Friday April 26, 2019

Wearing helmet may reduce spine injury risk during crash

0
//
Wear helmets to reduce spine injuries. Wikimedia Commons
Wear helmets to reduce spine injuries. Wikimedia Commons
  • Helmets may prevent serious spine injury risks
  • Cervical spine fractures were found more often in patients who were not wearing helmets
  • Helmets need to be necessary for riding two-wheelers

Helmet usage while riding a motorcycle lowers the likelihood of cervical spine injury (CSI), particular fractures of the cervical vertebrae, a new study has found.

Helmets are important for road safety. www.livelaw.in
Helmets are important for road safety. www.livelaw.in

Major reasons cited for not requiring helmets while riding a motorcycle include freedom of choice, avoiding any limitation on vision and a perceived increased risk of receiving a CSI.

The last reason is based on the belief that the added weight of a helmet might increase torque on the cervical spine, the researcher said. “Our study suggests that wearing a motorcycle helmet is a reasonable way to limit the risk of injury to the cervical spine in a motorcycle crash,” said Nathaniel P. Brooks, MD at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison, in the US.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates, wearing helmets saved the lives of 1,859 motorcycle riders in 2016; an additional 802 lives could have been saved if every motorcyclist had worn them.

Also Read: Government to launch road safety policy: Modi

For the study, published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, researchers reviewed the charts of 1,061 patients who had been injured in motorcycle crashes and treated at a single Level 1 trauma centre in Wisconsin between the year 2010 to 2015.

Of those patients, 323 (30.4 percent) were wearing helmets at the time of the crash and 738 (69.6 percent) were not, as Wisconsin law does not require all riders to wear a helmet. At least one CSI was sustained by 7.4 percent of the riders wearing a helmet and 15.4 percent of those not wearing one.

Road accidents in India
Wearing helmets can reduce risk of spinal injuries during accidents. Pixabay

Cervical spine fractures occurred more often in patients who were not wearing helmets (10.8 percent compared to 4.6per cent), as did ligament injuries (1.9 percent compared with 0.3 percent); again these differences are statistically significant, the researchers said.

There were no significant differences between groups (helmeted vs. unhelmeted riders) with respect to other types of cervical spine injuries that were sustained: nerve root injury, cervical strain, or cord contusion. IANS

Next Story

Road Traffic Accidents Cause 1.35 Mn Deaths Each Year: WHO

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

0
Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic
Two bikes were involved in an accident with a bus that crashed and turned on its roof near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, March 7, 2015. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent action to put a brake on road traffic crashes that kill 1.35 million people every year, mostly in poor developing countries.

In Geneva, the U.N. agency launched its global status report on road safety 2018.

The report found road traffic injuries to be the leading killer of children and young people aged five to 29 years, with a death occurring every 24 seconds. The report said more than half of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders and passengers.

Etienne Krug, head of the U.N. Agency’s Department on Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, called these deaths a huge inequality issue.

Traffic Signals, Road Traffic
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia

“Low-income countries have one percent of the vehicles in the world and 13 percent of all the deaths; while high-income countries have 40 percent of all the vehicles,” Krug said. “So, that is 40 times more, but only seven percent of the deaths.That is half of the deaths with 40 times more vehicles.”

The report said death rates are highest in Africa and lowest in Europe. Some of the key risk factors include speeding, drinking and driving, and failure to use seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.

Krug said putting the right measures in place will save lives. These include the right legislation and enforcement, creating special lanes for cyclists and improving the quality of vehicles.

Road accidents in India
Road accidents in India. Pixabay

“It is not acceptable that vehicles are being sold in developing countries that look the same as the vehicles that we see here in Switzerland or the U.S. or anywhere else, but that are not,” Krug told VOA. “Because to make them cheaper, they have been stripped of all of their safety features, such as air bags or electronic stability control, etc.”

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

Also Read: HIV Epidemic Spreading Rapidly in Pakistan: WHO

However, it said no such progress has been made in low-income countries where safety measures are lacking. (VOA)