As a child, you probably remember your parents telling you to put a helmet on before you took off on your bike. They likely told you that in hopes that it would protect you from a brain or head injury if you were involved in a crash. If it was important enough for you to wear it to go biking on city streets, then it’s just as important for a motorcyclist to wear one when driving at tiptop speeds on California’s freeways.

Motorcycle helmets can save lives. They offer several layers of protection between a head and whatever may come into contact with it. While they’ve been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injuries, a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health in 2011 suggested that they can make motorcyclists more vulnerable to suffering neck injuries in a crash.

In an attempt to prove their theory that helmet use may increase a motorcyclist’s risk of cervical spine injury, the researchers reviewed 76 motorcycle crash cases. They devised an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) to assign a numerical value to the severity of the motorcyclist’s injuries.

After classifying the injuries, researchers concluded that there was no correlation between helmet use and the severity of a motorcyclist’s injuries. They then divided up the accidents by type and it became clear that the use of helmets impacts the type of injuries motorcyclists suffer.

Researchers ultimately found that motorcyclists who wore helmets during head-on motorcycle crashes suffered far less cervical spine injuries than those who did not. They found that the opposite was the case with skidded, side or real impact crashes. If a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet during this type of crash, then he or she often suffered significant injuries to the cervical spine.

The researchers concluded their study by urging designers to perhaps carry out further testing of the impact that the weight of a helmet has on the severity of injuries. They also suggested that they may want to look more into making helmets more effective at reducing neck injuries in nonhead-on crashes.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, then you should get immediate medical care. After doing so, you may want to consult a Los Angeles motorcycle accidents attorney who is experienced in working on such cases.