The Benefits of Safety Belts and Motorcycle Helmets

Report to Congress
February 1996

Based on data from
The Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES)

Codes Study Chart

*Excludes Utah.

Average charges for inpatient motorcycle riders by brain injury status and helmet use are shown in Exhibit 15.

Regardless of helmet use and payer source, the average charge for inpatient care for a motorcyclist who sustained a brain injury is more than twice the average charge for motorcyclists receiving inpatient care for other injuries. Inpatient charges for unhelmeted motorcyclists receiving care for a brain injury ($26,805) are 2 1/4 times greater than the average charge for care for unhelmeted inpatient motorcyclists not sustaining a brain injury ($11,730).

Therefore, if all motorcyclists wore helmets, approximately $15,000 in inpatient charges would be saved during the first 12 months for every motorcycle rider who, due to wearing the helmet, did not sustain a brain injury. Additional savings would accrue from avoiding the continual costs for care over a lifetime.


Here's The Proper Conclusion & Commentary:
The selective logic by the author above is outstanding. Yes, it seems true that head injury is more expensive than non-head injury (Duh!). BUT, their chart and research above clearly indicates that there is no appreciable statistical advantage to wearing a helmet to prevent or lessen head injury, however their written conclusion proselytizes just the opposite!

Contrary to their written conclusion above, their chart clearly indicates that All Inpatient Victims, non-helmeted riders sustained slightly LESS injury damage ($26,805) than helmeted riders ($26,985) (for more info see AMA analysis).

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