Are you already an avid motorcycle rider? Or are you an enthusiast thinking about buying a bike of your own?
There’s no doubt that riding a motorcycle down an open road is one of life’s great pleasures. However, we need to put the brakes on for just a moment to discuss a serious topic: motorcycle injuries.
The truth is that motorcycle riders are four times more like to get injured (and 29 times more likely to get killed) than anyone riding in a car. We don’t say this to scare you, but you do need to be aware of the risks associated with motorcycle accidents.
Keep reading to learn about the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries.
1. Road Rash
Motorcycle accidents are synonymous with road rash, also called road burn. As the name suggests, this is the result of your skin scraping across concrete or asphalt after you fall from your bike. It can happen anywhere on your body, but it’s most common on the arms, legs, and back.
Depending on the speed you’re traveling, you may skid for a few feet (or a few hundred feet) across the roadway. Obviously, this affects whether your road rash amounts to a few painful scrapes or a severe injury.
Road rash usually isn’t fatal, but it’s often very painful. A mild case will heal on its own with some bandages and creams. Because of the risk of infection, you may also need some oral or topical antibiotics while your skin is healing.
In more severe road rash injuries, you can lose more than just a few layers of skin. It’s possible to lose so much skin that the underlying muscles or nerves become exposed. In this scenario, you may require skin grafts and be left with permanent scarring.
The best way to avoid severe road rash is to dress appropriately every time you ride. Bikers don’t just wear a leather riding jacket, riding pants, boots, and gloves because it looks cool. This attire can (quite literally) save your skin.
2. Broken Bones & Fractures
Most riders who seek the help of motorcycle accident attorneys have moderate to severe injuries, including broken bones. In fact, this is one of the most common types of injuries after a motorcycle accident.
It’s simply a matter of gravity. What goes up will always come down, so if you’re launched into the air during a collision, you will eventually hit the ground. If you’re traveling fast enough, the impact can be enough to fracture or even shatter your bones.
Your chances of a broken bone increase dramatically if your motorcycle falls on top of you. The lightest motorcycles weigh at least 300 pounds, while larger road bikes can weigh a whopping 800-900 pounds. If your arm or leg gets trapped between the bike and the road — especially at high speeds — chances are something will break.
Lower body fractures (leg, ankle, hip) are the most common motorcycle accident injuries in this category. Broken arms, wrists, and collarbones are also common occurrences, especially if you reach out to try to “break” your fall.
3. Traumatic Brain Injury
As many as 21% of all motorcycle injuries involve damage to the head, face, or brain. The severity of the damage depends on whether the rider was wearing a helmet.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when the head strikes the ground with a lot of force. At best, you’re left with a concussion that will take weeks or months to heal. At worst, you could end up in a coma or with permanent brain damage.
Even if you’re just going for a quick spin around the block, always wear a helmet. The risk of riding without one simply isn’t worth it!
4. Internal Bleeding & Organ Damage
Internal injuries happen from one of two things:
- Blunt trauma (a hard blow that doesn’t break the skin)
- Penetration trauma (broken glass or other sharp debris penetrates the skin)
Penetration trauma is immediately evident and requires prompt medical attention. Blunt trauma is less obvious (and more dangerous), since there are no visible signs of internal bleeding or injury.
After a motorcycle accident, it’s vital to get checked out by a doctor — even if you feel fine. Adrenaline kicks in for hours after an accident, which can easily mask the pain or symptoms of injury. Left untreated, internal bleeding can be fatal, so be sure to get examined right away.
5. Spinal Cord Injuries
No one likes to think about spinal cord injuries or their long-term effects, but they’re all-too-common in motorcycle accidents. Although your spine is incredibly strong in many ways, it’s also very prone to damage.
Spinal cord injuries can result if you’re thrown from your bike and land on your head or neck. You could also get trapped between objects or even pierced by something. If you’re traveling at high speed, the impact alone could be enough to damage your spine.
Like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries range from mild to severe. In some cases, you may walk away with a ruptured disc that will require ongoing medical attention. In more severe cases, you could be left with partial or total paralysis.
There’s no way to completely avoid the chance of injury when you’re on the road, but you can take steps to reduce the risk. Make motorcycle safety your priority by dressing appropriately, wearing a helmet, and following the rules of the road.
Ride Safe: Avoid These Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience, but it’s a risky one too. Be sure to obey the rules of the road and always keep an eye on what’s happening around you.
If you do that, you’ll be able to avoid these motorcycle accident injuries and enjoy riding for many years to come!
Motorcycle safety isn’t the only topic on the table today. Keep browsing our site for more articles related to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.