Influential Factors for Helmet Use Compliance in States without Universal Helmet Laws

Motorcycle helmets are highly effective in reducing rider fatalities (by 22 – 42%) and brain injuries (by 41 – 69%). Universal helmet-use laws (UHUL) are effective at increasing helmet use. Observed helmet use compliance is 84% across States with UHUL compared to 50% compliance across States with no, or partial, helmet use laws (e.g., those that cover only young riders). However, there is variability in helmet use rates among States without a UHUL, which suggests that other factors besides the law contribute to rates of helmet use among riders. The objective of this study is to identify State initiatives and actions that increase helmet use in the absence of a UHUL for the purpose of applying those lessons in other States. The project examined whether helmet use rates vary among those States that do not have a universal motorcycle helmet use law. The project sought to identify the factors that influence the use of helmets in the higher-use rate States. The outcome should provide information of use to all States working to increase the rate of helmet use among motorcycle riders. To explore the factors associated with increased helmet use, the researchers obtained information on State safety programs and strategies in the 31 States without universal helmet laws.


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    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Wochinger, Kathryn

    • Performing Organizations:

      Westat, Incorporated

      1650 Research Boulevard
      Rockville, MD  United States  20850
    • Start Date: 20120901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Motorcycle Safety

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01625574
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-12-D-00270
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Feb 6 2017 4:13PM