Myth busted: helmets do prevent spinal injury

THE idea that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle increases the risk of cervical spine injury has been debunked by a huge study, surgeons say.

Drawing on the US National Trauma Data Bank, researchers sifted through records of more than 40,000 motorcycle collisions, finding helmet-wearers were 22% less likely to suffer cervical spine injury than those without helmets.

Activists lobbying against mandatory helmet laws have cited a small, flawed, 25-year-old study suggesting in the event of a crash the weight of a helmet could cause significant torque on the neck, which could lead to paralysis, the researchers said.

But the latest study fails to back this up and also shows a 65% reduction in risk of traumatic brain injury and 37% risk of death in helmet wearers.

“We are debunking a popular myth that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can be detrimental during a motorcycle crash,” said