Do turbans provide protection against cranial trauma in two-wheeler accidents? A review of the Indian medical literature

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Abstract

The wearing of turbans or head scarves is mandatory for practising Sikh men and women. Religious mandates stipulate that nothing may be placed on top of the turban (scarf), thus making it impossible for practicing Sikhs to wear protective motorcycle helmets. To honour the freedom of religious expression, many jurisdictions, including India, have exempted Sikhs from mandatory helmet laws. Despite studies into the efficacy of protective helmets while riding 'two-wheelers,' little is known about the protective potential of turbans. This paper represents a review of Indian literature (277 studies) related to head injuries sustained in road traffic accidents involving two-wheelers. This review shows that the extant literature is of limited value when trying to understand the extent of the protective potential of turbans and that systematic, evidence-based epidemiological studies derived from hospital admissions and forensic examinations are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938–944
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Volume14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 08 Oct 2020

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