It is a well-known fact that head injuries are the main cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Because the brain and skull are so important to survival and normal function it makes sense not to put this part of the body at unnecessary risk.
More than three thousand people die in the US each year in motorcycle accidents, with another fifty thousand suffering injuries. Motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable than vehicle drivers for several reasons: they are less protected and less visible than other road users as well as being faster and smaller than other vehicles.
Most motorcycle accident deaths are as a result of head injury, the majority of which are sustained by people not wearing helmets. The type of head injury depends on the circumstances of the accident but the most serious non-fatal injuries can result in paralysis, brain damage and permanent disability, or damage to the spinal cord or central nervous system.
An injury to the spinal cord causes damage to the fibers that carry signals to and from the brain. The effects can vary in severity and can cause spasticity, quadriplegia, osteoporosis, affect bowel function and sexual function, amongst other injuries.
If a motorcyclist fractures their skull they may in some instances experience brain damage. In many cases a fractured skull does not require any treatment but some skull fractures can cause brain damage. In some cases skull fractures can make brain damage more severe, and can cause damage to veins and arteries. More serious skull fractures can include a depression of the bone which intrudes inwards causing damage to the brain and/or exposing the brain.
The physical effects of a brain injury can manifest themselves in many different ways, for example speech and swallowing disorders, headaches, incontinence, epilepsy, balance, coordination and movement. People can also experience emotional changes after a brain injury, which can include anger and irritability, depression and anxiety, sexual problems and a lack of motivation. A brain injury can also affect the way a person thinks and remembers things, known as the ‘cognitive effects’ of a brain injury. These can include the speed that someone can process information, memory, language skills and concentration.
A serious brain injury, once sustained, often has a devastating impact on lifestyle and ability to function which can include the inability to breathe unaided as well as other permanent problems. The most obvious way to reduce the risk of suffering a brain injury is to ensure you always wear a motorcycle helmet.
If you have been injured or a loved one has lost their life in a motorcycle accident contact a specialist personal injury attorney without delay.