The reinstated comprehensive motorcycle helmet law in Texas

Mounce, Nancy H. / Brackett, Quinn R. / Hinshaw, Wanda M. / Lund, Adrian K. / Wells, JoAnn K.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
September 1992

On September 1, 1989, Texas reinstituted mandatory helmet use for motorcyclists of all ages. Time series analyses of police-reported crashes in the state indicate an 11% reduction in serious injury crashes per registered motorcycle as a result of the law change, which corresponds to about 500 fewer serious injury crashes during 1990. A comparison of hospital injury information during the first nine months of the law with information from a study of the same hospitals three years earlier confirmed that injured cyclists not wearing helmets were twice as likely to have suffered a head injury and four times as likely to have suffered a serious one (AIS 3-6) as injured cyclists who were wearing helmets. Compared with cyclists injured before the law, those injured after the law suffered less serious injuries (as measured by Injury Severity Scores). Motorcyclists reporting to the hospitals with injuries after the law change were less likely to have head, face, or external (superficial cuts and bruises) injuries.

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