Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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The month of May is being commemorated as National Bicycle Safety Month,  an ideal time just before the year’s peak cycling season kicks off to remind bicyclists  and motorists about the bicycle accident risks facing these vulnerable users.

In 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1105 fatalities involving bicycle accidents. More than  45,000 bicyclists were injured in these accidents. In the last ten years alone, there has been a 37 percent increase in the number of bicyclist deaths in auto accidents recorded across the country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are 80 million bicycles in the United States.   Bicyclists  compete for space with motorists, creating conditions that are often most dangerous to the person riding the bicycle. Many of these accidents  are preventable, and require an understanding of cyclist rights as well as the key motorist mistakes that may cost a bicyclist his safety or even his or her life.

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As daylight savings time changes go into effect and clocks are brought one hour forward, a new study finds that there may be some benefits to pedestrians  and bicyclists as accidents involving these road users  are reduced after the change. The same benefits, however, do not extend to motorists.

The effect of daylight savings time change has been analyzed by traffic safety experts several times in the past.  In  this most recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers analyzed traffic accident data from between 2010 and 2019.  They further divided these accidents based on the hours around the time change – between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – and further divided these accidents based on whether these involved motorists or pedestrians and bicyclists.

The data found that the overall net effect of the time change was minimal, regardless of whether the accident involved pedestrians and bicyclists or occupants of a passenger vehicle.  However, about 5 weeks after the fall time change went into effect, they found that there was an increase in the number of car accidents involving bicyclists and a drop in the number of auto accidents involving motorists.  Conversely,  when they analyzed the data from about 5 weeks after the spring time change went into effect, they found an increase in the number of auto accidents involving motorists and a drop in the number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

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Persons  who have suffered a brain injury may find it difficult to recall memories or make new memories.  This could possibly be a result of processing deficits as a result of a personal injury. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents and similar traumatic events may result in brain injuries which lead to a processing deficit.

A  brain injury can result in a number of cognitive and intellectual impairments. The person may suffer from concentration problems, cognitive  deficits and a lowered ability to understand  and grasp basic concepts and ideas.  One of the more troubling parts of life after a brain injury is limited memory function.  The  person may struggle to recall events, and even short term memory may be affected.  According  to new research, a brain injury can result in slowing down of processing times or a processing deficit which can, in turn, lead to memory dysfunction.  The findings of the study are important when you consider the fact that as many as 50% of patients who have suffered a brain injury  do suffer from some kind of memory dysfunction.

The researchers believe that rehabilitation after a brain injury can help with memory function to some extent.  They believe that therapy, especially occupational therapy techniques used during rehabilitation must include techniques to speed up processing speed.

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Persons who have suffered a spinal injury in car accidents or motorcycle accidents are at a much higher risk of suffering heart disease down the line.

That information comes from a study conducted in Korea where researchers analyzed data on more than 5,000 patients who had suffered lumbar, cervical or thoracic spinal injury. They were looking at how many of these spinal injury survivors developed heart conditions including myocardial infarction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.  They found that persons who had suffered lumbar and cervical spinal injury had a greater risk of myocardial infarctions and heart failure.   The rates were slightly higher among those persons who had suffered severe disability as a result of their spinal injury.

The  researchers believe that one of the reasons for this is the fact that spinal injury survivors have very limited mobility and ability to exercise.  This  causes the heart muscles to become weak due to the lack of exercise. The   researchers also believe that it is important for doctors  treating a person with spinal injury to factor in the increased risk of cardiac disease, including myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and heart failure. It is important for spinal cord injury survivors and their families and caretakers to understand the higher risk of these specific heart conditions as a result of the injury.  More  education and awareness is needed,  and greater efforts must be put into   patient counselling.

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Persons who have suffered a brain injury in an auto accident may be at a higher risk of developing brain cancer later in life. This the shocking finding of a new study which could have a significant impact on personal injury claims.

A  new study that was conducted on military vets finds that a brain injury significantly increases the risk of brain cancer. The study focused on more than 1.9 million vets, and the results are disturbing.   Brain  cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and only one percent of the general population has the risk of suffering from this disease.  However, among  veterans  who have suffered a brain injury, the risk  of developing malignant cancer is as much as 90% higher than in the general population.  Additionally,  in those cases in which the injury has resulted in penetration of the skull, victims  were found to have a three times higher risk of suffering brain cancer.

The researchers take pains to point out that while the study has been conducted on veterans, and  that while the exact same results may not be seen in the  civilian population, more severe or penetrative brain injury is likely to lead to a higher risk of brain cancer among civilians as well.

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Auto accident prevention technologies like forward collision warning systems do a very good job of reducing the risk of auto accidents involving passenger vehicles, but may not be as effective in preventing motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the findings of two new studies which found that forward collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking systems are very beneficial in reducing the risk of car accidents involving passenger vehicles,  but not as effective in preventing accidents involving motorcycles and trucks. The studies focused on more than 160,000 auto accidents involving passenger vehicles, large trucks and motorcycles.

According to the studies, these systems can help reduce the risk of rear-ender auto accidents involving passenger vehicles by as much as 53%.  However, they were found to reduce the risk of accidents involving large commercial trucks by only 38% and motorcycle accidents by 41%. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as many as 5,500 lives could be saved every year if auto accident prevention systems were enhanced to make them more effective in identifying and reducing the risk of colliding with large tractor trailers.  An additional 500 lives could be saved in motorcycle accidents if these technologies could be improved to help identify motorcycles that are  notoriously harder to identify for motorists.

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One  of the most devastating consequences of a brain injury after a car accident is the effect on a person’s cognitive abilities. A new study finds that a brain stimulator device can help a person recover these critical abilities after a personal injury.

The findings of the study were published in a recent issue of the Nature Medicine journal. The researchers implanted the stimulators in the brains of persons who had suffered brain injuries as a result of trauma.  The  implants were left on for about 12 hours a day and the participants spent 3 months with the implants.

The research by scientists at Stanford University found that the implantation of the deep brain stimulator helped trigger  electric activity in brain neurons that had been left damaged after trauma. While  the researchers were hoping for a 10% increase in mental processing as a result of the implantation of the device, they  were surprised to find that the improvement was as high as 32% in the patients. What is even more promising is that the device can help with impairments that have occurred as a result of old brain injuries. According to the scientists, the device offers great hope to persons who have suffered injuries that have left them with memory loss and poor thinking skills.

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Calls for the United States to mandate automatic braking systems on all motorcycles in order to prevent accidents are growing louder.  This  country remains one of the very few developed nations that do not require this technology on all motorcycles.

The  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is petitioning the federal government to mandate automated braking systems on all motorcycles in order to prevent accidents.  This  is the second time that the organization petitioned the federal government on this matter.  The first time was more than a decade ago, and since then, according to the organization, more than 27 nations, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Brazil,  India and several members of the European Union, have mandated these technologies on all motorcycles.

Automatic braking technologies can help riders maintain control over the motorcycle even when they suddenly brake or brake on wet or slippery surfaces.  They  prevent the kind of motorcycle crashes that are often caused as a result of skidding.  These  are the kind of accidents that often result in the   rider falling off the motorcycle with possibly devastating consequences.  The  lack of ABS on a motorcycle is a significant factor in a large percentage of motorcycle accidents every year.

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We know a lot about the impact of brain injuries on certain areas of a person’s life, including his mental health  and cognitive functioning.  A  new study finds that  a traumatic  brain injury – like the kind that results after a motorcycle accident –  could also significantly impact a person’s cardiac health,  leaving him exposed to the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

According to researchers, there are  a number of risk factors after a  brain injury that may increase the person’s risk  of suffering heart conditions after this type of personal injury.  These factors   include neuroinflammation,  problems with the nervous system and other post -injury symptoms that  could significantly impact cardiovascular functioning.  This  could place the person at risk  of suffering conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

In fact, the researchers believe that  cardiovascular and endocrine disruption  may impact a person’s quality of life and affect his survival rates for decades after the injury.  They also believe that there has not been enough research into the long  – term cardiovascular effects after a brain injury,  with  the result that  we are likely underestimating  the impact of these  effects on survival rates.

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Victims  of car accidents, motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents  who have suffered a spinal cord injury may look forward to a day when they can walk independently again thanks to a new breakthrough in research in the field.

Scientists  recently announced a breakthrough  in their attempts to regenerate axons in  persons who have suffered  a spinal cord injury.  The  breakthrough was announced by a team of scientists that included both Swiss and American  researchers. According to the team,  they found that redirecting  regenerated axons to their target regions was more effective in helping along the healing process and aided the recovery of the patient,  compared to random regrowth of axons.

Back in 2018, the team had identified that axons which are responsible for communicating transmissions among the nerve cells could be regrown after the damage.  However,  they found that even when the axons were regrown, it did not really lead to any marked or significant functional recovery for the patient.  Now,  however,  they say that they have found a way to redirect the regenerated axons to their target region, helping  restore functional movement.  The  researchers experimented on mice with spinal cord injury, and found that the mice were actually able to walk independently after the treatment.

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