When you can ride a motorcycle without helmets
The term “motorbike half helmet” is used interchangeably to describe helmets that protect the head from the impact of an impact, such as those used by motorcyclists who do not wear helmets.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other groups, half helmets are not necessary to protect the health of motorcyclist.
In a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, researchers examined data from the National Motorcyclist Association and found that helmets were not associated with a reduced risk of death or serious injury from motorcycle crashes, such injuries that can be caused by motorcycle collisions.
In fact, the risk of serious injury, according to a study by the University of Maryland, was nearly five times higher in motorcycle helmets than in the general population.
“The data suggest that half-helmet wearing is not a protective strategy for riders who ride motorcycles,” said lead author Dr. David Pyle, MD, of the University at Albany Medical Center.
“We believe half-helmets may reduce the risk for serious injury when helmets are worn.
This study suggests that full-helmets may also be protective, even if they may not prevent injuries.”
The study was based on data from more than 1.4 million motorcyclers who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted in 1999-2000.
The NHANES data are the first comprehensive study of motorcycle helmet use to assess whether the use of half- or full-face helmets, known as full face and full helmet, increases or decreases the risk to motorcyclism-related deaths and serious injuries.
To the researchers, the results of this study provide further evidence that full face helmets, or helmets with a lower visor than standard full face or full helmet helmets, are not protective against injury in motorcycle crashes.
They also raise concerns that the risk from motorcycle helmet wearing may increase or decrease as helmet use increases.
“While the results show that the protective effects of helmets are small, the increase in serious injuries in the years after helmet use appears to be small and statistically insignificant,” said Dr. Pyle.
“This is in line with previous research that found no association between helmet use and injury rates in motorcycled participants, including motorcycle riders.”
The findings also provide further reason to avoid half-face and full-helmet helmets, Pyle said.
Half-face or full face helmet use is associated with reduced risk for injuries related to motorcycle crashes and the number of serious motorcycle crashes in the United States, according the CDC.
In addition, half- and full face motorcycle helmets appear to have no protective effect against injuries in a large study of helmet use among the general public.
“Half-face helmet use has been associated with increased crash risk, but no protective effects,” said the study’s senior author Drs.
Elizabeth M. Kornfield, MD and John J. DePinto, PhD. “Even if half-faced helmets reduce the injury risk by a few percent, the full-faced helmet effect is large and substantial.
We believe the full face effect of full helmets may be greater than half the protective effect of half helmets.”
The researchers compared the number and types of serious motorcyclicle injuries among motorcyclic helmet-wearing riders and the general U.S. population to identify the protective impact of full- and half-motorcyclist helmets.
The findings indicated that, in general, riders who wear helmets do not appear to suffer from a greater risk of motor vehicle crashes.
The researchers also found that the incidence of serious and life-threatening motorcycle crashes was highest in riders who were wearing helmets, and the relative risk was similar in the two groups.
However, the researchers noted that the relative risks were significantly lower among riders who did not wear a helmet, indicating that full helmet use may protect against serious injury.
“Full-face motorcycle helmets have no significant protective effect on motorcycler mortality,” said Pyle of the study.
“As motorcycle helmet-use increases, the relative protective effects become less than half of the protective protective effect from half helmets.
Therefore, full- or half- face helmets are unnecessary and may increase injury risk.
The results of the present study are in line and consistent with previous work that has shown no protective benefit of helmets against serious motor vehicle crash injury.”
The authors of this article are researchers at the University Health Network, the University College London, University College, the Department of Public Health, the Institute of Public Affairs, the College of Public and International Affairs, University of Michigan, the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research, the Centre for Health Economics and Policy and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research.
They report no conflicts of interest.
References and More: MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CORN), EMBASE, MEDLINE Plus, Web of Science, Emb