A reason to cheer as the percentage of motorcycle riders using helmets is up yet again!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Jan. 7, 2010
Fully helmeted and geared on a Honda XR 650L in Anaheim, CA.
Use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets in 2009 stood at 67 percent, a gain from 63 percent in 2008. This result is from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) which is the only survey that provides the nationwide probability-based observed data on helmet use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In the past five years, motorcycle helmet use has been increasing slowly but steadily – increased from 48 percent in 2005 to 67 percent in 2009.
The 2009 survey also found the following:
- Helmet use in States that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets increased significantly from 78 percent in 2008 to 86 percent in 2009. The helmet use in these States continued to be higher than in those States without universal helmet use law.
- Helmet use in the Northeast increased by 16 percentage points to 61 percent in 2009. Another statistically significant increase.
- In 2009, helmet use in rural areas continued to increase to 75 percent while urban areas saw a 15-percentage-point drop to 57 percent.
The NOPUS is the only survey that provides the nationwide probability-based observed data on motorcycle helmet use in the United States. The survey observes helmet use as it actually occurs at randomly selected roadway sites, and thus provides the best tracking of helmet use in this country.
The survey data is collected by sending observers to probabilistically sampled roadways, who observe motorcyclists between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Observations are made either while standing at the roadside or, in the case of expressways, while riding in a vehicle in the traffic. In order to capture the true behavior of motorcyclists, NOPUS observers do not stop motorcycles or interview motorcyclists. The 2009 NOPUS data was collected between June 1 and June 20, 2009, while the 2008 data was collected between June 2 and June 22, 2008.
States With Laws Requiring Helmet Use for All Motorcyclists
At the time the 2009 survey was conducted, 20 States and the District of Columbia required all motorcyclists to be helmeted. Other States either required only a subset of riders (operators) or motorcycle passengers to use helmets (such as those under age 18), or had no helmet requirement.
Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
Riding on the I-5 outside LA
If you are going to ride, wear your helmet gear... All of it! Arai- XD-3 helmet,
Aerostich Darien jacket and pants, BMW Rally GS2 Boots and Cross Gloves.
You can view the complete report in pdf format at the following: Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2009 – Overall results