The safety of a motorcyclist is of paramount importance as they are the most vulnerable to serious and at times fatal injuries in road accidents.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that there are on average 3,300 motorcycle accidents annually involving minor to serious injuries. Of these, 150 motorcyclists sustain fatal injuries. Fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents amount to almost 16 percent of the total fatalities in the state. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in a road accident, motorcyclists are 39 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries as compared to occupants of passenger cars.
Steps to Keeping Motorcyclists Safe
The traffic in Chicago is amongst the most congested in the country; therefore, the likelihood of motorcycle accidents is also high. This requires increased road safety awareness campaigns and additional steps to ensure the safety of motorcyclists on the road. The most important step for traffic enforcement agencies is to be able to identify drunk drivers and also those who have been in previous fatal motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists should also keep a check on themselves and avoid riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Wearing a Helmet
The other important step is to wear a proper motorcycle helmet while riding. As a public awareness program, a document titled ‘Motorcycle Safety’ has been published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The document brings out various statistics regarding motorcycle accidents and also provides guidelines to ensure the safety of a motorcyclist. The statistics of 2010 show that 41 percent of motorcycle riders and 50 percent of passengers who died in accidents were not wearing helmets. The CDC continues to research better ways to ensure the safety of motorcyclists; they state that wearing a proper helmet is the best way to reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries and deaths in a motorcycle accident.
Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is the best safety mechanism. The statistics regarding helmet use indicate that a helmet reduces the chances of death in an accident by 37 percent. The risk of head injury while wearing a helmet is reduced by 69 percent. The risk of death to a rider not wearing a helmet is 40 percent more than that of a rider wearing a helmet.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
An injury to the head in an accident can have life-altering consequences. The brain is a sensitive organ and severe trauma can result in traumatic brain injury. The injury may not be fatal, but it can be debilitating and can severely affect the life of the victim. The victim may have to undergo long rehabilitation treatment which can be an emotionally traumatic experience for the loved ones of the victim. The treatment of traumatic brain injuries is almost 13 times more expensive than non-brain injuries and this can have a big financial impact for the victim and the family.