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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A prospective study of the impact of helmet usage on motorcycle trauma.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of the use of a motorcycle helmet on reducing the mortality, morbidity, and health care costs resulting from motorcycle crashes. DESIGN: A prospective, multicenter study of all eligible motorcycle crash victims. SETTING: The emergency departments of eight medical centers across the state of Illinois, including representatives from urban, rural, teaching, and community facilities. TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS: All motorcycle crash victims presenting less than 24 hours after injury for whom helmet information was known. Data were collected from April 1 through October 31, 1988. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-eight of 398 patients (14.6%) were helmeted, and 340 (85.4%) were not. The nonhelmeted patients had higher Injury Severity Scores (11.9 vs 7.02), sustained head/neck injuries more frequently (41.7 vs 24.1%), and had lower Glasgow Coma Scores (13.73 vs 14.51). Twenty-five of the 26 fatalities were nonhelmeted patients. By logistic regression, the lack of helmet use was found to be a major risk factor for increased severity of injury. A 23% increase in health care costs was demonstrated for nonhelmeted patients (average charges $7,208 vs $5,852). CONCLUSION: Helmet use may reduce the overall severity of injury and the incidence of head injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. A trend toward higher health care costs was demonstrated in the nonhelmeted patients.[1]


  1. A prospective study of the impact of helmet usage on motorcycle trauma. Kelly, P., Sanson, T., Strange, G., Orsay, E. Annals of emergency medicine. (1991) [Pubmed]
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