Brain Injury From Motorcycle AccidentAugust 7, 2018
Because of the increased population in Denver, there are more motorcyclists on the road than ever. With the increased traffic, motorcycle accidents are also on the rise. Because motorcyclists aren’t fastened to the vehicles or protected by steel, motorcycle accidents are more dangerous than automobile accidents.
This guide discusses why a motorcyclist is more likely to sustain brain injury from a motorcycle accident. While you may already understand the increased risk you take when you ride a motorcycle, you might not understand why motorcyclists are inherently more likely to endure brain injuries and the serious complications resulting from such injuries.
Understanding the dynamics of how motorcyclists sustain brain injuries can help you protect yourself from potentially hazardous conditions. It can also help direct you if you are involved in a motorcycle accident and experience a brain injury.
Learning about brain injury from motorcycle accidents can reduce your risk of sustaining them and reduce their severity if injuries are unavoidable. If you experience a brain injury from a motorcycle accident, hiring a motorcycle accident attorney denver can drastically reduce the financial impact of your injury, potentially giving you access to better healthcare and ensuring you don’t sustain further economic damages.
Motorcycle Accident Vs. Automobile Accident Severity
Motorcycle accidents cause more fatalities and severe injuries than automobile accidents because passengers aren’t fastened or protected by steel like automobile passengers. Because of these factors, motorcyclists are often thrown from their bike or take head-on collisions from automobiles.
With the decreased protection and the more vulnerable nature of motorcycle accidents, passengers are more likely to experience concussions and brain damage. This increased vulnerability to traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, is exceptionally high when the rider neglects to wear an approved helmet.
In fact, recent studies have shown that helmets can reduce motorcyclists’ risk of fatal injury by 29% and reduce the overall risk of injury by 67%. Additionally, in another study conducted by the NHTSA, helmeted motorcyclists reduced their risk of facial injury by half compared to unhelmeted motorcycle drivers.
Examining the likelihood of injury from motorcycle accidents reveals how risky riding a motorcycle is to your health. According to the Hurt Report, 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of single-vehicle crashes result in injuries to motorcyclists. Motorcycle accidents are also 26 times more fatal than automobile accidents.
What Type of Motorcycle Accidents Are More Dangerous?
In addition to motorcycle accidents being more severe than automobile accidents, sport and supersport motorcycle accidents have a death rate four times as high as conventional motorcycles. Sportbikes also have a fatality rate twice as high as conventional motorcycles.
TBIs- The Motorcyclists’ Epidemic
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are often referred to as a silent epidemic because they range in severity and are difficult to prove in a court of law. TBI victims may appear completely normal to the naked eye. People who have sustained a TBI may also speak normally, and they might not display the apparent signs of injury.
TBIs are also challenging to diagnose. The medical diagnosis of “mild” traumatic injury conceals TBIs’ underlying severity and doesn’t accurately represent the health challenges people face when they sustain TBIs.
Why Don’t Motorcyclists Wear Helmets?
With all of the data surrounding the importance of wearing a helmet, it may come as a shock that a significant number of motorcyclists neglect to fasten a protective shell on their head while riding.
Some states make it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. However, in Colorado, motorcyclists over the age of 18 aren’t required to wear a helmet, leaving the head unprotected in the case of accidents.
Reasons Why Motorcyclists Refuse to Wear Helmets-
The reasons why motorcyclists neglect to wear helmets range from purely aesthetic to the invasiveness of helmets. Riders may simply think helmets don’t look cool. Others feel that helmets impair their ability to ride. Regardless of the reasons to not wear a helmet, neglecting to do so increases your risk of injury significantly.
Considering the primary cause of death in motorcycle accidents is brain trauma caused by the head’s direct impact on the pavement, wearing a helmet is a small inconvenience when weighing the price of your life. Put simply, if you want to survive a motorcycle accident, wearing a helmet is your best protective measure and your only protective measure for your head.
What Causes Brain Injuries In Motorcycle Accidents?
Most authorities would assert that the primary cause of TBIs in motorcyclists is neglecting to wear a helmet. However, there’s another reason analysts attribute to the rising number of traumatic brain injuries in motorcyclists. Because of the increasing congestion on freeways and streets, the link between more motorcycle accidents and more head injuries is easy to connect.
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Injury After a Motorcycle Accident?
TBIs’ symptoms range from moderate to severe, and the patient may be unaware of his/her condition. Because traumatic brain injuries may not be apparent, those involved in motorcycle accidents should receive treatment regardless of how they feel following the accident.
The most common TBI symptoms include:
- Mood impairment
- Cognitive impairment (difficulty moving, thinking, or acting)
After being involved in an accident, someone can display no symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. However, because it’s common for people to suffer from shock after an accident or to have heightened adrenaline levels, people may not be aware of their injuries at the time they occur.
Because of this delayed response, patients may not experience the brunt of the injury until hours or even days later.
What Happens to the Brain After an Accident?
This delayed response and harm happen because when the brain sustains an injury, it jostles around in the skull. This jostling can cause bruising, bleeding, or tearing within the brain. The bleeding, bruising, or tearing may not be severe, but these conditions cause the brain to swell.
Because the skull can’t expand, the brain presses against it, causing further damage to the brain tissue. Thus, while you may have a mild injury to the brain, the aftereffects can quickly turn it into a severe injury. If brain swelling is left untreated, it can cause brain damage and even death.
Long Term Effects of TBIs
Even if the patient doesn’t die from brain swelling, it can cause severe long-term effects that reduce the patient’s quality of life and require extensive treatment plans. Long term effects of brain swelling include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Memory loss
- Loss of motor skills
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood changes such as depression, anxiety, or anger
Brain injuries range in seriousness. They can be so mild that you only experience shock, mild concussion, and short-term memory loss. Or you can suffer from a more traumatic brain injury.
Signs of more traumatic brain injuries include nerve damage, long-term memory loss, personality changes, long-term disability, organ failure, loss of cognitive functions, and death. It is not uncommon for traumatic brain injury victims to need ongoing care and support from their friends, family, and medical professionals for the rest of their lives.
Ways to Prevent TBIs in Motorcycle Accidents
The easiest way to prevent brain injuries is by being more conscious while you’re on the road. By being more aware on the road, you can reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
However, some accidents are unavoidable. In this case, the best protective measure you can take as a motorcycle rider is to be diligent about your protective equipment, especially your helmet. It can be tempting, especially if you’re only traveling a short distance, to neglect to wear a helmet because you don’t think you’ll need it.
With an estimated 52% of accidents happening within five miles of the driver’s home, motorcyclists must resist the urge to travel helmetless, even over short distances. When you leave your helmet at home, there’s a chance you’ll lose your head on the road.
Conclusion- Avoid Brain Injury From Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road, they must be more aware of potentially harmful situations such as inclement weather, speeding, and avoiding alcohol while driving. One cannot overstate the importance of wearing a helmet if you decide to ride a motorcycle.
However, in some motorcycle accidents, brain injury is unavoidable. Wearing your helmet will reduce the severity of motorcycle accidents, but you still may sustain an injury even if you wear a helmet. In these cases, it pays to have a Denver motorcycle accident attorney on your side to ensure you don’t sustain any economic damages if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault.
Call Paul to get back on the road to recovery with attorneys who take your health and well-being seriously. Contact us today to see how we can best fight your case and get you the compensation you deserve.