Motorcycle helmet laws in the United States from 1990 to 2005: Politics and public health

Jenny Homer, Michael French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


The passage of universal helmet legislation requiring motorcycle riders of all ages to wear helmets is a timely and controversial issue with far-reaching public health implications, especially as the number of motorcycle fatalities continues to rise. In 2008, only 20 states had a universal helmet policy, an effective safety measure for reducing motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries. We used state-specific longitudinal data for the continental United States from 1990 through 2005 to determine which industry, political, economic, and demographic factors had a significant influence on the enactment of universal helmet policies. Our findings suggest that political climate and ideology are important predictors of helmet policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-423
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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