Because of the limited protection offered to motorcyclists, motorcycle accidents are typically more devastating and shocking compared to car accidents. Motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. Furthermore, motorcyclists are six times as likely to be injured compared to drivers of motor vehicles.
The following are the most common injuries from motorcycle accidents:
- Road rash – Although motorcyclists often wear protective clothing such as denim or leather, they can still suffer painful skin abrasions or bruises—known as road rash—if they are thrown off their bikes. First-degree road rash is when the skin’s surface appears red, second-degree road rash occurs when the skin’s surface is broken, and third-degree road rash entails the complete removal of the skin, exposing the underlying layers of tissue.
- Head injury – In order to protect themselves from an injury to the head, motorcyclists typically wear helmets. In 2015, 40% of motorcyclists killed in vehicle collisions were not wearing a helmet. Keep in mind, while wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of some head injuries, it will not reduce the risk of them altogether.
- Spinal cord injury – a minor spinal injury could be as much as a cracked vertebrae—and even that is serious. Damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent injury, such as complete or partial paralysis.
- Broken bones – Broken bones are a typical feature on the motorcycle injury list. Common broken bone injuries from motorcycle accidents include a broken arm, wrist, or leg. In worst case scenarios, a broken neck, back, or pelvis can be devastating.