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Are motorcycle passengers at risk for a TBI?

| Aug 15, 2019 | catastrophic injuries

Motorcyclists in Tennessee understand that motorcycle accidents can be devastating. On a motorcycle, riders have little protection from the elements. A rider may choose to have a helmet and leather riding gear, but he or she is still more vulnerable than a person is in an average motor vehicle. Practicing safe driving habits can decrease the chance of serious or fatal injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Drivers are not the only group of people at risk for TBIs, however. Passengers may be, on average, more prone to TBIs than drivers are.

According to Reuters, a study of 80,000 motorcycle drivers and 6,000 passengers revealed that drivers are more likely to wear helmets than passengers are. No matter the reason for the accident, the study also revealed that TBIs are the most common injury for both riders and drivers. Without a helmet, both driver and passenger are at a serious risk for TBI. When riding, a passenger is less likely to wear a helmet. In fact, two-thirds of drivers wear helmets, whereas 57.5% of passengers wear one.

For those passengers who do wear helmets, they are still more at risk of TBI. Passengers turn up with a TBI at a rate of 36%, whereas drivers have a rate of 31%. The leading theory as to why it is more dangerous for a passenger is that during an accident, passengers are more likely to eject from the vehicle. When launched off a motorcycle at high speeds, the helmet may not help.

None of the above information is legal advice. It is for educational purposes.

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