Motorcycles can be a thrilling and fuel-efficient form of transportation. While many people see motorcycles as a rewarding pastime, it’s also known that bikes are dangerous machines that can lead to serious injury.
Whether you’re a casual rider or a daily commuter, it’s essential to know the most common motorcycle injuries and how to stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows distressing data when it comes to motorcycle crashes and injuries in 2020.
Some of the statistics include:
- There were upwards of 82,500 reported motorcycle injuries and 5,579 motorcycle fatalities across the United States
- 61% of motorcycle accidents occurred in urban areas, and 97% of crashes and collisions occurred in dry weather. Rain involved only 2% of the total accidents
- Speeding was a leading cause of motorcycle fatalities, with 34% of deaths involving riders traveling at high speeds
- 27% of fatal vehicle injuries involved motorcyclists under the influence of alcohol
- In the case of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents, 41% of fatalities involved riders under the influence of alcohol
Motorcycle fatalities in 2020 were the highest on record since 1975.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents?
Since motorcycles lack seatbelts and riders are exposed to the elements, injuries are common – even in minor collisions. Riders have little to protect themselves besides helmets, pads, and clothing.
The following are the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents:
Head and Brain Injuries
Common symptoms of TBIs include:
- Sleep apnea
- Difficulty thinking
- Motor problems
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
The severity of the injury will largely depend on what part of the brain was affected during the accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
When a motorcyclist is thrown off a bike, the spinal cord is one of the most fragile and exposed parts of the body. Spinal cord injuries can have serious effects on a rider for years to come.
Some complications of spinal cord injuries include:
- Breathing complications
- Muscle and reflex problems
- Loss of sensation
- Partial paralysis
- Full paralysis
When nerves are damaged and cannot communicate with the brain, the body risks losing many important functions.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Motorcycle accidents often involve hard-impact landings. When this happens, the bones can be at risk of serious injury.
Common bone injuries for motorcyclists involve the ribs, collarbone, hands, legs, arms, and skull.
Road rash occurs when a rider slides against the pavement after a collision. Due to the speed involved in motorcycle accidents, riders may slide hard and fast for long distances.
Friction can tear through layers of clothing. When this happens, the skin and underlying tissues can become injured.
Road rash is a serious condition that can cause permanent skin damage, infections, and even mild nerve damage.
Tips to Reduce Serious Motorcycle Injuries
While motorcycles are dangerous, there are some ways to engage in safe riding techniques and reduce the risk of serious injury.
- Wear a helmet at all times
- Wear thick layers of protective clothing
- Conduct regular maintenance of your motorcycle
- Follow posted speed limits and traffic laws
- Don’t drink and drive
Making some small adjustments in the way you ride goes a long way. Safe riding techniques can help keep the roads safe for you and other motorists. Wearing a helmet has been shown to reduce serious head injuries by up to 72%.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.