An overview is provided of head injury damage and outcome with special focus on motor vehicle trauma. Epidemiological studies indicate that motor vehicle trauma contributes significantly to death and disability from head injuries. Two large patient series are examined and selected characteristics of head injury patients and motor vehicle accidents are described with special attention given to the problem of minor head injuries. When motor vehicle accident series are compared with data on the total study populations no differences in employment, education, race or sex are found. Patients whose injuries were due to motor vehicle trauma did not differ significantly from the total injury population. While alcohol use was a significant contributing factor, selected characteristics of motor vehicles and associated accidents had variable contributions.