A Sunday afternoon motorcycle accident in Edmond, Oklahoma, left a motorcycle rider and his passenger in critical condition. Steven Carson, 27, and his passenger, Sheena See, 27, were headed eastbound on West 33rd Street when the motorcycle struck a Nissan SUV turning south onto Lincoln Boulevard. Carson and See, neither of whom was wearing a helmet, were thrown approximately 40 feet from the bike, according to local news reports. Carson was unconcious when emergency responders arrived, but See remained conscious. Both were transported to OU Medical center in "very critical" condition.The driver of the SUV and a child passenger in the vehicle were not injured. Motorcycle safety experts acknowledge that the best protection in a motorcycle accident is a DOT-approved helmet. Even so, Oklahoma remains one of 31 states without a universal helmet law. Instead, the state enforces a partial helmet law, requiring helmet use only for motorcycle riders--both drivers and passengers--aged 17 and younger. [caption id="attachment_1643" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image Credit: CDC.gov[/caption] Even with helmet use, however, motorcyclists are at increased risk of catastrophic injury or death in an accident because their mode of transportation does not provide the structural protection offered by passenger vehicles. Of the 14,283 motorcyclists killed in the United States between 2008-2010, more than half were wearing helmets. In a crash, injuries to motorcycle riders are often catastrophic, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and dismemberment. Burn injuries, severe lacerations and contusions, and broken bones are also commonly associated with motorcycle accidents. Although motorcycles make up less than one percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcycle accidents account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. Statistics show that a motorcycle rider or passenger is 35 times more likely to die in a fatal accident than passenger vehicle occupants. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that in 2011, there were 95 motorcyclists killed and 1,355 injured on Oklahoma roads. In 22 percent of motorcycle crashes, a motorcycle operator was driving at an unsafe speed. While reckless motorcycle drivers certainly cause accidents, inattentive passenger vehicle drivers who fail to watch for bikers can likewise create a serious hazard for motorcyclists. More than half of all motorcycle fatalities involve at least one other vehicle, and in those cases, approximately 42 percent involve a vehicle making a left turn as a motorcycle is going straight or attempting to pass the passenger vehicle. Whenever a motor vehicle accident is caused by negligence or recklessness, injured accident victims or their surviving dependents have the right to seek a damage award from those liable for the accident. Visit Oklahoma-criminal-defense.com when you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in Oklahoma who can successfully handle your case.