Because little protection exists between you and the roadway or other vehicles, riding a motorcycle always brings with it certain risks. New research shows that your chances of suffering a serious head injury are actually higher when you are riding on the back of the bike, rather than controlling it yourself.
Per Reuters, traumatic brain injuries are the biggest injury risk you face when you ride on the back of the motorcycle or drive it. However, your chances of suffering one are about 4% higher when you are a motorcycle passenger.
Head injury statistics
When motorcycles crash, the people driving the bikes suffer serious head injuries in 36% of cases. The people riding on the backs of the bikes, meanwhile, experience traumatic brain injuries 40% of the time. Some argue that the difference may be due to the fact that those driving motorcycles wear helmets more often than their passengers. However, statistics show that the disparity remains even when both the driver and the passenger wear helmets.
Helmet use statistics
Research shows that you face a higher head injury risk as a motorcycle passenger, rather than the driver, even if you always wear a helmet. When wearing helmets, motorcycle drivers experienced TBIs in 31% of crashes. Passengers experienced them in 36% of bike wrecks.
Your head injury risk may prove higher as a passenger, rather than a driver because the odds of you facing ejection from the bike are higher when you do not have the handlebars there to grip. As a passenger, you also lack the protection the windshield may provide the driver, which may also enhance your head injury risk.
Find more about injuries suffered in motorcycle wrecks on our webpage.