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More Young Motorcycle Riders Suffering Traumatic Brain Injuries Because of Inadequate Helmet Laws

December 31, 1969

Two new studies show that as more young motorcyclists get on their bikes without wearing helmets, the more likely they are to sustain long-term disabilities and serious head injuries, and that this, in turn, results in significant medical bills. The findings can be found in Pediatrics. While one study examines young riders and their head injuries and related medical expenses, the other looks at the effect that having a mandatory helmet law can have on riders.

Currently, only 20 US states, including California, and Washington DC have mandatory universal helmet laws. Other states have age-specific helmet use laws. Recently, however, the National Transportation Safety Board, called on all US states to adopt a mandatory universal helmet law regardless of age. According to study author Harold Weiss, several studies in the past have shown that when there are "youth-only laws" regarding helmet use rather than universal helmet laws, there is a significant drop in helmet use among young motorcyclists.

Weiss notes about 25% of all motorcycle-related traumatic brain injuries involving young riders under the age of 21 led to long-term disabilities. Also, patients with serious head injuries had an at least 10 times greater chance of dying in hospitals than those who hadn't sustained this type of injury. Per hospital discharge data from 38 states during the 2005 to 2007 period, in the 12- to 20-year-old age groups in 2006 motorcycle accidents were the cause of 3% of their injuries that warranted hospitalization.

More findings from the studies:
• 1/3rd of the 5,662 motorcycle accident victims under age 21 that ended up in the hospital in 2006 sustained TBIs. 91 of them died.

• About 50% of those who were hurt or killed belonged to the 18 to 20-year-old age groups. 90% of them were males.

• Head injuries resulted in lengthier hospital stays, costlier medical bills, and other motorcycle crash-related injuries.

California Motorcycle Accidents
Our Anaheim motorcycle crash lawyers are familiar with the devastating injuries that can affect anyone who has been hurt in an Orange County, California motorcycle accident . Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and burn injuries can irrevocably alter a person's future and lead to costly medical expenses. This is not the type of injury case that you want to pursue without legal help.

It was just today that coroner officials were able to identity the man killed in an Ortega Highway motorcycle crash on Sunday morning as Kenneth Brant. The 61-year-old Anaheim man was injured when his motorcycle collided with a BMW going in the opposite direction at the mile marker 125 located about 20 miles west of Lake Elsinore. The BMW driver sustained serious injuries during the collision. Per an initial investigation, the car driver appears to have crossed onto the opposite side of the road for an unknown reason. Manslaughter charges may be filed.

CHP investigating manslaughter charges in fatal crash, OC Register, November 29, 2010

Young Motorcycle Riders Suffering More Brain Injuries, Bloomberg Businessweek, November 19, 2010

NTSB calls for helmet laws nationally,, November 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
National Transportation Safety Board

Current US motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Contact our Anaheim personal injury lawyers today.