Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Topics: Motorcycle, Motorcycle safety, United States / Pages: 11 (2548 words) / Published: Aug 6th, 2012
Motorcycle Helmet Laws 1

Running Head: Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Impact of Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws
CariAnne Kestrel
July 15, 2012
Utica College
SOC 376-Z1 Criminological Research Methods
Professor Gregory Fulkerson
Summer 2012

Motorcycle Helmet Laws 2

Over the past 30 years, many states have enacted mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle drivers. There have been many states that have rescinded these laws for reasons that may not be known by those most interested – the motorcycle rider him/herself. Currently, less than half of all U.S. states require helmets for motorcycle operators. One who is interested in this topic may wonder how those that are in positions to give the thumbs up or thumbs down regarding these laws make their decision one way or the other. Do they have facts, data and evidence to support their verdicts? Or, are they influenced by stories of horrific motorcycle fatalities recited to them by friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, church members, or acquaintances at the grocery store, garden center and/or the local pub? Could there be a possibility that they might pass a mandatory helmet law due to a knee-jerk reaction to a particularly heinous accident that recently occurred and been covered by television, radio, newspaper and the internet? What are the chances that one of those decision makers was an avid rider who escaped serious injury due to donning a helmet while riding? Those questions might also lead to others, for example, about how much influence lobbyists have when it comes down to the final moments prior to the enactment or veto of a particular bill. Does a lobbyist that is pro-mandatory helmets have more “clout,” or would, for example, a group of motorcycle drivers have any influence? The typical motorcycle rider and/or the general public most likely has no idea what factors are explored prior to the determination of those who have license to make the decision as to how one



References: Cotton, Paul (1992). Highway Fund Threat Is No Easy Ride For Motorcycle Law Opponents. The Journal of the American Medical Association 268.3, July 15, 1992, p. 311. Derrick, Allison J; Faucher, Lee D. (2009). Motorcycle Helmets and Rider Safety: A Legislative Crisis. Journal of Public Health Policy30. 2: 226-42 Eustace, Deogratias, P.E., M.ASCE; Krishna Indupuru, Vamsi, Hovey, Peter (2011). Identification of Risk Facors Associated with Motorcycle-Related Fatalities in Ohio. Journal of Transportation Engineering/July 2011, 120-125. Houston, David J., PhD; Richardson, Lilliard E, Jr., PhD (November 2007). Motorcycle Safety and the Repeal of Universal Helmet Laws, American Journal of Public Health, 97.11, 2063-9. Wears, Robert, MD; Luten, Robert, MD (2007). Characteristics of Motorcycle-Related Hospitalizations: Comparing States with Different Helmet Laws. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 39, Issue 1, 190-196.

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