The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) esimates that the use of helmets saved 1,829 lives in 2008 (the date of their last major study on the subject). What is more amazing is that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 823 lives could have been saved. The NHTSA estimates that helmets are 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41-percent for motorcycle passengers. Translated into real numbers, this means that for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.
NHTSA’s studies have estimated that as of 2008 motorcycle helmet use was 63 percent. As of 2008, 20 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico required helmet use by all motorcyclists. Other States either required only a subset of motorcyclists to use helmets (such as those under age 18), or had no helmet requirement.