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Effect of the mandatory helmet law in Taiwan
  1. Ming-Che Tsai1,
  2. David Hemenway2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Taiwan
  2. 2Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Hemenway
 (e-mail: hemenway{at}


Objective—To estimate the impact of a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan.

Methods—Taiwan passed a mandatory helmet law in June 1997. Data were collected retrospectively from police reports, which include hospital data, to compare six months pre-law (June to November 1996) with the same six months post-law (June to November 1997).

Results—Motorcycle fatalities decreased 14% after the introduction of the helmet law. Head injury fatalities fell 22% while fatalities from injuries to other bodily areas rose 20%. Non-fatal motorcycle injuries fell 31%. Non-fatal head injuries fell 44%; non-fatal injuries to other body parts fell 23%.

Conclusion—This study indicates that large, immediate public health benefits resulted from the mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan.

  • motorcycle
  • head injury
  • helmet law

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