Traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem for people in Tennessee and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 138 people die each day due to traumatic brain injuries. Motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths in the U.S., and a number of those fatalities involve motorcycle collisions. Unlike cars and trucks, motorcycles do not have seat belts, air bags and sensory technology that are designed to help reduce injuries and protect people who are involved in car accidents. Furthermore, motor vehicles have a protective barrier that surrounds the driver. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, only have a helmet that shields them from the road.
Even a hard jolt to the head while wearing a helmet, however, can lead to a traumatic brain injury, as reported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. When a motorcyclist’s head experiences a sudden impact, the soft tissue of the brain may bounce into the hard skull bone. This can damage critical brain tissue and cause it to bruise and bleed. In the hours, days and weeks following the accident, the brain may continue to swell, causing even further brain damage.
Motorcyclists who hit their heads are at risk of receiving mild, moderate or severe brain trauma. Depending on the force of impact and the area of the brain that is damaged, the victim may experience varying symptoms of brain trauma. These include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling in the extremities
- Trouble concentrating
In some cases, motorcyclists may have seizures or black out completely. Injuries may improve with speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other treatments.