Despite the thrill and exhilaration that motorcycles offer, they can also be very dangerous.  Motorcycle accidents tend to cause more severe injuries than accidents that occur in other motor vehicles because the motorcyclist does not have the protection of the car body. 

According to Transport Canada, in 2015 there were 200 motorcyclists killed in collisions (10% of all driver deaths) and 1,243 motorcyclists who sustained serious injuries (12.1% of all drivers who sustained serious injuries).

Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable road users.  Operating a motorcycle exposes the rider to a variety of hazards including wind, rain, hail, unexpected snowfall, extreme heat, collisions, and losing traction.  Statistics also reveal that a disproportionately high number of catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, are sustained by motorcyclists. 

If you have sustained a brain injury as a result of a motorcycle collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and associated costs.  Hiring an experienced personal injury law firm, such as Cuming & Gillespie LLP, can give you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. 


As motorcyclists are exposed to the immediate environment around them and are not provided with the same safety features found in a typical motor vehicle, they are at an increased risk of a traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) during a collision.

A brain injury occurs when the brain sustains direct or indirect damage from a violent blow.  The impact of a motorcycle crash can inflict harm directly to brain tissue, such as fracturing the skull and rattling the brain and damaging nerve cells. 

An accident can also lead to bleeding and swelling inside the skull, which can put pressure on the brain causing damage to tissues and nerve endings.

The likelihood of a TBI is incredibly high if the motorcyclist’s head collides with the roadway or another object.  Brain injuries are classified in three levels of severity:  mild, moderate and severe.

A brain injury can cause a variety of symptoms depending on how the brain was affected by the accident.  A brain injury victim may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness, including coma and permanent semi-conscious states;
  • Motor deficits, such as paralysis, numbness, weakness and an impaired ability to perform certain gestures or movements;
  • Speech and language deficits, including an inability to form words, slurred or slowed speech, loss of the ability to read or to understand speech;
  • Cognitive deficits, such as long-term memory loss, forgetfulness, reduced ability to reason, and loss of understanding abstract concepts;
  • Emotional deficits, including mood swings, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and uncontrolled; and
  • Other functional deficits, such as insomnia, fatigue, persistent headaches, social isolation and an inability to recognize and respond appropriately to social cues.


The following tips can help motorcycle riders survive motorcycle crashes by reducing the likelihood of serious injury.

Wear an Approved Motorcycle Helmet

Traumatic head and neck injuries are the leading cause of death amongst motorcycle riders.  Wearing an approved and properly sized motorcycle helmet is the most effective way to survive a motorcycle crash.

Helmets function to reduce the risk of serious head and brain injuries by reducing the impact of a force to the head.  A helmet works in the following three ways:

  • It reduces the deceleration of the skull.  The padded material in the helmet absorbs some of the impact and decreases the speed at which the head comes to halt.
  • It spreads the forces of the impact over a greater surface area.
  • It prevents direct contact between the skull and the impacting object by acting as a barrier between the head and the pavement or other sharp debris.

Ride the Right Motorcycle for Your Skill Level

New motorcycle riders should only use bikes that suit their skill level and size.  Motorcycles made for beginners often include additional safety equipment and user-friendly controls.  More advanced riders with training and experience can handle a higher-performance motorcycle.

It is also important to consider where and in what conditions the motorcycle will be used.  Some motorcycles are better suited for snow and ice, and other bikes are better for heavy-traffic conditions.

Get Licensed and Take Motorcycle Safety Courses

It is important to complete motorcycle safety training courses, which can teach riders how to fall off their bike, stop safely and minimize the damage associated with a crash.  More advanced training can help riders recognize common driver mistakes, including turning left into motorcyclists, following riders too closely and driving while intoxicated.

Wear Recommended Safety Gear

It is very common for riders to wear leather as it protects them from painful friction burns, which frequently occur during motorcycle crashes.  The following safety gear can also prevent or mitigate serious injuries to motorcycle riders:

  • Textile mesh and waterproof pants;
  • Helmets with facemasks and/or riding goggles;
  • Earplugs or helmets with specific noise protection;
  • Gloves with grips or racing gloves;
  • Sturdy boots;
  • Light body armor;
  • Reflective gear; and
  • Leather jackets.

Keep Your Attention Focused on the Road

It is important to always keep your attention focused on the road, and watch the motorists around you to anticipate what they might do.  Pay particular attention to any vehicles that may pull out in front of you or run a red light when you are approaching intersections or side streets.

Slow Down and Leave Room

One of the main causes of fatalities involving motorcycles is speeding.  As motorcycles are more sensitive to changes in the road, it is important to slow down to allow for more time to react.  It is also wise to allow adequate space between your motorcycle and any vehicle to make driving safer. 


If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another individual’s negligence, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and interests and ensure full and fair compensation. Cuming & Gillespie LLP have many years of experience successfully handling claims for those victims injured through the fault of others.  Please contact the award-winning and experienced lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP online or at 403-571-0555