Today’s rigorously tested helmets are made of tough and lightweight materials such as carbon fibre, polycarbonate plastic, fibreglass and kevlar in the shell with a polystyrene foam inner.
Studies show that today’s helmets reduce the risk of head injury by about 69% and death by about 42%. Critics of mandatory helmet laws say they increase neck and spinal injuries in a crash, but there is no evidence to support that assumption.
By comparison, check out these advertisements for helmets from 50 years ago.
In the 1960s, helmets were made of a variety of materials including leather, wood, canvas, shellac, plastic and lightweight metals such as aluminium.
There were no full-face helmets and many offered less protection than today’s cricket or American football helmets.