The Impact of a Repealed Motorcycle Helmet Law in Miami-Dade County

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To study the impact of helmet nonuse in motorcycle crashes after the repeal of a mandatory helmet law in the state of Florida.


We prospectively studied all patients evaluated at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center from July 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000, involved in motorcycle crashes, and compared them with those seen during the same time period the year before the helmet law change.


In 1999, before the repeal of the helmet law, there were 52 cases evaluated at our center compared with 94 after the law change. Helmet usage decreased from 1999 (83%) to 2000 (56%). The number of brain injuries (Abbreviated Injury Scale score > or = 2) during this same time period increased from 18 to 35, and the number of fatalities from 2 to 8.


The repeal of a motorcycle helmet law significantly increased the number and severity of brain injuries admitted to our trauma center.