The Helmet Safety in Motorcycle Accidents
The helmet is a protection element integrated in the Passive Safety Systems. There are three types of helmet: integral, modular and open. All must be approved (they undergo impact, stiffness, extreme environments, retention, projection, and friction tests). The helmet size has to be adequate. 60% of motorists do not wear a suitable size. In 20% of serious motorcycle accidents, the helmet is thrown off, due to an incorrect size or fastening.
Not all helmets have the same level of protection. The full-face helmet (one piece) is the best: it protects the entire head and face.
The modular helmet has a piece that can be raised, although it should not be circulated with it raised.
The open helmet leaves the face in the air, and does not protect the jaw.
A properly chosen helmet can reduce injuries by 69% (without a helmet, the risk of brain injury is multiplied by three), mortality by 42%, and time of hospitalization by 50%.
The helmet must be correctly fastened (a poorly adjusted helmet reduces its effectiveness against impacts), and must always be used, even when maneuvering at low speed (even parking can lead to a fall).
Helmets expire, as their useful life ranges between 3 and 6 years, depending on use, and is due to deterioration of the material over time, deformation of the padding, wear of the straps, etc. If the bluetooth helmet has been hit, it must be replaced (the impact can damage its components and lose protection capacity).
Recently, multi-density helmets have been developed for oblique impacts, and with an integrated rear view mirror, which provides a 360º view to the rider. When the motorcycle accident occurs, despite correct use of the helmet, brain injuries can occur, such as diffuse axonal injury. A helmet can be destroyed in a high kinetic energy accident, or a complex injury mechanism.
Talking from the Medical-Legal perspective, in motorcycle accidents, the medical expert is usually asked for first of all, a report on the Assessment of Bodily Injury (report of consequences for compensation). This report should include at least: the list of documents that have been handled (clinical and non-clinical), the study of the previous State (medical history of the injured party of interest to the case), the Description of the traumatic event, a rigorous clinical examination, the Medical-Legal Considerations, the Causation Nexus, the days necessary for the stabilization of the injury, the existing sequelae, the incapacity for work and usual activities (if any), and the possibility of new sequelae in the future. The report ends with a section on Medical-Legal Conclusions.
When there are important neurological sequelae from the motorcycle accident (generally brain or spinal cord damage), the biomechanical report is essential, as well as the study of the need for a Third Person, the adaptation of the home, and future lifetime expenses (appliances, medication, orthotics, etc.), among other aspects.
Second, an expert medical report indicating whether the injured person was wearing a helmet or not. In the case of not wearing it, the expert reports the injuries that are attributable to this circumstance (it must be borne in mind that, in accidents with high kinetic energy, even wearing a helmet can cause brain injuries).
Motorcycle Intercom Systems also known as MIS are very important when talking about the security if you’re riding with a small group of riders.