Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2011 - Overall Results

Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2011 - Overall Results
TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS
Research Note
DOT HS 811 610
Summary of Statistical Findings
April 2012
Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2011—Overall Results
The 2011 survey also found the following:
■■ The increases in helmet use in 2011 occurred in many
motorcyclist groups, including motorcycle riders,
in States without universal helmet laws, on surface
streets, in rural areas, and during weekends (Table 1).
■■ Helmet use in the Northeast increased significantly to 66 percent in 2011 from 54 percent in 2010
(Figure 3).
Motorcycle Helmet Use, 1994–2011
100%
Helmet Use, in Percent
The trend of motorcycle helmet use since 1994 is shown
in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the percentages of motorcyclists who were using DOT-compliant helmets, noncompliant helmets, and no helmet in 2010 and 2011. It
shows that the DOT-compliant helmet use increased in
2011 while the percentages of motorcyclists who were
wearing non-compliant helmets or who were not wearing any helmet decreased.
Figure 1
80%
71%
63% 64% 67%
67% 66%
58%
51%
63%
54%
48%
58% 58%
60%
40%
20%
0%
95 997 999 001 003 005 007 009 011
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
19
Data Source: NOPUS
Figure 2
Motorcyclists, by Helmet Type
Percent of Motorcyclists Using
Use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets1 increased
significantly to 66 percent in 2011, up from 54 percent
in 2010, based on the National Occupant Protection
Use Survey (NOPUS). The NOPUS is the only survey
that provides nationwide probability-based observed
data on helmet use in the United States and is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics
and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration.
100%
2010 2011
80%
60%
66%
54%
40%
32%
20%
0%
14%
DOT-Compliant
Helmets
26%
8%
Noncompliant
Helmets
No Helmet
Data Source: NOPUS
Figure 3
Motorcycle Helmet Use, by Region
Helmet Use, in Percent
100%
1
DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets are those helmets meeting the
safety requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
Throughout this Research Note, the term helmet use refers to the use of
DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets unless otherwise stated.
NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis
2010 2011
80%
60%
54%
70%
66%
40%
43%
53%
75%
81%
54%
20%
0%
Northeast
Midwest
South
West
Data Source: NOPUS
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
2
Table 1
Use of Helmets Compliant With Federal Safety Regulations by Major Motorcyclist Characteristics
Motorcyclist Group
All Motorcyclists
Riders
Passengers
Motorcyclists in States Where4
Use Is Required for All Motorcyclists
Other States
Motorcyclists on
Expressways
Surface Streets
Motorcyclists Traveling in
Fast Traffic
Medium-Speed Traffic
Slow Traffic
Motorcyclists Traveling in5
Heavy Traffic
Moderately Dense Traffic
Light Traffic
Motorcyclists in
Light Precipitation
Light Fog
Clear Weather Conditions
Motorcycle Riders When
They Are the Sole Motorcyclist
They Have a Passenger
Motorcyclists in the
Northeast
Midwest
South
West
Motorcyclists in
Urban Areas
Suburban Areas
Rural Areas
Motorcyclists Traveling During
Weekdays
Weekday Rush Hours
Weekday Non-Rush Hours
Weekends
Motorcycle Riders Who
Are Riding Alone
Have a Passenger Using a DOT-Compliant Helmet
Have a Passenger Using a Noncompliant Helmet
Have an Unhelmeted Passenger
Passengers on Motorcycles on Which
The Rider Is Using a DOT-Compliant Helmet
The Rider Is Using a Noncompliant Helmet
The Rider Is Unhelmeted
Helmet
Use1
54%
55%
51%
2010
Confidence That
Use Is High or Low
in Group2
2011
Confidence That
Use Is High or Low
in Group2
2010–2011 Change
Change in
Confidence
Percentage
in a Change
Points
in Use3
12
98%
12
98%
13
77%
71%
71%
Helmet
Use1
66%
67%
64%
76%
40%
100%
100%
84%
50%
100%
100%
8
10
85%
93%
74%
49%
100%
100%
77%
63%
97%
97%
3
14
33%
99%
64%
51%
37%
100%
76%
97%
67%
61%
73%
59%
94%
80%
3
10
36
37%
81%
98%
NA
83%
54%
NA
100%
100%
65%
71%
60%
68%
89%
81%
NA
-12
6
NA
75%
53%
NA
NA
54%
NA
NA
100%
NA
NA
66%
NA
NA
96%
NA
NA
12
NA
NA
98%
55%
54%
56%
56%
67%
67%
53%
53%
12
14
97%
78%
54%
43%
54%
75%
50%
98%
50%
100%
66%
53%
70%
81%
52%
99%
65%
100%
12
10
16
6
90%
86%
73%
68%
64%
59%
47%
93%
86%
95%
61%
67%
67%
79%
61%
51%
-4
8
19
29%
72%
99%
59%
68%
54%
48%
94%
99%
99%
94%
63%
57%
66%
72%
91%
93%
93%
91%
4
-11
13
24
50%
90%
94%
99%
70%
70%
55%
88%
NA
4%
56%
100%
NA
100%
67%
88%
NA
21%
53%
100%
NA
100%
12
0
NA
17
97%
2%
NA
92%
83%
NA
NA
100%
NA
NA
83%
NA
NA
100%
NA
NA
0
NA
NA
4%
NA
NA
Use of helmets meeting the safety requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, observed between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. among motorcycle riders and passengers.
The statistical confidence that use in the motorcyclist group (e.g., motorcyclists in urban areas) is higher or lower than use in the corresponding complementary motorcyclist
group (e.g., combined motorcyclists in suburban and rural areas). Confidences that meet or exceed 90% are formatted in boldface type. Confidences are rounded to the
nearest percentage point, and so confidences reported as “100%” are between 99.5% and 100.0%.
3
The degree of statistical confidence that the 2011 use rate is different from the 2010 rate. Confidences that meet or exceed 90% are formatted in boldface type.
4
Use rates reflect the laws in effect at the time data was collected.
5
To better capture the traffic patterns, the traffic density breakdown has been revised in the 2011 NOPUS. This definition revision might have some effects on the 2010–2011 changes.
NA: Data not sufficient to produce a reliable estimate.
Source: National Occupant Protection Use Survey, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1
2
NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
3
Table 2
Use of Noncompliant Helmets by Major Motorcyclist Characteristics
Motorcyclist Group
All Motorcyclists
Riders
Passengers
Motorcyclists in States Where4
Use Is Required for All Motorcyclists
Other States
Motorcyclists on
Expressways
Surface Streets
Motorcyclists Traveling in
Fast Traffic
Medium-Speed Traffic
Slow Traffic
Motorcyclists Traveling in5
Heavy Traffic
Moderately Dense Traffic
Light Traffic
Motorcyclists in
Light Precipitation
Light Fog
Clear Weather Conditions
Motorcycle Riders When
They Are the Sole Motorcyclist
They Have a Passenger
Motorcyclists in the
Northeast
Midwest
South
West
Motorcyclists in
Urban Areas
Suburban Areas
Rural Areas
Motorcyclists Traveling During
Weekdays
Weekday Rush Hours
Weekday Non-Rush Hours
Weekends
Motorcycle Riders Who
Are Riding Alone
Have a Passenger Using a DOT-Compliant Helmet
Have a Passenger Using a Noncompliant Helmet
Have an Unhelmeted Passenger
Passengers on Motorcycles on Which
The Rider Is Using a DOT-Compliant Helmet
The Rider Is Using a Noncompliant Helmet
The Rider Is Unhelmeted
Helmet
Use1
14%
13%
16%
2010
Confidence That
Use Is High or Low
in Group2
2011
Confidence That
Use Is High or Low
in Group2
2010-2011 Change
Change in
Confidence
Percentage
in a Change
Points
in Use3
-6
87%
-4
76%
-9
95%
70%
70%
Helmet
Use1
8%
9%
7%
22%
8%
100%
100%
12%
5%
98%
98%
-10
-3
94%
64%
11%
15%
78%
78%
9%
8%
63%
63%
-2
-7
36%
84%
16%
14%
7%
83%
55%
96%
7%
10%
8%
75%
83%
60%
-9
-4
1
92%
53%
4%
NA
NA
14%
NA
NA
57%
9%
10%
3%
69%
85%
100%
NA
NA
-11
NA
NA
100%
NA
NA
14%
NA
NA
55%
NA
NA
9%
NA
NA
100%
NA
NA
-5
NA
NA
84%
14%
11%
70%
70%
9%
8%
58%
58%
-5
-3
73%
40%
22%
12%
9%
15%
86%
62%
88%
63%
12%
6%
6%
11%
91%
87%
85%
84%
-10
-6
-3
-4
74%
53%
60%
75%
8%
11%
18%
94%
83%
89%
7%
9%
8%
66%
73%
63%
-1
-2
-10
13%
45%
86%
14%
14%
15%
13%
58%
56%
56%
58%
14%
9%
NA
NA
70%
68%
NA
NA
9%
NA
NA
NA
58%
NA
NA
NA
-5
NA
NA
NA
73%
NA
NA
NA
14%
NA
NA
64%
NA
NA
7%
NA
NA
58%
NA
NA
-7
NA
NA
88%
NA
NA
10%
10%
10%
6%
75%
75%
95%
56%
56%
95%
-4
-7
-4
-5
79%
72%
68%
80%
Use of helmets that do NOT meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, observed between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. among motorcycle riders
and passengers.
2
The statistical confidence that use in the motorcyclist group (e.g., motorcyclists in urban areas) is higher or lower than use in the corresponding complementary motorcyclist
group (e.g., combined motorcyclists in suburban and rural areas). Confidences that meet or exceed 90% are formatted in boldface type. Confidences are rounded to the
nearest percentage point, and so confidences reported as “100%” are between 99.5% and 100.0%.
3
The degree of statistical confidence that the 2010 use rate is different from the 2009 rate. Confidences that meet or exceed 90% are formatted in boldface type.
4
Use rates reflect the laws in effect at the time data was collected.
5
To better capture the traffic patterns, the traffic density breakdown has been revised in the 2011 NOPUS. This definition revision might have some effects on the 2010–2011 changes.
NA: Data not sufficient to produce a reliable estimate.
Source: National Occupant Protection Use Survey, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1
NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
4
Survey Methodology
The NOPUS is the only survey that provides 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 traffic. In order to capture the true behavior
of motorcyclists, NOPUS observers do not stop motorcycles or interview motorcyclists. The 2011 NOPUS data
was collected between June 6 and June 17, 2011,while
the 2010 data was collected between June 7 and June
26, 2010.
The NOPUS uses a complex multistage probability
sample, statistical data editing, imputation of unknown
values, and complex estimation procedures. The sample sites for the 2011 NOPUS were entirely from the
2006 NOPUS sample redesign without incorporating
any sites from the old design. During the transitional
years between 2006 and 2010, sample sites were chosen
both from the new design and the old design. Prior to
2006, sample sites were from the old design only. Table
3 shows the observed sample sizes of the 2011 NOPUS
Moving Traffic Survey. A total of 916 motorcyclists were
observed on the 787 motorcycles at the 1,700 data collection sites.
Table 3
Sites, Motorcycles, and Motorcyclists Observed
Numbers of
Sites Observed
Motorcycles Observed
Motorcyclists Observed
2010
2011
Percentage Change
1,783
1,700
-5%
946
787
-17%*
1,083
916
-15%*
*This change could be attributed in part to some site location changes from more
densely populated observation sites in the old sample design to less densely
populated observation sites in the new sample design.
Because the NOPUS sites are selected probabilistically,
we can analyze the statistical significance of its results.
Statistically significant increases in helmet use between
2010 and 2011 are identified in Table 1 and Table 2 by
having a result that is 90 percent or greater in column 7
of these tables. Statistical confidences that use in a given
motorcyclist group, e.g., motorcyclists in the Midwest,
NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis
is higher or lower than the complementary motorcyclist group, e.g., motorcyclists in the Northeast, South,
and West, are provided in columns 3 and 5 of the two
tables. Such comparisons are made within categories,
such as road type, delineated by changes in row shading in the tables. The exception to this is the grouping
“Motorcyclists Traveling During …,” in which weekdays are compared to weekends, and weekday rush
hour to weekday non-rush hour.
Data collection, estimation, and variance estimation
for the NOPUS are conducted by Westat, Inc., under
the direction of the National Center for Statistics and
Analysis in NHTSA under Federal contract number
DTNH22-07-D-00057.
Definitions
NHTSA established standards for motorcycle helmets
to ensure a certain degree of protection in a crash in
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 (Code of
Federal Register, Title 49, Volume 5, Part 571, Section
218, October 2003). DOT-compliant helmets are helmets
that meet this safety standard, while noncompliant helmets are helmets that do not.
DOT-compliant helmets are marked with an identifying sticker on the back of the helmets. However because
of the prevalence of counterfeit stickers, NOPUS data
collectors categorize DOT-compliant helmets as helmets that cover the motorcyclists’ ears or are at least 1
inch thick.
NHTSA estimates helmet use as the use of DOTcompliant helmets.
At the time the 2011 survey was conducted, 20 States
and the District of Columbia required all motorcyclists
to be helmeted. Table 4 provides a list of States with
laws requiring helmet use for all motorcyclists. Other
Table 4
States With Laws1 Requiring Helmet Use for
All Motorcyclists
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
West Virginia
States and the District of Columbia with laws in effect as of May 31, 2011
1
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
5
States either required only a subset of riders or motorcycle passengers to use helmets (such as those under
age 18), or had no helmet requirement.
“Expressways” are defined to be roadways with limited
access, while “surface streets” comprise all other roadways. “Rush hour” is defined to comprise the time periods 7 – 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 – 6 p.m.
A roadway is defined to have “fast traffic” if during
the observation period the average speed of passenger
vehicles that pass the observer(s) exceeds 50 mph, with
“medium-speed traffic” defined as 31 - 50 mph, and
“slow traffic” defined as 30 mph or slower.
A roadway is defined to have “heavy traffic” if the
average number of vehicles on the roadway during the
observation period is greater than 5 per lane per mile,
with “moderately dense traffic” defined as greater than
1 but less than or equal to 5 vehicles per lane per mile,
and “light traffic” as less than or equal to 1 vehicle per
lane per mile. Please note that this traffic density breakdown has been revised in the 2011 NOPUS to better
reflect traffic patterns.
The survey uses the following definitions of geographic
regions, which are defined in terms of the States contained in the region below:
Northeast: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Midwest: IA, KS, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH,
SD, WI
South:
AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS,
NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
West:
AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR,
UT, WA, WY
For More Information
This Research Note was written by Timothy M.
Pickrell, a mathematical statistician in the Mathematical
Analysis Division, National Center for Statistics and
Analysis, NHTSA, and by Tony Jianqiang Ye, statistician employed by Bowhead Systems Management, Inc.,
working with NHTSA. For questions regarding the
information presented in this document, please contact
timothy.­[email protected]
Additional data and information on the survey design
and analysis procedures will be available in upcoming publications to be posted at the Web site http://
www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/index.aspx in 2012.
Helmets are estimated to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41-percent for motorcycle passengers. NHTSA estimates that
helmets saved the lives of 1,483 motorcyclists in 2009.
For more information on the campaign by NHTSA and
the States to raise helmet use, see www.nhtsa.gov.
The NOPUS also observes other types of restraints,
such as seat belts and child restraints, and observes
driver electronic device use. This publication is part of
a series that presents overall results from the survey on
these topics. Please see publications in the series, such
as “Seat Belt Use in 2011—Overall Results,” for the latest
data on these topics.
Suggested APA Format Citation:
Pickrell, T. M., & Ye, T. J. (2012, April). Motorcycle Helmet
Use in 2011—Overall Results. (Report No. DOT HS
811 610). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration.
This research note and other general information on
highway traffic safety may be accessed by Internet
users at: www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/CATS/index.aspx
NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
8564-041312-v2
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