Taubman Kimelman & Soroka, LLP
Free Consultation
Foreign Language Services Available: Spanish Korean Creole Croatian 우리는 한국어 서비스가 있습니다
Se Habla Español En Español

Researchers: Motorcycle helmets may reduce risk of neck injury

Could a motorcycle helmet protect your cervical spine -- your neck -- in the event of a traffic crash? Some people have argued that helmets have no effect on such injuries, while others have argued that the extra weight of the helmet could even increase the risk.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, medical researchers decided to find out if there was a statistically significant difference between cervical spine injuries in people who did and did not wear helmets while motorcycling. They learned that helmet use does appear to reduce the number of cervical spine injuries.

"Our study suggests that wearing a motorcycle helmet is a reasonable way to limit the risk of injury to the cervical spine in a motorcycle crash," said one of the authors.

Here in New York, wearing a helmet is mandatory for both riders and passengers. In many other states, however the law allows some or all riders to go without. Many simply choose to do so, while others say that helmets restrict their vision or cause other problems. Some have even said that helmets could increase the chance of cervical spine injuries by placing additional torque on the neck.

For this study, the researchers reviewed the patient charts of 1,061 people injured in motorcycle collisions between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2015. These patients were treated at a single Level 1 trauma center in Wisconsin, where the law does not require helmet use. About 30 percent of the patients had been wearing helmets when they crashed, while about 70 percent were not.

The researchers found statistically significant differences in the number of cervical spine injuries overall, cervical spine fractures, and ligament injuries. There were no statistical differences between the helmeted and unhelmeted riders in nerve root injury, cord contusion or cervical strain.

The unhelmeted group suffered at least one cervical spine injury 15.4 percent of the time, while the helmeted group only sustained such an injury 7.4 percent of the time. Unhelmeted riders suffered cervical spine fractures 10.8 percent of the time; the rate was only 4.6 percent for helmeted riders. For ligament injuries, the number was 1.9 percent for unhelmeted riders and 0.3 percent for helmeted ones.

This is a relatively small survey, but it does give reason to believe that wearing a motorcycle helmet protects not only your brain but also your neck. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,859 motorcyclists' lives were saved by helmets in 2016 alone.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, your helmet use could be an important factor in your compensation case. Discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Now Is The Time To Take Action Contact us for a free consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

30 Vesey Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Phone: 212-227-8140
Fax: 212-385-0662
Map & Directions