Riding a motorcycle isn’t like riding any other vehicle. It is an experience that gives the rider a sense of freedom and a breath of fresh air, which is very different from riding in a car or truck. Although riding a motorcycle can be a liberating, relaxing, and enjoyable experience, an accident can be deadly.
The majority of motorcycle accidents involve serious and even fatal injuries. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 14 percent of motorcycle accidents recorded in 2010 were fatal. In 2013, the total deaths from motorcycle accidents was 4,688. Furthermore, a motorcyclist’s risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car.
Although motorcyclists aren’t in control of other vehicles on the road, they can be mindful of their safety and be aware of the most common injuries in order to prevent them as much as possible.
Read on to learn more about the top five most common injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.
- Head Injuries. Head injuries are by far the most common injury that results from a motorcycle accident. Although wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle isn’t required in some states, this doesn’t mean that motorcyclists should take the risk. The head is one of the most important parts of the body and any damage or injury can be devastating and even life-changing. Head injuries range from minor concussions to traumatic brain damage. A helmet is arguably the most important piece of safety gear a biker should wear and should be DOT and/or SNELL certified for impact safety. Helmets can reduce a fatal or brain damaging accident to a concussion or minor discomfort.
- Neck Injuries. Although neck injuries aren’t the same as head injuries, they are closely related. Severe neck injuries can leave a person paralyzed or even result in death. There are many nerves, muscles, and arteries in the neck. Therefore, any blow to the head or the neck can be serious. Protecting the head and neck should be a motorcyclist’s number one priority before going for a ride. Consider investing in an airbag vest that will inflate and brace your neck if you are thrown from your motorcycle in an accident.
- Road Rash. If you are a seasoned motorcyclist, then you likely have heard of road rash. This is an incredibly common injury associated with motorcycle accidents. This type of injury occurs when a motorcyclist is thrown off the bike from impact and slides across the pavement. This can result in cuts and bruises or even more serious skin irritations, infections or nerve damage. Wearing multiples layers of protective clothing can help prevent road rash in the event of a motorcycle accident. Always wear riding gloves, pants, boots and jacket that are designed to protect you from the road in the event of an accident. Leather clothing designed for motorcycle riding is exceptionally effective at preventing road rash.
- Muscle Damage. Muscle damage can be a result of any injury sustained from a motorcycle accident. For example, muscle damage can occur from road rash, especially if muscles in the arms and legs are exposed at the time of impact or when a motorcyclist hits the ground or another obstacle. Muscle damage can require long-term physical therapy or it can even be permanent leading to paralysis or limited mobility. Therefore, wearing protective clothing, such as a motorcycle jacket, helmet, pants and boots while riding a motorcycle should never be overlooked.
- Biker’s Arm. This is another common injury sustained from a motorcycle accident. When riding in a regular vehicle, a driver or passenger has access to a seatbelt, which significantly reduces the chance of a person being exerted from a vehicle at the time of impact. However, a motorcyclist obviously doesn’t have this option. Therefore, when a motorcyclist is hit by another vehicle, he or she is often thrown from the bike. It is a natural human instinct and reaction to use the arms to protect or shield oneself from impact. As a result, the arms often sustain injuries, such as Biker’s Arm. This injury might simply involve minor aches and soreness or it may result in permanent nerve or muscle damage. Jackets with impact padding, leather, or kevlar lined materials can help to minimize damage to the arms in an accident.
Although riding a motorcycle is a great form of transportation and is often more enjoyable than riding in a regular vehicle in warm weather, safety isn’t always a guarantee. However, motorcyclists can put safety first by wearing protective clothing, such as a helmet, gloves, and a protective jacket and pants in order to minimize the damage of an accident. Motorcyclists refer to this safety preparation philosophy as “All The Gear, All The Time” or ATGATT as it is commonly written on rider forums. If a motorcycle accident occurs, then a motorcyclist’s first step should be to seek medical attention, even if the accident was minor or the motorcyclist seems unharmed.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident and has suffered serious injuries, then it is important to discuss this with an attorney. Contact Attorney Kohm today for a free consultation at (817) 522-4451.