Health

Someone better tell Del Boy! Turbans 'can protect against head injuries almost as well as a bike helmet'


  • Sikhs who wear turbans are exempt from wearing bike and motorcycle helmets

Turbans can protect against head injuries almost as well as bicycle helmets, scientists have found — in a blow to one of Del Boy’s crafty business ideas.

Researchers discovered that Sikh cyclists may be saved from a traumatic head injury if they crash while wearing their traditional headwear made from thick, winding cloth.

It could be bad news for Only Fools and Horses legend Del Trotter, who famously designed a ‘crash turban’ in a 1996 episode of the classic sitcom.

Dodgy dealer Del wrapped a knocked-off riding helmet in a white scarf and declared: ‘There are millions of Sikhs out there riding motorcycles that are going completely unprotected. This is our opportunity to do something for our fellow man.’

It could be bad news for Only Fools and Horses legend Del Trotter, who famously designed a 'crash turban' in a 1996 episode of the classic sitcom

It could be bad news for Only Fools and Horses legend Del Trotter, who famously designed a ‘crash turban’ in a 1996 episode of the classic sitcom

He called his invention the Trotter Crash Turban and forced long-suffering brother Rodney to try it on. 

Rodney whined: ‘I look like a human cannonball that’s just crashed into a washing line. People would rather be critically injured than wear this.’

Now experts at Imperial College London say the turban already provides good protection from impacts, and believe their findings may help engineers to develop lightweight protective fabric hats.

Sikhs who wear turbans are exempt from wearing bike and motorcycle helmets in the UK.

Dr Gurpreet Singh said: ‘Our findings show that simple Sikh turbans have the potential to mitigate head impacts.

‘This provides important evidence that we hope will point the wider scientific community to invest in the best headgear fabrics to absorb shock, which indeed will open commercial markets to people from all walks of life that deal with concussions and head impacts.’

Using crash test dummy heads, the researchers tested five different turbans, using two wrapping styles and two different fabrics, and compared them with conventional cycle helmets and bare heads.

The study found that the risk of skull fractures and brain injuries was still higher with turbans than conventional bicycle helmets.

However, the danger might be reduced by covering a larger area of the head, placing energy-absorbing materials between the layers of the fabric and reducing friction in the material.

For impacts to the front of the head, the Dastaar turban style performed the best, while the Dumalla turban style fared best for impacts to the side of the head.



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