Head Injuries a Serious Aftermath of Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a most wanted list for safety improvements needed throughout the United States.

As part of a series of blogs, our Statesville injury lawyers want to place emphasis on four key areas of safety that need improvement: motorcycle safety, drunk driving, teen safe driving and bus accidents. The first topic in our series is motorcycle safety. There have been a number of motorcycle accidents in North Carolina reported in the news recently.
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WFMY reports about the tragic death of a young man killed on a motorcycle when he collided with another vehicle pulling out of a parking lot. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital from High Point Regional where he died from injuries sustained in the crash.

News & Observer reports about a Cary police officer who was on a motorcycle and was in pursuit with emergency lights on and horns blaring before being collided into by a pickup truck making a left turn as the officer went through the intersection. The officer was thrown approximately 25 feet off the motorcycle and landed hard on the other side of the truck’s bed. A nurse who witnessed the accident called 911 and helped the police officer to continue breathing until first responders arrived and took over the rescue operation.

The popularity of motorcycles is growing throughout the country. Motorcycles represent 3 percent of registered vehicles on roadways but account for 13 percent of total fatalities on roadways nationwide. Motorcycle deaths more than doubled from 1997-2009, jumping from 2,116 to 4,462. During this period, there was an average of 12 motorcyclists killed each day. What can be done?

One of the leading causes of death in motorcycle crashes are injuries to the head, so focusing on protecting the head is a focal point according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

One step that can be taken to reduce injury as a passenger or rider is to wear a helmet that complies with federal standards. Federal Standard 218 provides minimum requirements for motorcycle helmets related to reducing injuries and head trauma if involved in an accident.

Helmets that meet the standard are designed with a hard shell on the outside, an impact-attenuating liner and a protective head retention system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmet use has proven to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries for riders and passengers who wear them by 37 percent and 41 percent respectively.

The National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety provides suggestions for identifying the most effective programs for injury prevention and crash moderation. The safety agenda addresses human factors (attitudes, training, crash avoidance skills), social factors (awareness, enforcement of protective laws, involvement by the insurance industry), motorcycle factors (design, vehicle modifications, lane use) and environmental factors (first response, other vehicle design, roadway characteristics).

For an in depth look at the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety click here to view.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Greensboro, Asheville, Gastonia or the surrounding areas, contact the injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free consultation. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Motorcyclist Dies from Injuries Sustained in Crash, by Amber Wheeler, WFMY News 2

Va. Woman aids Cary officer injured on police motorcycle, by Paul Specht, News & Observer

Summer Days Most Deadly for Motorcyclists in Winston-Salem and Throughout North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 11, 2011

Statesville Scooter Accidents a High Risk During Height of Motorcycle Season in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 7, 2011

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident a Remind of Wintertime Dangers, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, February 21, 2011

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