Did you know almost 5,000 motorcyclists are killed and over 88,000 injured every year?
That’s probably the reason why our parents weren’t happy about us riding motorcycles/riding on the back of that cool guy’s motorcycle in high school!
It’s important to know the most common injuries you could receive when riding a motorcycle so you can know how to best protect yourself and stay safe on the road. Keep reading to learn about 7 of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. Perhaps knowing these will make you be extra careful when you’re out on the road.
1. Lower Limb Injuries
It might be surprising, but the most common injuries people suffer from when in motorcycle accidents are ones affecting the lower limbs. This could be injuries to the legs, but also knees, feet, and up to the hip as well.
While these types of injuries don’t usually result in death, they can have a serious impact on your health and result in chronic pain, disabilities, and lifelong consequences.
If you’re knocked off the bike, often the first thing to hit the road are your legs. You can be crushed by another car or by your own bike, which can lead to scrapes, lacerations, and broken bones in the lower limbs.
If you’re in an accident, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure your wellbeing in the long run. Learn more about those steps to solidify a plan and manage your wellbeing after an accident.
2. Head Injuries
Another common injury that can be very serious is head injuries. These can range from mild concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries that can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.
You’d think these wouldn’t be as common since the invention of helmets. However, only 28 states currently require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Crashing when not wearing a helmet can lead to serious head injuries that can lead to permanent damage or death.
Even wearing a helmet doesn’t guarantee you won’t injure your head during a crash. You can still get concussions and brain injuries.
Wearing a helmet significantly reduces your risk of head and brain injury, so be sure to wear one even if your state doesn’t have that requirement.
3. Neck Injuries
If head injuries are common with motorcycle injury, then it makes sense that neck injuries are common as well. When you hit your head, you can strain your neck, get whiplash, and even break the bones in your neck as well — depending on the type of impact.
These injuries can result in chronic pain, paralysis, and even eventual death.
4. “Road Rash”
Road rash occurs when a person skids across the road or pavement during a crash. Any skin or thin clothing will be scraped away by the rough pavement.
While this might just sound like simple scratches or something similar to carpet burn you get as a child, it’s much more serious. The speed at which you crash means that the pavement can scrape away huge layers of skin, which can lead to permanent skin and even nerve damage.
Road rash also makes infection and irritation of those areas common, which can be dangerous for your overall health.
That’s why you see many motorcyclists wear tougher materials like leather or synthetic leather. If they fall or skid, the tougher material will protect their skin from road rash.
5. Trauma to Pelvis
A common impact for bike accidents is rolling and striking the road on your hip or pelvic area. At somewhat high speeds, this can result in broken hips, dislocations, fractures, and more.
These are serious injuries that have long healing times, which can put you out of work for weeks or months. Since the hips and pelvic bones are used to walk and be mobile, chances are you will be mostly immobile during recovery if you injure these areas.
6. Muscle Damage
Just because you don’t break any bones or get a concussion doesn’t mean that you can’t sustain serious motorcycle crash injuries. Everyone has accidentally knocked their arm on the corner of a table or fallen playing a sport before and had sore muscles for a few days.
Imagine that muscle soreness and bruising being 10 times more intense, and that’s the kind of muscle damage you can experience from a motorcycle crash. Bike accidents are traumatic on your body and can leave you feeling sore and immobile for weeks, months, or even years.
Prevent this type of damage by being properly protected on the bike. This means wearing a helmet, protective clothing, kneepads, jackets, etc. Taking these precautions can prevent serious muscle injury that would leave you feeling miserable after a bike accident.
7. Arm Injuries and Damage
And lastly, we have arm injuries. When we fall, we instinctually put our arms out to break the fall or wrap our arms around ourselves to brace for impact.
While this might protect other parts of our body, it means that during a crash our arms take a lot of the force of the impact. This can lead to a number of different arm injuries besides the classic “broken arm”. These include:
- Broken wrists
- Dislocated shoulder
- Broken elbow
- Dislocated fingers
- Torn rotator cuff
- Permanent nerve damage
There’s also a specific injury called “biker’s arm” that is common for motorcycle crash injuries. Biker’s arm occurs when your arms take the brunt of the impact of your fall or if the bike or vehicle involved in the crash falls on the arm.
This causes nerve damage in the arm, but you might not notice the symptoms right away. Biker’s arm symptoms can take a while to arise, but it can lead to permanent nerve damage in the arm. This has lifelong effects.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries that Can Happen to You: Bottom Line
These motorcycle accident injuries seem scary and serious, and that’s because they are. Motorcycle accidents are not something to be taken lightly, as even these common injuries can affect you for months, years, and even for the rest of your life.
Taking proper safety precautions can help you avoid these injuries and maintain your health. Read more health articles to learn how you can stay healthy and strong for as long as possible.