On average, football helmets only reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by 20 percent compared to not wearing a helmet at all, according to a new study released on Monday.
The study, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in late April, sought to determine how well football helmets protected athletes against traumatic brain injury.
Currently, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment only requires helmet effectiveness to be measured through a linear drop-test. Helmets must be able to withstand a 60-inch free fall without allowing too much force to reach the skull (essentially, it’s a test to prevent fractured skulls),
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.