Mandatory Helmet Use and the Severity of Motorcycle Accidents: No Brainer?

Produced by: 
Universidad de Montevideo
Available from: 
April 2013
Paper author(s): 
Magdalena Blanco
José María Cabrera
Felipe Carozzi
Alejandro Cid
Education - Health

We study the impact of mandatory motorcycle helmet use laws on the severity and volume of road accidents in Uruguay by exploiting a change in the enforcement of the traffic law. Using event-study, differences-in-difference and synthetic control methods, we report a sharp increase in helmet use and a 40 percent reduction in the incidence of serious or fatal motorcyclist accidents. We find no evidence of other behavioral responses in terms of either the volume or type of accidents. We show that additional costs of enforcement for the relevant government agencies were negligible and estimate the health benefits of the policy.


Research section: 
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