Traumatic brain injury incidents are often associated with motorcycle and auto accidents combined. When combining statistics for auto and motorcycle accidents, together they become the leading cause of brain injuries in the United States. Motorcyclists face an increased risk to being hit by other drivers who are not aware or do not see other motorcycles on the road. In a one-year period, motorcyclists risked more likely to die in an accident 32 times more so than a passenger in an automobile, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2003. Helmets are not always full-proof and traumatic brain injuries can still occur, although not penetrating the brain, parts affecting speech can be injured. Helmets should always be worn because if an accident were to occur, a penetrating brain injury is extremely serious.
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 at all requiring motorcyclists to use helmets. Twenty-six others had limited helmet laws, usually ones that require helmets for riders who are under 18 or 21. Helmets can reduce the risk of TBI but not all helmets are of the proper requirements and not all fully protect a motorcycle rider or passenger from injury.
A rider's failure to equip passengers, particularly passengers who are under 21, with helmets may be considered negligent. Helmets must always meet requirements and standards of state and federal governments or the risk of traumatic brain injury is still possible. 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.
Motorcyclists must always understand the risks involved in an accident and the consequences of traumatic brain injury. Motorcyclists are advised to check their bikes and equipment for problems before each ride; adjust the suspension and tire pressure of the motorcycle when carrying a passenger; wear boots, gloves and other protective gear; and adjust for changing road conditions. The cost of an accident that causes traumatic brain injury can be severe.
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. TBI can result in extreme monetary losses as well as mental stress on a victim's family and friends. 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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