MOTORCYCLE AND MOPED ACCIDENTS--STUDY OF THE PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF CRASH HELMETS

Police reports and insurance documents were studied for 83 nonfatal motorcycle/moped accidents in Sweden, the riders were interviewed, and 91 helmets from these accidents were examined. Autopsy reports and hospital records were studied for 13 fatal motorcycle accidents. The aim was to evaluate the protective effect of the safety helmet by comparing shell and liner damage with head injury. In the 40 cases where the shell or liner was deformed by direct impact, it appears that more serious injuries would have been sustained if the helmets had not been worn. There was some kind of shell abrasion in 44 helmets; the corresponding injury to an unprotected head in these cases is more difficult to judge. Head injuries and/or deformed liners were found in 21 of these cases; it seems likely that the injuries would have been more serious if a helmet had not been worn. In all, at least 61 persons (about 65%) would probably have been more seriously injured if nonhelmeted. Among the helmets associated with head injury, 24 (60%) displayed no liner deformation. It appears that fiberglass reinforced polyester as a liner material provides somewhat better protection than thermosetting plastics. Full-face helmets seem to provide somewhat better protection than open-face helmets. Reduced weight and improved shock absorption should be main objectives in the future development of all crash helmets. Young and inexperienced moped riders and motorcyclists dominated the accident sample.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Conference held in Washington, D.C., 18-23 May 1980. Also published in HS-029 702, International Motorcycle Safety Conference Proceedings. Volume 3, p 1365-82.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Motorcycle Safety Foundation

    780 Elkridge Landing Road
    Linthicum, MD  United States  21090
  • Authors:
    • ALDMAN, B
    • THORNGREN, L
    • Gustavsson, H
    • Nygren, A
    • Wersall, J
  • Publication Date: 1980

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 18 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00390523
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 721
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1984 12:00AM