Motorcyclists are at higher risk of severe injury in a crash scenario than people in bigger, enclosed motor vehicles. The injuries someone suffers will largely depend on the speed of the vehicles and the number of vehicles involved.
After a crash with another vehicle, which accounts for about 60% of motorcycle wrecks, a motorcycle rider may need emergency medical care and could require an extended leave of absence from their job during recovery.
What are some of the more common injuries that people suffer during motorcycle crashes?
While arguably the least severe injury included on this list, road rash is still a significant concern. Someone thrown from their bike could potentially injure their skin on the pavement. Road rash is not only painful during recovery with the potential to leave lasting scars but also puts someone at elevated risk of infection.
Without the protection of a vehicle to absorb the force of a crash, the human body is highly vulnerable in a motorcycle wreck. Broken bones or fractures are common. Riders could break their arms, legs, collarbones and ribs, as well as other, smaller bones. Lower extremity injuries are of particular concern. There is also a risk of amputation, either at the scene of the crash or due to medical necessity after severe trauma to a limb.
There is a reason that helmets are considered the most crucial safety gear for motorcycle riders. A crash could shake you up or cause blunt-force trauma to your head, which might result in bleeding or swelling of the brain. Traumatic brain injuries range in severity and can produce symptoms from loss of motor function and balance to changes in personality.
While there isn’t a seat belt or airbag to cause trauma to your midsection in a motorcycle crash, any part of your bike or the environment around you could injure your abdomen. Internal bleeding is particularly dangerous because people may not notice its symptoms until the blood loss is severe.
If someone suffers trauma to their back or gets thrown from their motorcycle, they could potentially injure their spinal cord. Complete spinal cord injuries result in permanent paralysis, but even incomplete spinal cord injuries cost tens of thousands of dollars to treat and require intensive work if a patient hopes to recover.