California’s Office of Traffic Safety says the lives of 291 motorcycle riders and passengers were saved in 2008 by wearing helmets.
Other road users were saved by the use of child restraints, seat belts, and air bags.
"Nearly 2,000 people, in just the last year alone, have lives and futures today because they took the small amount time and effort to buckle up or use a helmet," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "It is staggering when you contemplate the tragedies that have been averted that would have otherwise affected tens of thousands of their families and friends."
In California last year, an estimated 161 additional people would have survived crashes if they had been wearing seat belts and 26 motorcycle riders would be alive if they had been wearing helmets, says the office.
These are estimates, of course, and they come from the National Highway Safety Administration, which makes calculations "using the effectiveness of each device."