Motocross is a popular summertime sport where individuals race motorcycles on a closed course, usually with hilly and dirt terrain. Throughout North America motocross is enjoyed by all ages, with some starting at the fragile age of five. An article published in the North Country Times outlined a study on motocross injuries and deaths and its connection to brain injuries. This study examined approximately 300 motocross accidents with riders who were 17 years of age or younger. The research found that there were high rates of concussions and orthopedic injuries, which caused interest to further investigate particular causes. Dr. Amy McIntosh, an orthopedic surgeon, featured in this article stated, We found that certain factors clearly reduced the risk of concussions and spinal injuries, while other factors clearly raised it.
It was found that there were two factors that significantly increased the risk of injury; sponsorships and aggressive riding. It appears that the pressure of potentially losing a sponsorship increased the risk of harming oneself (unintentionally) while racing. Often while participating in a sport, aggressive behaviour comes to the forefront as the focus is on winning the race. Which is why it is not surprising these are the two factors related to causing most motocross injuries.
The most important factor in preventing injury is wearing a helmet that has been fitted professionally to its motocross rider. Professional motocross helmets have a helmet ejection system, which makes it easier to remove the helmet without disturbing a riders head and neck, if an injury occurs. Also, helmets have a limited life span, if a helmet has visible abrasions on it, it should be discarded as it will no longer protect the brain effectively. Part of a motocross riders gear should include a rigid neck brace, which is meant to minimize spinal-cord injuries. Being proactive when participating in such a high risk sport is essential.
This article suggested that at the start of the motocross season, a rider should have a baseline neuropsychology test. This test allows a doctor to more accurately determine a riders brain health should a concussion occur. Furthermore, if a rider does acquire an injury, in particular a concussion, they must gradually return to the sport, ensuring that no concussion symptoms re-emerge. It was documented in this study that nearly half of all the participants claimed they experienced concussion symptoms throughout their regular season. However, only 40% of those riders received medical attention. This is an alarming statistic, especially considering that in the United States and in Canada motocross has little to no regulations.
Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers continues to bring awareness to sport injuries, outlining the dangers within a sport and presenting solutions for being proactive and safer while participating. It is unfortunate and alarming that there is little to no regulation for motocross, considering its popularity.