Watch Your Head: Michigan’s Weakened Helmet Use Law Leads to Costlier Injury Claims

This article reports on information regarding motorcycle injury claims in Michigan after the state weakened its helmet use law in 2012 to exempt most riders. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study found that the average insurance payment on a motorcycle injury claim rose substantially in Michigan after the new law went into effect. The new law allows all riders older than 21 years to opt to ride without a helmet if they have either passed a motorcycle safety course or have held the motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license for at least two years. Unhelmeted riders must also carry at least $20,000 in medical coverage. The statistics suggest that motorcyclists’ injuries in the state have become more serious since these changes went into effect. One of the researchers is quoted as saying that “weakening the helmet law seems to have made it somewhat more likely that riders will sustain injuries, but the big impact has been on the seriousness of the injuries.” Indeed, helmets do not protect against all injuries, but they do reduce serious and often fatal head injuries. One chart summarizes state helmet laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Readers are referred to for a copy of the full study report.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 3p
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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01492191
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2013 8:55PM