Motorcycle Safety: Intermountain Healthcare Trauma Experts Remind Riders to Wear a Helmet
Intermountain emergency and trauma teams have six tips to help everyone be safe and help avoid a trip to the emergency room.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) August 12th, 2022
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,000 people died in 2020 in the United States, and thousands more were injured during motorcycle related accidents.
With summer heating up, Intermountain Healthcare trauma experts are reminding motorcycle riders about the importance of staying safe when hitting the roads – whether it be riding on a motorcycle – or driving to the next adventure in the great outdoors.
Doctors say knowing how to stay safe, preparing in advance, and using the right safety gear is key to having a safe summer.
“Traumas can happen anytime, anywhere, and any place,” said Joseph Kamerath, MD, Intermountain Healthcare senior medical director for Rehab Services. “There are things we can all do to prevent life-threatening injuries.”
Intermountain emergency and trauma teams have these six safety reminders to help everyone be safe and help avoid a trip to the emergency room.
- WEAR A HELMET
“The huge key to saving your life is wearing the right equipment – including a helmet,” said Dr. Kamerath. “People involved in accidents wearing helmets are far more likely to survive and get back on that motorcycle, bike, scooter, or ATV. Those who don’t wear a helmet end up with a longer recovery time or don’t recover at all.”
Specifically, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death by 42 percent.
NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcycle riders in 2017 and that 749 more lives in all states could have been saved if all motorcycle riders had worn helmets.
- WEAR OTHER SAFETY GEAR
“Don’t forget there is more to protective gear than just a helmet,” said Dr. Kamerath. “Goggles, over-the-ankle boots, gloves, sturdy full-length pants, a long-sleeved shirt and the right footwear are great at taking a little punishment if you take crash.”
Whenever possible, use approved DOT/SNELL gear. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back; this means it meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
- SLOW DOWN – RIDE DISTRACTION FREE
Nearly half of all fatal crashes occur in crashes over 50 mph. Even when no cars around, ride safe – over 40% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve no other motor vehicles.
- WHEN IN A CAR, WEAR A SEAT BELT
Fatal car crashes typically nearly double during the summer months in Utah.
In 2020, Utah’s traffic fatalities reached a 14-year-high and 276 people did not survive. In 2022, the Utah Department of Transportation reports 136 fatalities in the first six months of the year. The most common contributing factor to roadway fatalities, according to UDOT is failure to buckle up.
In fact, over the last five years, almost half of all people who died on Utah’s roads were not buckled up. In 2021, there were 84 unrestrained fatalities on Utah roads and 50 percent of the fatalities in the first three months of this year were unrestrained.
“The act of buckling up is not just a personal decision it affects everyone around you. It can save your life and the lives of those in your vehicle,” said Dr. Kamerath. “It only takes a few seconds, but can keep you from becoming a statistic.”
- WHEN DRIVING, WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES
Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see, especially in your blind spot. Motorcycles speed may be difficult to judge and may appear to be farther away than they actually are.
- SIGN UP FOR A SAFETY CLASS
To sign up for a motorcycle safety class in Utah, go to www.ridetolive.utah.gov. And, for more motorcycle riding safety tips, go here.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information and updates, click here