In the three years after Michigan repealed a mandatory motorcycle helmet law, deaths and head injuries among bikers rose sharply, according to a recent study.
Deaths at the scene of the crash more than quadrupled, while deaths in the hospital tripled for motorcyclists. Head injuries have increased overall, and more of them are severe, the researchers report in the American Journal of Surgery.
Senior author Dr. Carlos Rodriguez decided to do the study after noticing an abrupt change in the trauma unit at Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he works.
The first week after the law was repealed in April 2012, he told Reuters Health, “I just could not help but notice the number of patients that had been in motorcyclecrashes with no helmet on, which was enormously different in number and volume than we had experienced the weekend before.”