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WOMEN PILLION riders without helmets are more susceptible to head and neck injuries than men without helmets due to the “side-straddle” way of riding a two-wheeler, says a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research last month.
The study examined over 3,000 charts of trauma patients at the capital’s Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center from April 2009 until March 2011. According to the study, 466 charts were of pillion riders involved in road traffic accidents — 108 men with helmets, 161 men without helmets, three women with helmets, and 194 women without helmets.
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The study noted that women riders, both with and without helmets, were more likely to suffer head and neck injuries than men (66.0% and 66.7% versus 53.4% and 27.8% respectively) because of “significantly lower helmet utilisation rate among women pillion riders”. Even among those who don’t wear helmets, the study found that women had higher rates of head and neck injuries as compared to men (66.0 per cent versus 53.4 per cent). They said this could be because of “gender difference in seating position”. “This riding style may be responsible…and higher mortality rate for women pillion riders without helmets compared to men,” the study notes.
Authors: Selma Marie Siddiqui and Mamta Swaroop (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine), Sushma Sagar, Mahesh C Misra and Amit Gupta (AIIMS), Marie Crandall (University of Florida Jacksonville).