When you ride a motorcycle (we know a thing or two about it, in our office), you know that there is nothing – nothing – in the world like it. And if you’ve ever crashed your bike, you know there’s nothing like that either. What is a little tap to person driving a car could have deadly consequences for a rider. And when it comes to traumatic brain injury, or TBI, we face even more serious effects.
Or maybe not anymore. The Tennessee Department of Health has just come back with some interesting numbers about Tennessee rider who wear helmets. As it turns out, we’re number six in the nation for saving lives and money because we’re required to wear helmets by law, according to the CDC.
Now, look – we know that the helmet issue is a sensitive one. When the state Senate committee took a vote on whether or not to repeal the helmet law, it only lost by one. It’s a deeply personal issue, to us and to other riders. But the conversation surrounding Tennessee’s helmet laws is an important one regardless of where you stand. The Department of Health’s latest findings may change the course of that conversation.
What they found
The last major analysis was done in 2010, and it found that on average, wearing a helmet reduced a rider’s risk of injury by about 69%. That reduction featured most prominently in the area of TBI. Since there are a lot of long-term effects of TBI, this is an important statistic.
So what constitutes as TBI? Anything that disrupts normal brain function. Even a mild concussion can be a traumatic brain injury. And if you suffer such an injury, you could face:
* Memory loss
* Loss of motor skills
You may have to undergo long-term therapy. Some victims slip into comas. The consequences are always serious, and some are potentially fatal. But for Tennessee riders who wear helmets, the risks of TBI decrease by a significant percent. Since about 8,000 people are admitted to Tennessee hospitals each year for TBI, that number becomes even more impressive.
We offer this information because we want riders to make informed decisions about their future. The law might be universal now, but it could change in the future. Maybe you’ll wear a helmet; maybe you won’t. But as personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen a lot of devastated families and victims come through our Knoxville office doors, and we know what kind of challenges lay ahead if you end up with a TBI. We just want to make sure you know the numbers; what you do with them is up to you.