LineOfHelmetsThe helmet debate rages on. Some motorcyclists argue that helmets inhibit their vision or that they really don’t protect them from injury. Yet, the science is clear. Given how many victims I’ve helped, it’s probably obvious where I fall on the spectrum of this debate: Helmets save lives.

But don’t take my word for it; consider the following from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Unhelmeted riders are 40% more likely to die from a head injury than someone wearing a helmet.”

“Full-face helmets offer the most protection, protecting the eyes and face with a face shield and providing protection to the chin.”

Check out this chart detailing the distribution of impact locations on motorcycle helmets based on a study by Dietmar Otte:

Helmet Sections

Distribution of impact locations on motorcycle helmets, all collisions, based on a study by Dietmar Otte. Image courtesy of CDC.gov

Your chin takes a huge hit in the average motorcycle accident. Hence, full-face helmets are best!

And if you really want to geek out on research, check out this article in the Oxford Journals: “Effectiveness of different types of motorcycle helmets and effects of their improper use on head injuries”

Scientists found:

  • Compared with helmeted motorcyclists, non-helmeted motorcyclists were more than four times as likely to have head injuries and ten times as likely to have brain injuries.
  • Compared with motorcyclists wearing full-face helmets, those wearing half-coverage helmets were more than twice as likely to have head injuries and brain injuries.
  • Compared with motorcyclists with firmly fastened helmets, those with loosely fastened helmets increased their risk of head injury and were more than twice as likely to have brain injuries.
  • Of the three helmet types, half-coverage helmets provided motorcyclists the least protection from head injuries. Furthermore, wearing a loosely fastened helmet may compromise any potential protection.

There is no doubt: helmets save lives. Take precautions to save your own!