A recent study, in medpage today, states that motorcycle riders who wear helmets are less likely to sustain cervical spine injuries. Researchers analyzed the national data base and found that the frequency of cervical spine injury was significantly higher among riders not wearing a helmet (5.4%) versus 3.5% among those who were wearing a helmet. Adjusted analysis “revealed that wearing a helmet was associated with a 22% reduction in the odds of injury to the cervical spine.
Just 40 years ago most of the states required helmets regardless of age, now however mandatory helmet laws are only on the books in 20 states.
Researchers analyzed data from the National Trauma Bank for 40,890 motorcycle accidents, their findings show that those not wearing helmets fare much worse in a collision than those who do wear helmets.
Severe head injury : 18.9% vs 8.5%
Shock: 5.8% versus 4.8%
Mean injury severity score 14.7% versus 13.4%
Crude mortality: 6.2% versus 3.5%
Furthermore the study shows that wearing a helmet decreases the odds of traumatic brain injury by 65%, and the odds of death decreased by 37%
Take note, helmets not only save lives, they also help decrease the severity of injury.
Crompton J, et al. “Motorcycle helmets associated with lower risk of cervical spine injury: debunking the myth” J Am Coll Surg 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jamscollsurg.2010.09.032