The threat of a head or brain injury is always present when you ride a motorcycle in California. This is due in part because of the fact that little protection exists between your body and the roadway in the event of a crash. Research shows that your chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury on a motorcycle are actually higher when you ride on the back of the bike, rather than drive it yourself.
Per Reuters, a study involving about 140,000 motorcycle riders and passengers revealed telling information about the head injury risks you face while riding in the front or on the back of a bike.
Research shows that motorcycle passengers are statistically more reluctant to wear motorcycle helmets than those driving the bikes. About two-thirds of motorcyclists surveyed reported wearing helmets. However, only about 57% of motorcycle passengers said they did the same.
Study findings also show that this reluctance to wear helmets raises TBI risks. While TBIs were the most common motorcycle crash injury seen among motorcycle passengers and drivers, passengers suffered these head injuries in about 40% of crashes. Drivers suffered TBIs in about 36% of motorcycle wrecks.
Research shows that your chance of suffering a TBI while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle is higher than that of the driver even when both of you wear helmets. When wearing helmets, motorcycle passengers experience TBIs in about 36% of bike crashes. Helmeted drivers suffer TBIs in about 31% of crashes.
Some believe your risk of a TBI is higher as a motorcycle passenger than a driver because you are more likely to fly off the bike in a wreck because you do not have handlebars or much else to grip.