A Helmet Law is Not
           a “Stand-Alone” Issue.


The motorcycle helmet law issue is directly tied to larger issues. Health care, budget, and public safety issues are under consideration in state legislatures across the country.


Citizens must fight for every penny at the state government level and recognize the trade-offs where they exist. In the case of motorcycle helmet laws, clearly the money spent on head injuries means that less money will be available to pay police officers or teachers.
—Judith Lee Stone, President
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


Helmet laws make good economic sense. Every state legislature struggles with answering voters’ requests for better educational systems and lower crime rates, yet state dollars are spent on citizens who incur avoidable head injuries while riding a motorcycle without a helmet.


Figures on the cost of a head injury vary, but one thing is clear: motorcycle riders injured while not wearing a helmet cost significantly more to treat than those wearing a helmet. Here are some data that point to just how expensive those costs can be:

  • A surviving patient with a critical head injury incurs an average of $171,000 in medical and convalescence costs in just the first year following the injury.40

  • The long-term cost of a critical head injury is estimated to be almost $300,000.41

  • Analysis of linked data for three states with universal helmet laws in the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES) showed that without the helmet law, the total extra inpatient charges due to brain injury would have been almost doubled from $2,325,000 to $4,095,000.42


Table of Contents / Comprehensive Approach to Safety / Anatomy of a Crash /
Preventing Brain Injuries / Reducing Injuries & Saving Lives / Helemet Laws Work /
Reducing Costs / Not a Stand Alone Issue / Common Myths /
Tax Payer vs. Personal Freedom / More Info. / End Notes