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Are helmets responsible for an increase in neck injuries?

The question of whether or not motorcycle helmets are responsible for an increased risk of cervical spine injuries has been at the forefront of the long time opposition against mandatory helmet use. Many motorcyclists believe that helmets actually increase head mass which puts more strain on the neck in a collision. Fortunately, this is not true. In fact, motorcycle helmets have been found to be associated with an overall decrease in the risk of cervical spine injuries in accident.

Despite the fact that helmet use has been directly linked to a reduction in mortality rates, hospital expenditures and traumatic brain injuries, many motorcyclists seek to repeal the universal helmet law. Individuals in opposition to the helmet law have cited evidence suggesting that helmet use leads to an increase risk of neck injury in accident. This belief comes from the idea that helmets work to increase the head's mass, weight and torque, which is believed to put an increased strain on the cervical spine in collision.

For more than four decades, there had not been sufficient evidence to confirm or debunk the belief that helmet use increases the rate of neck injuries. Fortunately, some studies have worked to prove this belief incorrect. A study that looked at more than 62,000 motorcycle collisions found there to be a lower proportion of neck injury among helmeted motorcyclists when compared to non-helmeted motorcyclists. In fact, in one such study, researchers have suggested reenacting the universal helmet law in states where it has been overturned.

Despite the best efforts of motorcyclists to stay safe while traveling, the negligence of other drivers account for a great number of motorcycle accidents each year. With or without a helmet, motorcyclists involved in a car accident are likely to suffer significant injuries. If you are a motorcyclist that has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, and working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive it.

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