Motorcycles have been a part of American life since the late 1880s. They are a fun way to get from place to place, or get nowhere on purpose. Riders live for the exhilaration that only a motorcycle can give them. There are hundreds of reasons to love motorcycles; they give us a feeling of calmness that can act as a sort of therapy for stress, and riding creates a sense of brotherhood and community. There are endless positives to riding motorcycles, but there is one huge negative; accidents.
Unlike auto accidents, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to cause injury or death. Riders lack protection and meet concrete, far too often. It is a bad recipe that has created an epidemic of danger. The most relevant issue with motorcycle accidents is the ability for them to be avoided or lessened. Safety equipment and protective gear can give you that much more of a chance to escape unscathed. It is available everywhere, but still goes unused by thousands of riders.
With personalized guidance for every unique situation, Dennis Hernandez Expert Car Crash Attorney is happy to assist the people of the Sunshine State. As one of the best Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in the area, we will work tirelessly for all personal injury cases. Call, or visit us online, for a free discussion of your circumstances.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed, in 2018, in the United States. Almost 30% of motorcyclists that were killed in accidents were not wearing helmets. That means nearly 1,500 of the fatal motorcycle crashes could have been prevented. Injuries occur far more often; nearly 90,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents in the same year. From those injuries, some are far more common than others. Here’s a look at the most common motorcycle accident injuries.
Road rash is the term used for severe skin abrasions and is defined as an area where the skin has been scraped off. Road rash is one of the most common injuries that occur after a motorcycle accident. Even the slightest fall on asphalt can result in a road rash, add skidding across that asphalt, like most motorcyclists will do after an accident, and you get a nasty injury. It needs no diagnosis because it is seen topically, however, symptoms of the injury include:
- Surface pain
- Swelling and redness
- Pus or drainage
- Fever, chills
- Body Aches
This is so common amongst motorcycle accidents because they have nearly nothing protecting themselves. The more gear a rider has on, the better; that’s the reason it’s made. When motorcycles crash, usually the bike falls sideways while the rider is still moving forward. Sometimes motorcyclists will tumble for hundreds of feet before coming to a halt. That will result in severe road rash injuries all over the body. Depending on the severity of the injury, it could take weeks or months to heal. The positive thing about road rash injuries is they usually will not be severe enough to cause any permanent damage. However, the injury will probably be accompanied by one or more broken bones.
Biker’s arm is directly behind road rash on the most common motorcycle accident injuries list. If you’ve ever experienced any kind of fall, which most of us have, humans have an innate instinct to catch ourselves. When you crash on a motorcycle, that instinct does not go away. In order to protect the rest of your body, your hands and arms will be the first to extend. The injuries that occur following that accident are known as “biker’s arm”.
A whopping 96 percent of motorcycle accidents involved with a passenger vehicle, end with some kind of injury. Road rash and biker’s arm are going to be part of nearly every one of those cases. Biker’s arm can be far worse than road rash though; in some severe cases, it can lead to amputation of an arm. More often than not, riders will experience fractured or broken fingers, wrists and arms.
Spinal Cord Injury
Among the most severe damages that happen due to motorcycle accidents, are spinal cord injuries. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) defines spinal cord injury as: a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures of dislocates vertebrae. This can cause immediate damage as soon as it occurs. Bone fragments or disc material can tear into spinal cord tissue, creating fractures and compressions that can destroy axons. Spinal cord injuries can leave you permanently paralyzed.
Next to head injuries, a spinal cord injury is the most dangerous form of motorcycle accident injury. One jolt to the wrong part of the spine will leave you with lasting damage. Again, wearing protective gear can help prevent these injuries from happening. Since 2015, auto accidents make up 39.3% of all spinal cord injury cases. While not all of these have motorcycles involved, it is fair to say that many of them did. Motorcycles are unprotected, and therefore more vulnerable in their neck and back regions.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The injury that all motorcyclists fear, are head injuries. The injuries that leave wives up at night when their husbands are out riding. They are tough to talk about because they, so often, lead to irreversible damage; but traumatic brain injury needs to be discussed. It is extremely common in motorcycle riders who were not wearing helmets when they crashed. Many states have mandated that motorcyclists must wear helmets, but the issue still remains. Wearing a helmet does not guarantee a TBI from happening, but you should always remember to drive defensively and be extra cautious of neglectful passenger vehicle drivers around you.
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is defined as a nondegenerative insult to the brain from an external force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of functions. Many people are unaware of the enormous population of people that deal with traumatic brain injuries. They happen when a blow causes sudden damage to the brain; in most cases, it occurs due to car accidents or motorcycle crashes. The hard blows to asphalt or sides of vehicles can cause your brain to bounce back and forth in your head. TBIs can be a wide range of things from a concussion to severe brain damage. The risks speak for themselves; you should always wear a helmet when on a motorcycle.
A Petition to Keep Riding
Injuries can occur in any moment in your life, no matter what you’re doing. Living life scared is no way to live. This article is not to say you should avoid motorcycles altogether. They are a joy of life, and you should absolutely give riding a try. Motorcycles have been our dear counterparts for more than a century. Today, there are more cars on the road than ever before; which makes riding a motorcycle more dangerous than ever. Keep riding, but practice the safest tactics you can, and remember that the cars around you are uncontrollable.