Riding a motorcycle carries obvious risks. You have little protection in an accident, exposing yourself to serious injuries. 

The danger is greater for motorcycle passengers, a study shows. The report finds traumatic brain injuries are more likely for passengers. It also says wearing a helmet makes little difference. 

The numbers behind the accidents 

The study reveals accidents caused traumatic brain injuries for 40% of motorcycle passengers. Among operators, the rate was 36%. 

Wearing a helmet provided little safety. Passengers still suffered traumatic brain injuries in 36% of crashes. The number for drivers was 31%. 

Reuters reported on the study, published in JAMA Surgery. Researchers reviewed accidents involving 80,000 drivers and almost 6,000 passengers. 

The why behind the injuries 

The danger for passengers is greater because an accident is more likely to eject them from the motorcycle. They are sitting higher than the driver, meaning they are more exposed. They also have nothing, such as handgrips, holding them in place. 

A motorcycle windshield, meanwhile, offers some protection for the driver. Drivers also have a firm grip on the steering column, which helps anchor them to the motorcycle. 

Motorcycle crashes take a toll in Arizona. Statistics for 2018 show 2,738 accidents, with 150 fatalities and 2,248 injuries. The fatality rate is about 5.5%, while the injury rate is an alarming 77%. 

The how to protecting yourself 

In addition to a helmet, wear protective gear such as gloves, boots, jacket and pants made of materials created to keep your skin from coming into contact with the pavement. 

Because maneuvers are different with a passenger, consider offering to do a practice ride where you and the operator can get the hang of the balance challenges that having a passenger can create. Think twice about riding with someone who does not have much experience yet. 

Your injuries may be serious or even disable you for life. Your case may come down to your word against the word of the person who caused your accident. Holding someone responsible is among the keys to securing fair compensation.