Helmets Lower Risk of Cervical Spine Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
Despite claims that helmets do not protect the cervical spine during a motorcycle crash and may even increase the risk of injury, researchers from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison found that, during an accident, helmet use lowers the likelihood of cervical spine injury (CSI), particularly fractures of the cervical vertebrae. These findings appear in a new article published this week in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine: “Motorcycle helmets and cervical spine injuries: a 5-year experience at a Level 1 trauma center” written by Paul S. Page, MD, Zhikui Wei, MD, PhD, and Nathaniel P. Brooks, MD.
In Europe you’re unlikely to find someone riding a motorcycle without a helmet; universal laws requiring motorcycle helmet use are applied throughout the European Union. In the United States, on the other hand, laws on helmet use vary from state to state, with some states requiring helmet use for all riders and others limiting the requirement to persons under the age of 18.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates, wearing helmets saved the lives of 1859 motorcycle riders in 2016; an additional 802 lives could have been saved if every motorcyclist had worn them. Wearing a helmet decreases the incidence and severity of traumatic brain injury during crashes. What then are the objections to universal laws requiring motorcycle helmet use?
Read the full article here.