What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
When motorcyclists are involved in accidents, they often face serious injuries. Without the protection of a steel frame, car body, seatbelts and airbags, crashes are more likely to cause major damage, including broken bones, internal bleeding and concussions.
There’s a lot motorcyclists can do to better protect themselves, however, including wearing appropriate gear and learning how to ride defensively. What injuries are motorcyclists most likely to face, and what’s the most important thing riders can do to stay safer on a bike?
Common Motorcyclist Injuries
Motorcyclists can face injury in any type of crash, including those involving another vehicle, a fixed object strike or even a dropped bike. The most common injuries include:
- Lower extremity injuries: According to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, injured motorcyclists are most likely to hurt their pelvis, legs and feet. The lower body often absorbs the impact of a strike or is pinned under a heavy dropped bike. Older riders suffer higher rates of lower extremity injuries due perhaps in part to their preference for heavier bikes.
- Upper extremity injuries: When a rider goes over his or her bike, the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders take the brunt of the trauma. Breaks and sprains are common.
- Road rash: Exposed skin on pavement can lead to painful open wounds that are susceptible to infection. Riders may also end up with so-called “traumatic tattoos,” when bits of rock, glass or debris become stuck under their skin.
- Chest injuries or abdominal injuries: Broken ribs, internal bleeding and injured organs may all occur after a motorcycle crash. Internal bleeding may result from blunt-force trauma (due to the force of the impact) or from penetration trauma (when an object punctures the body).
- Head, neck and spine injuries: In addition to facial injuries like broken bones or bruising, motorcyclists can face traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or spinal damage.
How can motorcyclists better protect themselves?
Motorcyclists can face serious, sometimes permanent injuries after any type of crash. But, sadly, they’re also at a much higher risk for death. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
With such staggering statistics, it’s important for riders to do all they can to protect themselves, including:
Always wear a DOT-approved helmet. Helmets are the law in Georgia, but even when riding out of state, wearing a helmet is the best defense against life-changing or life-ending TBIs. Look for a helmet that meets Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. There should be a DOT label on the outside and a permanent inside label.
Dress in appropriate gear. In addition to a DOT-approved helmet, motorcyclists should cover their bodies with heavyweight clothing, shoes or boots that protect the ankles, and motorcycle gloves. Consider adding reflective gear to increase the chances of being seen.
Never drive impaired. Riding a motorcycle takes coordination, balance and skill. According to NHTSA, 29 percent of riders killed in 2019 were under the influence of alcohol.
Always drive defensively. While motorcyclists sometimes have a reputation for recklessness, they are often the victims in accidents. Motorcyclists should follow traffic laws, including speed limits, and assume that cars don’t see them. Georgia motorcycle licensing requires training, but motorcyclists may wish to consider going above and beyond in what they learn. Advanced skills help riders make a life-saving decision in the split second they have to react to an imminent wreck.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Attorney at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you need an attorney who can get you the compensation you need for your recovery. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, our team has the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (478) 217-2072 for a free case consultation.