It is a well-known fact that head injuries are the main cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Because the brain and skull are so important to survival and normal function it makes sense not to put this part of the body at unnecessary risk. More than three thousand people die in the US each year in motorcycle accidents, with another fifty thousand suffering injuries. Motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable than vehicle drivers for several reasons: they are less protected and less visible than other road users as well as being faster and smaller than other vehicles.
The US federal government in the 1960s required states to introduce laws relating to the mandatory wearing of motorcycle helmets, and by the 1970s the majority of states had done so. However these laws were short-lived and by 1980 a considerable number had been repealed. Most states now require young motorcyclists to wear helmets. Safety campaigners argue that the laws do not go far enough and cause unnecessary fatalities.