Motorcycle helmets are proven to save the lives of motorcyclists, and they help prevent serious brain injuries. Twenty states and the District of Columbia require motorcycle drivers and their passengers to use helmets. Twenty-seven other states have laws that apply to some riders only, particularly those younger than 18. Colorado, Illinois, and Iowa have no motorcycle helmet requirements at all.
Helmet laws increase motorcycle helmet use, thus saving lives and reducing serious injuries. The NHTSA reports that in 2000 there were 2,862 motorcycle riders killed on U.S. roads and highways. This number represents a 15 percent increase from 1999. There were 58,000 motorcycle-related injuries in 2000, a 16 percent increase from 1999.