Motorcycle Accidents Relating to Brain Injuries
It is a well known fact that motorcycle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Motorcyclists are often difficult for auto drivers to see and are therefore more susceptible to injuries than those driving the automobiles. Every study conducted has shown that the best preventative measure against severe injuries is to wear a helmet. However, even those who wear helmets are vulnerable to brain injuries from accidents.
Motorcycle accidents are a well-known leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Together with auto accidents, they are the single largest cause of brain injury in the United States. One out of every five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injuries, which account for most motorcycle fatalities. And partly because drivers often don't see motorcyclists or yield them the right-of-way, motorcyclists are at higher risk of an accident than drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that, per mile traveled in 2003, a motorcyclist was 32 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger in a car.
Motorcyclists, even those who wear helmets, are most likely to sustain non-penetrative injuries to the front of the head, damaging parts of the brain responsible for speech and higher functions. A penetrating brain injury is when an object actually enters the skull and damages the soft tissue of the brain. Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets may be susceptibe to this type of injury. Helmets Essential to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury
Study after study shows that the best way to prevent a traumatic brain injury is to wear a helmet approved by the federal Department of Transportation. (Some also carry approval from the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to testing the effectiveness of commercial helmets.) In January of 2006, only four states in the U.S. Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa had no law that required motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Twenty-six others had limited helmet laws, usually ones that require helmets for riders who are under 18 or 21.
But even in states without strict helmet laws, riders are still strongly advised that their chances of death or serious head injury are seriously reduced by wearing a helmet. A rider's failure to equip passengers, particularly passengers who are under 21, with helmets may be considered negligent. And if the helmet is below state and federal standards, poorly fitted, old or has been through a previous accident, that helmet is not safe, may not be legal and will not prevent death, brain damage or another traumatic injury. Other Brain Injury Risks for Motorcyclists
Even though proper equipment significantly cuts down a motorcyclist's chance of a traumatic brain injury, it is not foolproof. Riders must stay aware of other factors that could lead to a motorcycle accident involving a traumatic brain injury. Before each ride, motorcyclists are encouraged to check their equipment and bikes for troubles; adjust the motorcycle's tire pressure and suspension when carrying another passenger; wear boots, gloves and other protective gear; and adjust for changing road conditions.
Traumatic brain injuries caused by accidents can lead to extremely high costs. A traumatic brain injury causes brain damage that can range from a mild concussion to severe, life-changing disabilities such as trouble communicating, personality changes, schizophrenia, or even a coma. Because the brain cannot heal itself the way other organs do, these are often lifelong problems that cost tens of thousands of dollars to treat. Family members are also affect by brain injuries as they place a serious emotion and financial burden on them. If you or someone you know is the victim of a motorcycle accident causing traumatic brain injury, it is essential to seek out an expert in accidents and TBI who can help reconstruct the accident and secure compensation.
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