Believe it or not, there’s still a faction out there that reckons bike helmets can do more harm than good in the event of a crash. But now their ideas have taken a hit from a study by the University of Wisconsin.
Its researchers have discovered that as well as helping prevent head injuries, motorcycle helmets actually lower the risk of cervical spine injury. That’s directly opposed to anti-helmet beliefs that helmets could increase the chances of a broken neck.
The theory goes that the additional weight of a helmet could lead to extra stress on your neck in an accident. But the new study shows that there’s no increased risk of neck injury, and in fact that helmets might actually help protect your spine.
Taking 1,061 motorcycle injuries treated in Wisconsin between 2010 and 2015, the study found that 323 were wearing helmets and 738 weren’t. In 7.4 per cent of cases where the riders were wearing a helmet, there was a cervical spine injury. But that rose to 15.4 per cent - more than twice the ratio – when they looked at the riders who weren’t wearing lids.
In terms of cervical spine fractures, 4.6 per cent of the helmet-wearers were affected compared to 10.8 per cent of the lidless riders.
In conclusion, the last bastion of the helmet-sceptic’s arguments has just been blown out of the water. Wear a helmet folks!