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Study Links Motorcycle Accident Survival to Universal Helmet Laws

Universal Helmet Laws Help Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury, Increase Survival In Motorcycle Accidents

universal helmet lawsA new study showed that states with universal helmet laws, which require motorcyclists to wear helmets at all ages, are directly tied to lower rates of traumatic brain injury, severe personal injury, and increased overall motorcycle accident survival when compared to states that only require helmets for motorcyclists younger than 18 or 21.

The study was led by Dr. K. Tinsley Anderson of the University of Arizona. The researchers presented their findings at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Francisco, CA.

In the United States, 30% of deaths from accidents are caused by traumatic brain injury. In 2010, TBI was the cause of approximately 2.5 million ER visits. A recent study from the CDC confirmed that between 2001 and 2008, about 22% of nonfatal motorcycle accident injuries treated in emergency rooms were to the head and neck, which could lead to at least a concussion, and possibly a traumatic brain injury.

The researchers showed that with regard to motorcyclists in states with universal helmet laws  which require the driver and any passenger(s) to wear a helmet regardless of age, victims of motorcycle accidents were 2.5 times less likely to sustain a TBI.

Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, the researchers looked at 1 million hospital admissions for TBI resulting from a motorcycle accident where the victim was the driver or passenger on the motorcycle. They divided the 598 TBIs into three groups according to state law: universal helmet laws, under-18 helmet laws, and under-21 helmet laws. States with under-18 and under-21 helmet laws showed a TBI rate at 307 per 1,000 motorcycle accidents and 366 per 1,000, respectively. In states with universal helmet laws, the TBI rate was 282 per 1,000.

“Our study is unique because we prove that universal helmet laws save lives and decrease TBIs in the pediatric population as well. I think it’s an important group to look at because they are the least risk-averse group and the most inexperienced rider population, and are more likely to be unprotected in the absence of universal laws,” said Dr. Anderson.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities

A motorcycle accident typically involves serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries to the driver.  Many times, these accidents are the result of careless conduct by individuals driving automobiles and other larger motor vehicles. The injuries sustained as a result of a motorcycle accident are typically serious, often permanent, and sometimes deadly.

The amount of compensation that a person injured or killed in a motorcycle accident receives depends upon several facts, including the financial losses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.

Typical causes of car and motorcycle accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, automobile defect, failed maintenance, failing to be careful, speeding, running stops signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, not paying attention because of using cell phone or PDA, adjusting radio or DVD player, or eating while driving.

The Strom Law Firm Accident Attorneys Can Help with Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

The Strom Law Firm’s South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys will carefully analyze all aspects of the sequence of events, road conditions, and mechanical factors which led to the collision. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, or the wrongful death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, call The Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803.252.4800 or contact us in Columbia, South Carolina, for a free consultation.

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