Riding a motorcycle in West Virginia involves a certain level of risk. However, you may mitigate that risk to some extent by wearing a helmet. Yet, even if you do so, studies show that you face a higher risk of suffering a serious injury in a motorcycle wreck if you ride on the back of the bike, rather than be the one to drive it.
According to Reuters, motorcycle drivers and passengers alike face head injury risks in bike crashes. Traumatic brain injuries are the most common type of injury suffered by bike users in both groups.
How likely drivers and passengers are to wear helmets
Research indicates that motorcycle drivers are more prone to wearing helmets when riding a bike than passengers. A study of about 86,000 motorcycle enthusiasts showed that about two-thirds of motorcycle drivers always wore helmets compared to 57.5% of bike passengers.
How likely drivers and passengers are to suffer head injuries
When motorcycles crash and there are passengers riding on the back, those passengers suffer traumatic brain injuries in about 40% of bike wrecks. Meanwhile, those driving the bikes suffer traumatic brain injuries in about 36% of bike wrecks. Even when both parties don helmets, passengers still face higher head injury risks. With helmets on, motorcycle passengers suffer serious head injuries in about 36% of motorcycle crashes, while bike drivers experienced them in about 31% of bike wrecks.
While helmet use impacts your head injury risk when riding a motorcycle, being a bike passenger also brings with it other dangers. For example, you have less to hang on to than a driver in the event of a crash, raising the chance of you flying off the bike.