Brain Injury Awareness & Motorcycles

You may not realize it, but March is full of unique celebrations. It’s National Craft Month, National Peanut Month, and National Umbrella Month. These lighthearted topics are in direct contrast to one of March’s other milestones – National Brain Injury Awareness Month. This year’s theme for the campaign, “Not Alone,” is intended to educate the public about the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. Everyone who is affected by brain injury should have access to services and support to help lead full and meaningful lives. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44. At least 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from TBIs, while approximately 52,000 deaths occur annually from traumatic brain injury. These numbers are likely low because some people who experience a TBI do not realize it and, therefore, receive no care at all. Statistics show that males are about twice as likely as females to experience a TBI. One of the reasons is that more men than women ride motorcycles and, perhaps, do so less safely. For example, 92 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2014 were males. More than 65 percent of the female motorcyclists who died in crashes in 2014 were passengers, and their deaths represented 93 percent of the passenger deaths. The vast majority of male motorcyclists who died were drivers. A total of 4,295 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2014, more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997. As warmer weather starts to replace winter, more motorcycles appear on the roads. They’re less stable and offer less protection than other vehicles, so motorcycle wrecks commonly leave those riders with serious injuries . . . if they’re fortunate enough to survive.  Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, yet they are not required for most riders in a majority of the states, including Kentucky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that median charges for hospitalized motorcyclists who survived to discharge were 13 times higher for those incurring a TBI compared to those who did not sustain a TBI. Additionally, motorcyclists with TBI were much less likely to be discharged to their home and more likely to require rehabilitation or to be discharged to a long-term care facility following their hospitalization. Tips for preventing TBIs sustained in motorcycle wrecks include:

  • Operators and passengers should always wear properly-fitting helmets.
  • Obey all traffic laws, especially speed limits.
  • If there is inclement weather, use other means of transportation.
  • Never ride while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident or have more questions about this topic, trust your case to us. Founded and overseen by a lawyer who rides (his favorite bike is his Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Classic), the Johnson Law Firm has represented motorcyclists who have been injured in a wide variety of situations. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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