How Effective are Football Helmets at Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury?

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. July 09, 2014

Protecting athletes from the long time repercussions of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries is one the most important parts of sports safety when it comes to football, especially for younger players.

Unfortunately, one of the primary pieces of equipment that players use to protect themselves from these injuries may be less effective than athletes had hoped.

According to a recent study from the American Academy of Neurology, football helmets may be considerably less effective at preventing traumatic brain injuries than once thought.

About the Football Helmet Study

The study was conducted by subjecting a crash test dummy head to tests that simulated impacts to the neck and head. Over 300 tests were conducted using 10 of the most popular football helmet designs.

Alarmingly, the study found that these helmets only reduced the risk of sustaining a concussion by an average of 20% compared to not wearing a helmet. Some of the most popular helmet designs were revealed to be particularly ineffective.

Why Football Helmets are not More Effective at Avoiding Concussions?

Players may have been operating under the assumption that their helmets protected them from
all sorts of injuries, including concussions. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case.

According to Frank Condi, co-author of the study and director of the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology, researchers have known for some time that it traumatic brain injuries like concussions are caused by rotational forces, not linear forces.

Football helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of suffering injuries like bruising and skull fractures that are caused by linear forces by 60 to 70%. They are not nearly as effective as avoiding injuries that can be caused by rotational forces, such as concussions.

Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation if you’ve been seriously injured in an accident in our area!

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious head injury, the traumatic brain injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to help. Call us today at 1-800-538-4878 to get started with a free case evaluation from our injury law team.