Motorcyclists are at risk every time they take off down the road. They have no vehicle to protect them in the case of an accident. Because of this, injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, some injuries motorcyclists sustain prove to be fatal. Read on to discover the most common injuries that these riders suffer when they are involved in accidents with vehicles. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents all tend to be related to speed, which means that most common motorcycle crash injuries are severe.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a type of injury to the brain that occurs when the brain sustains trauma. These injuries typically occur when the head hits some object with a great deal of force, when the head is shaken back and forth, or when the skull is punctured.
A TBI is one of the most serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. They are most often sustained when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident and is not wearing a helmet. According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, just under 7 percent of motorcyclists not wearing a helmet at the time of a crash suffered from severe head or facial injuries compared to just over 5 percent who were helmeted.
Approximately 15 percent of all motorcyclists involved in accidents that received medical treatment were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. The severity of that injury often depended on whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet.
When a person sustains a TBI, they may suffer from physical and cognitive deficits. Some TBIs can be relieved with surgery and other treatment, but most TBIs sustained in a motorcycle crash have lifelong effects. It’s unfortunate that the common motorcycle crash injuries have to have such a major impact on our most important organ, our brain.
2. Road Rash
Road burn, or road rash, is a type of burn that occurs when skin is dragged along the roadway. These injuries are most common when a rider is thrown from their motorcycle and skids along the road before coming to a stop. Road rash can occur on any part of the body, but it is most often seen on the legs, arms, and back. Road rash can be incredibly painful.
Even though the injury is not typically fatal, there are complications that can arise from road rash. In some instances, road rash is so serious that it requires skin grafts. In other cases, the road burn can be so severe that it leaves permanent scarring. Road rash is an incredibly common motorcycle crash injury and is usually healed over time, with the help of some antibiotics, and some bandages… and maybe some disinfectant lotion. But sometimes, road rash can mask other serious injuries. If you have internal pain that lasts longer than 24 hours, go to the emergency room immediately.
3. Fractures and Broken Bones
When a motorcycle and a vehicle collide, it is not unusual for the motorcyclist to be thrown from or knocked off of their motorcycle. When the rider hits the ground at a certain angle, they may find that a body part is forced into a position that isn’t natural. This can easily cause a fracture or break of the bone located in that limb or area of the body. Broken bones can certainly occur anywhere, but they are most commonly sustained in the limbs. That said, broken ribs are also a common injury.
If you took the motorcycle endorsement class, you will remember how much emphasis they placed on the ATGATT system (All The Gear, All The Time). This means that you should be wearing protective clothing and also ankle-high boots. In fact, ankle injuries are the most common motorcycle fractures in general. (NCBI) This means that they are not even the common motorcycle crash injuries in general, but they are the most common injury you’ll sustain from generally operating a motorcycle.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is an especially sensitive and important part of the human body. If the spinal cord is injured in a motorcycle accident, the results can be devastating. Depending on the area of the injury, the victim may find that they are unable to walk, cannot use their arms, or cannot move at all.
A spinal cord injury may occur if the motorcycle rider lands on their neck or back, or if they are pierced by an object. A motorcyclist may also be pinned or crushed between two objects, causing severe damage to the spine and spinal cord. When the spinal cord is injured the victim may suffer from paralysis that is temporary or permanent.
5. Injuries to Organs
When a motorcycle and a vehicle collide in a forceful way, the victim may suffer internal organ damage. Internal bleeding is also common in a motorcycle accident and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Bleeding on the inside is not visible, making it especially dangerous.
It has been said that motorcycle accidents cost Americans more than $73 million each year. It is unusual for a person to walk away from a motorcycle collision uninjured. Among those injuries that proved fatal, more than three-quarters were due to traumatic brain injury. The average age of a person who loses their life in a motorcycle accident is 41.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in West Palm Beach or the surrounding area and it was not due to any fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and property damage. Our experienced team of motorcycle accident attorneys will review the details of your collision and medical treatments and advise you of your legal right to damages. Call our team today to schedule your free case evaluation and let us help you begin putting your life back together. We are here for you and your family now, and we wouldn’t;t mind taking the bike out for a spin when this is all over. We hope that this list of the common motorcycle crash injuries will help you avoid them in the future.