Friday, July 25, 2014
A Deadly Helmet?
With all the research I have been doing of late into this entire helmet issue, one of the things that surprised me was a study by a couple of high ranking Dr.'s in Australia. At first, I thought it was going to be a report on how "effective" helmets were. Man, was I wrong. If you get a chance, check it out yourself. It is available online (for free I might add), and is called; "Motorcyclist Craniofacial Injury Patterns" by Drs. Cooter and David.
What their study is about is helmets and head injuries. It splits itself into two groups. Those with survivable head injuries, and those with fatal head injuries. All of who were wearing helmets. The ones wearing open face, or full face helmets with flexible face-bars, received extensive facial fractures. BUT, (and this is a pretty big "but") a significantly lower rate of brain injury.
The motorcyclists who were wearing full face helmets with rigid face bars, however, showed a much lower rate of facial fractures. BUT, (and this is another big "but") they had a MUCH greater rate of fatal skull fractures, and fatal brain injury.
Basically, the rigid face bar, which is connected to the chin strap, imparts the impact force through the chin strap forcing the base of the skull to fracture. In a very similar manner as to when a hangmans noose is placed under a persons jaw when they are hanged. The brain damage due to this sort of fracture tends to be extreme and fatal. So while the rigid face bar of the helmet protects your face from being shattered, it has a much higher rate of killing you by ripping your brain apart.
Apparently, the more flexible face bars, and open face helmets, allow your facial bones to shatter. However, the fracturing of your face, while EXTREMELY painful, spreads out and absorbs much of the impact force. Leaving your brain with a greatly reduced risk of damage.
Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. If you have to wear a helmet when you ride, it may just give you something to think about when you buy your next one.
Catch you on the road sometime...