A study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has found that teens are all too often the victims of brain injuries after motorcycle accidents and dirt bike accidents. Many researchers believe that the best way to reduce the number of bike accidents and traumatic brain injuries is to instate a universal helmet law. Here are just a few of the statistics mentioned in the teen head injury study:
• One out of four head injuries sustained in teen motorcycle accidents result in long-term disabilities.
• Those with brain injuries are ten times more likely to die at the hospital than those with other serious injuries.
• Motorcycle accidents were responsible for three percent of all serious injuries sustained by those 12-20 years of age.
• One third of teen motorcycle accident victims who required hospitalization sustain some kind of head injury.
• Ninety percent of teens who were injured or killed on motorcycles between 2005 and 2007 were boys.
• Fifty percent of teens who were injured or killed on motorcycles between 2005 and 2007 were between the ages of 19 and 20.
• Motorcycle accidents were responsible for $249 million in medical charges over one year, while head injuries from motorcycle accidents cost the health care system $58 million over one year.
• States with mandatory motorcycle helmet laws see a 20 to 40 percent drop in motorcycle deaths.
Safety experts are in agreement that the statistics can help lawmakers make the roads safer for teens with motorcycles – and most agree that the first step is instating motorcycle helmet laws in the 30 states that do not yet require riders to protect themselves from debilitating and expensive head injuries.