Head Injuries More Common Among Wilmington Motorcycle Passengers
Motorcycle riding can be a fun way to get around. Unfortunately, it also carries a higher risk of injury and death than riding in an enclosed vehicle. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that motorcycle crashes are associated with significant injury and fatality rates for both drivers and passengers. Now, a new study reports that this risk may be even higher for motorcycle passengers than motorcycle operators.
When injuries do occur as the result of a motorcycle accident, victims have legal rights which must be protected. North Carolina injury victims can improve their access to compensation by seeking the advice of a Wilmington car accident attorney.
The Facts About Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that motorcycle fatalities began to increase in 1998 and continued to rise through 2008. By 2016, the number of motorcycle accident deaths in America was more than double what it had been in 1997. The 2015 NHTSA data shows that 14 percent of all traffic fatalities involved motorcycles, despite the fact that motorcycles accounted for only 3 percent of registered vehicles on American roads. This shows that motorcycles carry a higher risk of injury and death than passenger vehicles.
Helmet use has long been demonstrated to reduce the likelihood that an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident will be fatal. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are approximately 37 percent effective at preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries. Yet passengers might face a higher risk of death even when they are wearing helmets. Reuters reports on a study which found that motorcycle passengers were less likely than drivers to wear a helmet. Even among passengers and drivers who were wearing helmets, the passengers were more likely to be killed in an accident.
Legal Strategies for Increasing Helmet Use
Effective enforcement of helmet use laws has been shown to increase helmet use and decrease fatality rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that states with laws requiring universal motorcycle helmet use are effective at increasing helmet use. And the Public Library of Science reports on the findings of a study of brain injuries occurring as a result of road accidents in France. Researchers found a reduction in the number of traumatic brain injuries after stronger traffic legislation was introduced in 2002.
Similarly, Injury Prevention found that a new Italian mandatory helmet law, coupled with police enforcement of the law, was effective at preventing traumatic brain injuries in all age groups. The law was also associated with a dramatic increase in helmet use, from only 19.5 percent before the law was implemented to 97.5 percent after the law was in effect.
When accidents do occur, it is important that injury victims access the legal advice that will protect their legal rights to be compensated for financial losses. Consult a Wilmington car accident attorney as soon as possible after any accident. He or she will guide you through the claims process and explore all potential sources of compensation.