A study done by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that African-American victims were 1.5 times more likely to die from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident even though they were 30 percent more likely to be wearing helmets.
Research in the past had shown that illness, preexisting injury, lack of insurance, reduced access to health care and other socio-economic factors contributed to the racial differential. Knowing that these factors could contribute to a higher risk of fatality, the Johns Hopkins research controlled those factors, including gender and the severity of the injuries sustained, and still found that the African-American population was more at risk for serious injury or death.
While helmets have been a proven factor in diminishing the instances of traumatic brain injury which occur in motorcycle accidents, the study proves that focusing on helmets alone is not enough. Adil Haider, surgical professor and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Surgical Trial and Outcomes Research urged lawmakers to do more than simply requiring helmets. He believes that injury-prevention programs should receive a higher level of attention and focus on more than simply wearing protective gear.
Source: Physorg.com “Black motorcyclists – even in helmets – more likely to die in crashes” 9/23/10