Effects of repealing the motorcycle helmet law in Michigan

Zachary Hothem, Robert Simon, Wesley Barnes, Azmath Mohammad, Shruti Sevak, Kathryn Ziegler, Anthony Iacco, Randy Janczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background In 2012, Michigan repealed its universal helmet law. Our study assessed the clinical impact of this repeal. Methods Our trauma database was queried retrospectively for 2 motorcycle riding seasons before and 3 seasons after repeal. On-scene death data was obtained from the Medical Examiner. Results Helmet use in hospitalized patients decreased after the helmet law repeal. Non-helmeted patients had a significant increased rate of head injury. Non-helmeted patients were more likely to die during hospitalization. While, helmet use and drugs/alcohol status significantly affected the risk for head injury, only drug/alcohol had a significant effect on overall mortality. Conclusions Following helmet law repeal, helmet use has decreased. Helmet status and drug/alcohol use was found to significantly increase risk of head injury. Although overall mortality was only affected by drug/alcohol use, non-helmeted patients did have a higher inpatient mortality. These findings deserve furthermore study and may provide a basis for reinstating the universal helmet law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Helmet law
  • Helmet use
  • Michigan helmet law
  • Michigan motorcycle
  • Motorcycle crash
  • Motorcycle helmet


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