When motorcycle accidents occur in Smyrna, one can likely guess who gets the worst of it. Motorcyclists have little protection when involved in an accident, which opens them up to the potential for serious injury. Few injuries are as serious as a traumatic brain injury, as such an incident can leave one with severe physical and cognitive deficits that they often have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
When one suffers a TBI in a motorcycle accident, their family and friends likely want to know what their long-term prognosis may be. While some might think that is impossible, clinicians may be able to offer an estimation thanks to the Glasgow Coma Scale.
What is the GCS?
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a clinical observation test that gives clinicians an idea of the extent of a person’s TBI in the immediate aftermath of their injury. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the GCS generates a score based on a TBI victim’s responses in the following areas:
- Eye movement
- Verbal responses
- Motor skills
Clinicians assign a point value in each category, and then sum those points to come up with an overall score. A score above 13 indicates a mild TBI, a score between nine and 12 indicates a moderate brain injury, and a score of eight or below indicates a severe brain injury.
How well can helmets protect a motorcyclist’s brain?
One might think that wearing a helmet will safeguard a motorcyclist from experiencing a TBI. While a helmet might certainly help, it is not a guarantee of safety. Indeed, according to information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15% of helmeted motorcyclists treated in hospitals following accidents experience TBIs (with almost 5% of those classified as severe).