Brain Injury

Motorcycle brain injury is a leading cause of accident-related death. Those who suffer motorcycle brain injury can face permanent changes in physical and mental capacities. Furthermore, the costs of treating and rehabilitating motorcycle brain injury patients can place a large financial burden on the patients and their families.

Types of Brain Injuries

Wearing a helmet is arguably the most important preventative measure for preventing motorcycle brain injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that motorcycle brain injury is three times more likely in motorcyclists without a helmet than in motorcyclists wearing a helmet. There are several types of brain injuries that can occur after a motorcycle accident, including a wide range of hemorrhages and traumatic brain injury.


Hemorrhages, or hematomas, are bleeding occurrences in the brain. There are three main types, which are characterized by the location in the brain where they occur. Subarachnoid hemorrhages occur between the protective tissues that cover the brain. Epidural hemorrhages occur between the outer skull and the dura, or the brain’s outer covering. Subdural hemorrhages occur between the brain and the dura. Subdural hemorrhages can be life-threatening and often involve emergency surgery.

Effects of Motorcycle Brain Injury

The effects of motorcycle brain injury can be devastating for riders. In severe cases, motorcycle brain injury can cause brain damage that leads to permanent physical, intellectual, emotional, and social disabilities and changes. Survivors of motorcycle brain injury often experience difficulty returning to life before the accident.

Long-term conditions from motorcycle brain injury can include:

  • Loss of motor skills and coordination
  • Permanent paralysis or recurring seizures
  • Decreased cognitive and intellectual abilities
  • Memory loss and poor concentration
  • Inability to work and maintain income
  • Long-term depression, anxiety, mood swings, and excessive anger

Medical Costs

According to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, inpatient medical costs for motorcycle brain injury may be more than double the costs incurred by accident victims who did not sustain brain injury. In cases of severe motorcycle brain injury, the victim may require ongoing medical treatments throughout the course of his or her lifetime. As a result, families can be faced with staggering financial burdens.

The National Foundation of Brain Research states that the average medical and non-medical costs for those who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI) is roughly $151,000. This figure takes into account several aspects of care, such as vocational rehabilitation, health insurance, and necessary home modifications.

Prevent Brain Injury

Wearing a helmet can be the single most effective measure for preventing motorcycle brain injury. When involved in an accident, helmeted motorcyclists are significantly less likely than unhelmeted motorcyclists to experience motorcycle brain injury, particularly traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Journal of the American College of Surgeons states that wearing a helmet can reduce motorcycle brain injury by up to 85 percent.


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Jana, MacLeod, et al. “Helmet Efficacy to Reduce Head Injury and Mortality in Motorcycle Crashes.” Journal of Trauma. 69.5 (2010): 1101-1111. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <>.

Mertz, Kristen, and Harold Weiss. “Changes in Motorcycle-Related Head Injury Deaths, Hospitalizations, and Hospital Charges Following Repeal of Pennsylvania’s Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Law.” American Journal of Public Health. 98.8 (2008): 1464-1467. Print. <>.

“Motorcycle Helmet Use and Head and Facial Injuries.”National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 30 Aug 2013. <>.

“Traumatic brain injury.” Trauma Reports 1 Nov. 2012. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Aug. 2013.