What are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
While riding a motorcycle comes with a lot of freedom, the tradeoff comes at the expense of many safety features available for regular vehicles. There are no seatbelts, no airbags, no protective cage around the rider. When a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident, the odds of severe injuries and death rise exponentially. In 2019, the NHTSA reported 84,000 motorcyclists injured, an increase of 2.4% over 2018. Unfortunately, motorcycle fatalities have also increased by 36% over the last 10 years.
The most dangerous types of motorcycle accidents for riders are those where the impact occurs at the motorcycle’s front end. After an abrupt stop from the impact, the riding momentum usually means the rider gets tossed from the bike and flies through the air. If the rider was not injured in the initial crash, the secondary impact would likely cause serious injuries. Understanding the anatomy of motorcycle accidents can help riders understand why motorcycle safety training is so necessary.
Traumatic Brain Injury in Motorcycle Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are widespread in motorcycle accidents, whether the rider is wearing a helmet or not. In fact, motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of TBI injuries. Florida state law requires a helmet for most people unless the motorcyclist meets specific exemption criteria. With TBI, the brain absorbs a strong impact, resulting in bruising, bleeding, or brain death. Depending on the severity of the injury, a victim may never regain full cognitive function.
Neck and Spinal Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Second, to TBI, spinal injuries account for around 11% of motorcycle accident injuries. While one area of the spine, called the Thoracic spine, is the most common area that experiences trauma, it is very common for victims to have injuries in multiple areas of the spine.
Leg Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries of the lower extremities such as the legs are very common in certain types of motorcycle accidents, such as side-impact collisions. 56% of injured riders will suffer from fractured bones in the legs and are much more common than other lower-extremity injuries such as soft tissue injuries.
Internal Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Rib fractures and internal injuries can result from the initial or secondary impact of a motorcycle accident. The ribcage cannot withstand the tremendous blunt-force trauma, resulting in perforated lungs, kidneys, stomach, or other internal organs.
Road Rash Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Road rash is commonly used to describe abrasions and burns caused by a person’s skin scraped along the road’s surface. However, in legal terms, there are two different types of road rash:
- Avulsion — Caused by the friction of scraping the skin along the pavement. In severe cases, road rash can go so deep that bones are exposed.
- Compression — This is when a body part is crushed between two objects. A typical example would be when the motorcycle falls onto its side, trapping the rider’s leg as the bike slides along the road.
Suggestion: Dedicate an entire page to Road Rash such as this example: https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundation.com/motorcycle-accidents-road-rash
Nerve Damage in Motorcycle Accidents
Our nervous system is like a highway network running all through our bodies. Road rash, TBI, and spinal injuries can all lead to nerve damage that causes pain in areas of the body that were not injured in the crash. This could lead to debilitating diseases like neuropathy, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness throughout the body, especially in your extremities.
How Can I Prevent Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
The best way to help prevent motorcycle accident injuries is to practice motorcycle safety routinely. You can find more information on motorcycle safety training by visiting the Tampa SMART program. Remember always to wear the proper gear to adequately cover your body and a full-face helmet to reduce the chances of severe head and neck injuries.
For more information on choosing the right type of riding gear, motorcycle safety training, and to become a motorcycle safety advocate, visit these organizations:
- Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition
- NHTSA Motorcycle Safety Program
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA)
It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. The acronym ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) can help keep motorcycle safety best practices fresh in your mind.
Attorney for Motorcycle Accident in Florida
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, we encourage you to reach out to Darrigo and Diaz’s expert team of experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. We will work hard to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for medical bills, repairs to your bike, recovery of lost wages, and much more. Contact us today at (813) 774-3341 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation right from your home or hospital bed, or you can reach out to us online to discuss your case confidentially.