Motorcyclists will almost always face a higher chance of injury – especially serious or lethal injury – when involved in a crash with other vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to injuries of the head, neck and brain.
Fortunately, helmets provide a reduction to some of the worst of these injuries. But how exactly do helmets make this possible?
How helmets protect the skull
The National Library of Medicine examines the way helmets provide protection to the skull and brain. They essentially act as an exoskeleton for the skull, creating an external layer of protection through padding and plastic that helmet-makers place strategically to maximize protection. In theory, when the helmet takes a blow, it will absorb as much of the force as possible, reducing the strain placed on the actual skull.
In practice, helmets still have room left for improvement. For example, while helmets can reduce skull fractures by up to 71 percent, they also reduce intracranial hemorrhaging by a comparatively low 53 percent. This shows that while some damage certainly ends up absorbed by the helmet as intended, other injuries can still occur.
The importance of the right helmet
However, a reduction in the chance of getting injured serves a purpose no matter what the percentage. Even 53 percent is better than no protection at all. On top of that, even if a helmet does not prevent injury entirely, it will almost always help reduce the severity of the injury.
It is important for motorcyclists to get the proper helmet, though. Only a well-fitted helmet worn properly can reach its fully maximized potential and protect riders to the best of its ability.