According to findings from a recent study neurosurgeons say they are now convinced that helmets reduce rather than cause injuries.
Studies in the past have suggested wearing helmets during a motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle accident may actually increase the risk of skull base and cervical-spine (or neck) injuries secondary to the swelling of the head. These findings prompted researchers to study whether helmets harm or hurt adolescent motorcyclists.
After evaluating records of motorcycle collisions involving minors over nearly 10 years, researchers found 16 percent of injured riders who wore a helmet had skull base and/or cervical-spine injuries compared to 23 percent of non-helmeted riders. They also say about one of 25 riders who wore a helmet had a neck injury, compared to four of 70 riders who did not wear a helmet. Only 8 percent of motorcyclists injured were under age 18, and of that group, nearly 50 percent were not wearing their helmets.
Thus researchers say that helmets do reduce the risk of head injury by 64 percent, and they also reduce the incidence of skull base fractures and do not increase the risk of neck injuries.