Riding a motorcycle is a fun and exciting way to travel–but it does come with certain risks. Because they are less protected, it’s well known that victims of motorcycle crashes are at a much higher risk of serious injury than those in automobile accidents. In fact, motorcyclists are a staggering 28 times more likely to die in a crash than those involved in a truck or car accident.
Even for those that take precautions, motorcycle crashes can still happen. They’re not only dangerous, but costly–medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering can add up to a lot of money. According to Clifford Law Offices, “severe injuries could prevent the injured person from returning to work for weeks, months, or even years.” By understanding the most common motorcycle injuries, motorcycle riders can take steps to be more cautious and safer on the road.
Head injuries are one of the most severe potential injuries from a crash. The most common one after an accident is a concussion. But traumatic brain injuries, otherwise known as TBIs, can also happen. TBIs can have severe effects on your quality of life and cognition. In some cases, they can lead to permanent disability or death.
Wearing a helmet helps motorcyclists prevent head injuries in motorcycle crashes. “Helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by 69%”, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sadly, not all riders wear helmets, and those who do may not wear them correctly, or choose helmets that aren’t properly certified.
It’s crucial for motorcyclists to wear certified helmets approved by the Department of Transportation, and for them to wear them properly each time they ride. This greatly reduces their risk of sustaining a severe head injury that could affect their life.
Another risk in motorcycle crashes is spinal injuries. The force felt during a crash can cause the spinal cord to compress which can lead to permanent damage or paralysis. Even less serious spinal cord injuries, like herniated discs, can cause a whole ton of problems. Chronic pain, limited mobility, and a lowered quality of life can result.
Wearing protective gear such as a spine protector helps reduce the risk of spinal cord injuries. And, it’s crucial to always follow traffic laws and ride defensively. Taking these precautions will greatly increase your chance of not getting hurt.
Road rash is another common injury in motorcycle accidents. It occurs when your skin makes contact with the road, and your skin is cut by the force of the road hitting your skin. The severity of road rash depends on several factors: the speed at the time of the crash, the surface the motorcyclist comes into contact with, and what protective gear they’re wearing.
Road rash may lead to infections, scarring, and nerve damage. That’s why it’s so important to wear leather protective gear to minimize the severity of road rash. It’s also crucial to practice safe riding habits and seek prompt medical attention in the event of an injury.
Due to the high impact and force of a crash, broken bones are commonly seen in motorcycle accidents. The ones most commonly seen include the collarbone, ribs, legs, and wrists. A fracture could involve a simple break that could be treated with a cast, or it could be a more complex break that involves surgery.
Broken bones can be very painful and take weeks or months to heal. Physical therapy might also be necessary to regain strength and mobility in the affected area. Seeking prompt medical attention is important to ensure proper treatment and prevent long-term complications.
What’s not talked about as much is the emotional impact a motorcycle crash can have. Even if a rider doesn’t sustain physical injuries, the crash itself can be traumatic. Anxiety and depression are some of the most common psychological concerns. Post-traumatic stress disorder could also result following an accident.
These conditions have a serious impact on daily life. If you are experiencing them, it’s important to seek treatment for your illness just as you would a physical injury. Therapy, medication, or a combination of the approaches can be extremely helpful. It’s also important to have loved ones and a community with whom you feel safe reaching out for support. There are groups online and in person for people who have experienced similar incidents, so it’s good to look into the options you have in your city.
There are several things you can do to stay safer while operating a motorcycle. Wearing a helmet and protective gear, riding defensively, and following traffic laws helps you to enjoy the freedom of motorcycle riding while reducing your risk of serious injury.