For many years, critics of motorcycle helmets have cited a decades-old study to support their view that riders and passengers in motorcycle accidents suffer a comparatively higher rate of spine injuries when they crash while wearing a helmet. Their reasoning centers on data suggesting that a helmet's weight unduly pressures the neck in an accident, which can result in severe damage to the spine.
If that was ever remotely true, say researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, it is certainly not the case now. They point to an extensive new study that has looked at information from the National Trauma Databank, and they say it demonstrates conclusively that a motorcycle helmet is a smart choice in every instance.
The old study, say doctors and other critics, relied on faulty reasoning and statistics, and was published at a time when helmet technology was technologically inferior compared to that which is integrated into today's helmet models.
Study leader Adil H. Haider says that the new evidence - which is based on close scrutiny of more than 40,000 bike crashes - clearly shows helmeted riders as being more than 20 percent less likely to suffer cervical spine injury in a crash than riders without helmets. Haider says that the evidence strongly supports mandatory helmet laws nationwide, with no wiggle room in any state.
Current Ohio helmet law draws a distinction between riders over and under the age of 18. The former can ride without a helmet, while helmets are mandatory for the latter and their passengers.
Related Resource: www.webbikeworld.com "Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Spine Injuries After Collisions" March 2011