226944 Using CODES Data to determine the association between universal helmet laws and motorcycle crash outcomes

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Larry Cook, PhD, MStat , Intermountain Injury Control Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Andrea Thomas , Intermountain Injury Control Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Cody S. Olsen, MS , Intermountain Injury Control Research Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Lenora Olson, MA, PhD , Intermountain Injury Control Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Introduction: Motorcycle crashes can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of injuries and death. Universal helmet laws, requiring all motorcyclists to wear approved helmets, are one approach to increase helmet use. Objective: Compare the medical and hospital charge outcomes between motorcyclists in universal vs. partial (helmets required for some motorcyclists, usually based on age, and not others) law states. Methods: Linked data from 18 states (7 with a universal helmet law and 11 with no or partial helmet laws) in the CODES Data Network from 2003 2005 were collected. Chi-square tests and logistic regression are used to compare differences between universal and partial helmet law states regarding TBI, head, and facial injuries. Results: There was no difference in average age (37 years) or gender (83% - 86% male) of motorcyclists between universal and partial helmet law states for the 104,472 motorcyclists studied. Motorcyclists in universal helmet law states had lower median ED charges ($1,038 ) compared to motorcyclists in partial law states ($1,242) and lower admitted charges ($19,297 vs. $23,580, respectively). Logistic models showed that motorcyclists in universal law states were less likely to sustain TBI (OR = 0.66, p = 0.01), head injuries (OR = 0.74, p = 0.03), and facial injuries (OR = 0.72, p = 0.03) compared to motorcyclists in partial law states. Implications: Universal helmet laws are associated with decreased morbidity and lower healthcare charges.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation participants will be able to 1) discuss the difference between universal and partial coverage laws. 2) assess the relationship between type of motorcycle helmet law and specific injury types.

Keywords: Motor Vehicles, Traumatic Brain Injury

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for the gather and analysis of the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.