5-Year Study Debunks Claims of Motorcycle Helmet Dangers

motorcycle helmetYou’ve probably heard the outdated theory that motorcycle helmets cause more severe head and neck injuries. You might even know a handful of riders who refuse to own a helmet and claim wearing one does more harm than good. 

For those of us who never hit the road without a helmet, the whole concept seems ridiculous. But riders who truly believe helmets put them at risk (or are just looking for an excuse not to wear one…) have used the idea to fuel arguments against helmet laws for years, despite the fact that it is overwhelmingly contradicted by other research.

Fortunately, this dangerous belief can finally be put to rest thanks to the results of a study presented last month at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) 2017 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

The research was conducted by Nathaniel Brooks, MD, an associate professor of neurosurgery at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and his colleagues at the school’s Department of Neurosurgery.

The retrospective review examined records of over 1,000 motorcycle crash victims treated at University of Wisconsin Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center between January 2010 and January 2015. According to the study’s authors, riders who wore helmets were significantly less likely to suffer cervical spine injuries than those who did not.

Almost 70% of the patients were not wearing helmets at the time of their crash. According to the study, these crash victims:

  • Suffered significantly more cervical spine fractures
  • Experienced more severe injuries and higher death rates
  • Spent more time in the hospital and ICU
  • Were more likely to be discharged to a rehab facility before they were allowed to return home

While the study doesn’t show causation or explain why this is true, it does confirm that riders who wear helmets tend to suffer fewer cervical spine injuries.

Our friends in Ohio ultimately have the freedom to make their own decisions when it comes to wearing a helmet, but we at MotorEagles strongly encourage you to wear one whenever you hit the road.

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