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Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Risk of Spine Injuries.June 4, 2013
As Buffalo personal injury lawyers, we know that motorcycle accidents often involve truly devastating and life-changing injuries. We have handled personal injury claims for many motorcycle accidents, and understand the long term impact these injuries have on a motorcyclist’s life.
Motorcycle enthusiasts in Buffalo and Western New York have been required to wear helmets for years. The ability of motorcycle helmets to prevent personal injury and death caused by a blow to the head has been well established. One argument presented against helmets, however, arises from a 25 year old study that found the weight of a helmet may cause significant torque on the neck during an accident, injuring the spine and possibly leading to paralysis. A newer study conducted by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, however, indicates that this older study is incorrect.
The John Hopkins’ study reviewed information in the National Trauma Databank from more than 40,000 motorcycle collisions between 2002 and 2006. It found that, in addition to decreasing the risk of traumatic brain injury by 65% and the risk of death by 37%, wearing a helmet during a motorcycle crash reduced the risk of cervical spine injury by 22%. The researchers also indicated that the earlier study – which reached the opposite conclusion – was based on flawed statistical reasoning and could not account for significant changes in helmet technology in the past 25 years, with helmets becoming both lighter and sturdier.
The John Hopkins’ researchers concluded that there is no issue regarding the ability of helmets to reduce the risk of personal injury – including spinal injury. They strongly recommend that all motorcyclists wear helmets.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and have any legal questions, please feel free to call us at 716-400-0000. We would be happy to assist you.