Can a Motorcycle Accident Lead to a TBI?

The risk of sustaining a head injury in a motorcycle accident is extremely high compared to a driver in a vehicle, due to the motorcyclist having relatively little (or sometimes no) protection. Brain injuries in a motorcycle accident can occur and could require hospitalization and extensive treatment. Lasting and severe effects from head injuries occur for some victims. It is these injuries that bring up the question, can a motorcycle accident lead to a TBI?

Can a motorcycle accident lead to a TBI?
Can a motorcycle accident lead to a TBI?

According to McMinn Law Firm, personal injury attorneys in Austin Texas, motorcycle crashes are much more likely than passenger car crashes to result in injury or death.

This was borne out by a 2020 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which stated that motorcyclists were 4 times more likely to be injured than the occupants of a passenger vehicle in an accident. That same report highlighted that, per miles traveled, motorcycle riders were 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash.

Head injuries are the highest leading cause of death or disability in motorcycle accidents, emphasizing the need for protective headgear while riding.

Head Injury Consequences from a Motorcycle Accident

Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (called TBIs) are all too common when a motorcyclist hits their head during an accident. Some of the head injuries from motorcycle accidents can be minor such as a concussion or they can be severe long-lasting injuries, leaving a person reliant on long-term care. All traumatic brain injuries have the potential to be life-changing for the affected families.

Survivors of an accident head injury often struggle because of losing basic functions. Impairments to motor function due to brain injury often lead to depression and other mental impairments. The risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors could increase after sustaining a head injury in a motorcycle accident. Seeking mental health assistance can be just as important as any physical health care that is required.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

Can a motorcycle accident lead to a TBI?
Can a motorcycle accident lead to a TBI?

The best way to reduce head injuries is by wearing a helmet. Motorcyclists wearing a helmet during an accident are more likely to survive. A helmet may also reduce the severity of head injury sustained compared to a person not wearing a helmet. According to the CDC, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%!

Ways to Prevent Accidents

An obvious measure to prevent an accident is safe riding. While many motorcyclists ride safely, their counterparts on the road might not drive as safely. You can’t prevent someone else’s negligent behavior on the road, but there are ways that you can help to reduce the risk of an accident.

  • Slow Down: Going fast will give you less time to react to road hazards or other vehicles.
  • Check Rearview Mirrors: When stopped at an intersection, look behind you to watch for any vehicles. If you see one that is getting too close, flash your brakes to catch the driver’s attention. If needed, you can pull away from the car if you think you could be hit.
  • Never Ride Between Vehicles: Whether active traffic or parked cars, riding between them is dangerous for too many reasons to enumerate here.
  • Drinking and Driving: Never a good idea to mix these two. Your reaction time and judgment could be impaired. This is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
  • Maintenance: Perform regular maintenance to make sure your motorcycle is in great running condition. This could help you reduce your risk of an accident.
  • Common Road Hazards: Learn how to deal with common hazards such as wet pavement, potholes, and train tracks. Learning how to maneuver around or through these hazards safely will help to prevent motorcycle accidents. Always be on the lookout for potential hazards on the road.
  • Sharing Lanes: Never share one with another vehicle. It is an unnecessary risk when riding your motorcycle. Other drivers are not expecting to share the lane with you, so they will not know to look out for a motorcycle when you or they are changing lanes.

Driving Habits and Accidents

Aggressive driving also contributes to accidents that occur with motorcyclists. Aggressive driving is defined as engaging in risky behavior that puts the safety of others in danger. Aggressive driving can occur at any speed, and a driver can become aggressive when stressed or in a hurry.

NHTSA has a list of behaviors that define aggressive driving:

  • Speeding
  • Dodging in and out of traffic
  • Passing on the right
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Ignoring the right of way
  • Cutting off other drivers

If after a little soul searching you discover that you yourself are an aggressive driver, a defensive driving course might help you to improve or reset your driving habits. The course will help you in controlling your emotions and could help you to identify what triggers your aggressive driving and how to prevent aggressive driving maneuvers.

If you find yourself on the other end of aggressive driving, don’t respond to the aggressor. Try to move out of their way to let them pass safely, don’t engage, or make eye contact with them. You will be safer once you get them out of your way. A negative reaction will create bigger problems and will do nothing to resolve the issue.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is best to contact an experienced injury attorney who can evaluate your case and help you fight for your rights as an accident victim while you focus on your recovery.

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