StateStats: Hard Heads Don't Hurt: February 2011 

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Motorcycles make up 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, yet they accounted for 12 percent of the costs associated with motor vehicle crashes and 6 percent of all vehicle deaths in 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than car occupants to die in crashes.

Helmets reduce the likelihood that a motorcycle rider will die in a crash by 37 percent, and are estimated to have saved the lives of 1,829 motorcyclists in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, and in those states, helmet use reached 86 percent in 2009, compared to only 55 percent in states without the law.