Motorcycle helmet use and legislation: a systematic review of the literature.

Matthew Byrnes, Susan G Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although there has been a marked improvement in the safety profiles of cars and in car crash outcomes, there has been a marked worsening in outcomes of motorcycle collisions. Motorcycles account for only 2% of vehicle registrations in the United States, but motorcycle collisions account for 10% of traffic deaths. Further, motorcycle riders are 34 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than automobile drivers. Motorcycle helmet use has been suggested to be an effective way to reduce death and disability after traffic collisions, and enactment of universal helmet laws has been suggested as a means to enforce helmet use. This article presents findings from an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data and studies in the medical literature on the impact of motorcycle helmet use and helmet legislation on the risk of death or injury in motorcycle accidents. The authors found voluminous support for motorcycle helmet use as a way to prevent severe traumatic brain injury and traffic fatalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalMinnesota medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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