registered motorcycles by state, 2010

Note: For comparison purposes, lives saved are standardized by motorcycle registrations (per 100,000 registrations) for each state.

Economic Costs Saved

This graph contains the economic costs saved by helmet use per registered motorcycle by state, 2010. The values are listed in the table below.

Economic costs saved by helmet use per registered motorcycle by state, 2010

Note: For comparison purposes, money saved is standardized by motorcycle registrations for each state.

Data used24, 44; Methods used43

State Lives Saved per 100,000 Registered Motorcycles by State, 2010 Annual Costs Saved per Registered Motorcycle by State, 2010
North Carolina 79.8 $1,627
Virginia 68.0 $1,388
Mississippi 55.2 $1,127
Louisiana 52.9 $1,078
Maryland 51.7 $1,055
Tennessee 46.2 $939
Missouri 45.9 $934
Alabama 39.2 $799
Georgia 34.2 $698
Nevada 33.8 $690
Kentucky 31.9 $649
New York 28.7 $584
West Virginia 28.2 $575
Michigan 27.0 $550
California 26.0 $531
Texas 23.5 $480
Oregon 18.9 $385
Florida 18.7 $381
Massachusetts 18.6 $379
Washington 17.2 $351
Arizona 16.9 $346
Nebraska 16.5 $335
Connecticut 14.8 $300
Colorado 14.4 $294
Wyoming 14.2 $289
Pennsylvania 13.8 $282
Idaho 13.5 $275
South Carolina 13.1 $267
Vermont 12.9 $260
New Jersey 10.5 $215
Utah 10.2 $208
Maine 8.5 $173
Kansas 7.6 $156
Arksansas 7.1 $145
Rhode Island 7.1 $145
Ohio 6.8 $138
Delaware 6.6 $134
South Dakota 6.4 $131
New Hampshire 5.9 $120
Alaska 5.8 $119
Oklahoma 5.6 $115
Montana 5.6 $114
Indiana 5.6 $114
North Dakota 5.6 $113
Hawaii 5.4 $111
Wisconsin 3.9 $80
Illinois 3.7 $75
Minnesota 3.5 $71
Iowa 3.3 $66
New Mexico 2.4 $48

Note: For comparison purposes, lives saved are standardized by motorcycle registrations (per 100,000 registrations) for each state and money saved is standardized by motorcycle registrations for each state..

References

References are located on the Endnotes page.

 
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