Spring and motorcycle season is right around the corner (believe it or not).Â Â Common sense tells us that wearing a helmet reduces the chance ofÂ head injuries in an accident, but it can also prevent neck injuries as well.Â A new examination of 40,000 motorcycle accidents in the National Trauma Data Bank shows that wearing a helmet also reduces cervical neck injuries by 22% along with reducing the chance of death by 37% and head injuries by 65%.Â Opponents of helmets claim that the increased weight of the helmet leads to more neck injuries, not less.Â Â Â However, trauma surgeons who take care of injured motorcycle riders disagreed and now they have proof.
Dr. John Compton of University of California of Los Angeles, author of the study notes:
“This analysis of the largest trauma database ever assembled demonstrates that injured motorcycle riders are significantly less likely to suffer from a cervical spine injury when wearing a helmet compared with non-helmeted riders, effectively debunking the myth that motorcycle helmets are associated with higher risk of cervical spine injury after a crash,” Crompton’s group stated.
Dr. Compton also notes that only 20 states have mandatory helmet laws, a number which has decreased over the past 40 years.Â Motorcycling has increased in popularity, both for entertainment, and due to the rising price of gas.
Motorcycle use has risen sharply over the past 10 years in the United States. Since 1997, motorcycle injuries in the U.S. have increased by roughly 5,000 per year and motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled, according to the new journal article.
This spring, when you get your bike out, get your helmet out, too, and put it on.