My mother says I should alwasy wear a hlemet to be safe........ but my friend says that helmets are more unsafe then safe... she said you have a higgher risk of falling off and breaking your neck with a helmet on then without one on?????
How old are you if under 18 listen to your mother. A helmet can definitely protect you in most cases. Now yes there are freak accidents where the helmet doesn't help and I personally don't wear one but yes I recommend one especially if your mom wants you to.
Helmets protect your brain, period. They won't prevent a broken neck, but they don't help to cause them either. Odds are, if you fall in a way that your neck gets broken, then whether or not you were wearing a helmet will make no difference...it will only help to prevent a brain injury on top of a broken neck.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those "ZOMG, everyone should wear a helmet always" types of people. I don't wear one, but I still recognize that they are a very cheap preventative and they do work. If you are still a minor, like BA said, then you should listen to your mom and wear one. If you are older...you can make your own decision but helmets are safer than going naked-headed.
If you are under eighteen you should definitely listen to your mother, if you are over eighteen then you cam make your own decisions. I personally do not always wear a helmet, but I do wear one when I jump/ride a new horse/am riding by myself. While a helmet will not protect your neck or back it will protect your head, which is very important.
Whenever I have someone ask me why they should wear a helmet when they are by themselves I tell them the story of my friend whos helmet saved her life. A few years back my friend was out working her horse in an empty pasture. She was riding bareback and had her helmet on. Someone didn't know she was back there and opened the gate to let the rest if the herd in. She was rushed by all thirteen horses who decided that they wanted to "play" with my friend and her horse. My friend was bucked from her horse and then her horse backed up and stepped on her head. She was able to scoot away and get out of the pasture. Her helmet was cracked into two pieces but she only suffered from bruises and a minor concussion. If she hadn't been wearing her helmet she probably wouldn't be here today.
Im sorry if that was preachy, but I feel that it is important to wear a helmet when you are alone or doing something with a higher risk (although riding is still high risk lol) like riding a horse you know very little about or speed/jumping. That's just my two cents =)
Based on the statistics I've seen, if you fall on your noggin, a helmet reduces the chance of serious injury by a factor of 2-5 times, depending on the study. I try to make choices that will reduce the chance of my falling head first, and I do sometimes ride without a helmet, but it doesn't bother me to ride with a helmet and I think it is worth it. It is rocky where I live, and improving my odds 2-5 times sounds pretty good to me. I insist on my daughter using a helmet, but don't lecture anyone else.
However, if anyone tells you helmets are MORE dangerous than going without, they are wrong.
I agree with what everyone else has said. If you're under 18, you should most definitely listen to what your mom says. Either way, helmets are made for a reason. Your friend is misinformed if she believes that wearing a helmet actually puts you in danger of falling.. I'm a helmet advocate, I'd much rather fall off with something protecting my head than fall & wish I'd had a helmet on. The only time I really ride without one is if I'm getting pictures taking (which then, it's just sitting up there, not doing anything) or if I hop on him and ride him bareback out to his pasture out of laziness. Any other time, a helmet will be on my head.
Your risk of breaking your neck is the same either way, but helmets significantly decrease the risk of serious head trauma. As everyone else has said, you should wear one if you are under 18, and IMO you should think about wearing one if even if you are over that age. My helmet prevented me from more serious injury when I fell off almost directly onto my head. The helmet had some big grass stains on it from the impact, and I much preferred them be there than on my head.