The calendar may not officially say it’s summer, but if you ride a motorcycle, you don’t care what the calendar says. You’re ready to ride!
Before you strap on your saddlebags, take a minute and learn about injuries.
No one hits the road expecting an accident, but they do happen. Even riders who wear the best protective gear have them.
Knowledge about motorcycle accident injuries is one of the best protective measures a rider can take. Here are 4 of the most common injuries bikers experience when they get out on the road.
Road Rash Is More Than a Little Scrape
When you were a kid you likely walked around with a permanent case of road rash. You fell off your bike, scraped your knees on the pavement, got up and did it again.
Now you ride bigger and faster bikes and the scrapes are more serious. The road rash experienced as a result of motorcycle accident injuries is different than what you suffered as a kid.
If you’ve ever seen another rider after a crash, you’ve probably awed at how many layers of skin they’re missing. What you may not see is the glass, rocks, and other road debris the EMT cleaned out of the wound.
Turns out road rash isn’t always only a scrape. Your mom can’t put a band-aid on it and make it all better.
Three Types of Road Rash
When the ER doctor looks at your injuries, they talk about road rash as either:
- Open Wound
An avulsion is the most common road rash injury. It results in scraped skin and exposed fat, muscle, and sometimes bone. If you end up with open wound road rash, you might need stitches, or at the extreme—a skin graft.
Compression road rash happens when a body part gets caught between the bike and road. As you can imagine this injury usually results in bruises but can also cause muscle damage and even bone fractures.
Doctors also categorize road rash as either first, second, or third-degree injuries. First-degree road rash normally heals on its own but the other two usually need a more serious treatment approach.
The Dangers of Road Rash
If you’re puzzled at the focus here on road rash, remember, this isn’t the owie you got when you turned your bicycle upside down.
When you tangle with the pavement on a motorcycle and end up with this type of injury you not only experience intense pain. You also risk infection and serious scars.
Don’t walk away from an accident and ignore what you might consider as minor scrapes.
Arm and Leg Injuries
Remember the good old days of riding bikes with the neighborhood kids? If you didn’t fall at least once and hurt your arm, you weren’t really part of the gang, right?
Ever Heard of Biker’s Arm?
Biker’s arm, also called rider’s arm is a type of motorcycle accident injury that happens when a rider breaks a fall by extending the arm(s) straight out.
If the motorcycle lands on your extended arm, you risk damaging the following nerves:
These nerves are responsible for feeling on the skin of the hand and fingers. They also send signals so that you can straighten your elbow, move and bend your wrist, and wiggle your fingers.
Symptoms of biker’s arm vary according to which nerve is damaged.
You may have movement in your arm but none in your fingers. Reduced feeling in your arm, hand, or fingers is another sign of biker’s arm. You could also experience problems with muscle control in your shoulder and/or elbow.
Like other injuries, you may not experience symptoms immediately after your accident. This is why it’s critical that you don’t wait for a medical evaluation. Another thing you should do as soon as possible is to find a personal injury lawyer.
What About Biker’s Leg?
While there’s no such thing as biker’s leg, you can sure do a number on a leg if you crash your motorcycle. Leg injuries include shattered or fractured bones. You can break bones in the legs, knees, and feet.
We won’t dig any deeper than that into leg injuries but you should give them the same treatment as your arms—a visit to both the ER and a lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Your Head
There’s a reason why helmets are a popular accessory for people who ride motorcycles. The most common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders are head injuries.
Head injuries can include mild to severe concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
TBI is sometimes called a silent epidemic because its victims often act normal. They don’t display behavior often associated with brain damage or injury. The bottom line is if you have an accident while riding and end up with a TBI or any other head injury, you may negatively affect your quality of life.
If you have an accident and injure your head go to the hospital. You can’t see what’s going on inside your brain and damage can cause permanent disability, especially if you don’t seek treatment.
Spinal Cord Trauma
As far as serious injuries go, you can’t get much more serious than an injury to the spinal cord.
According to the Mayo Clinic, motorcycle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the back and neck, both part of the spinal cord can result in a range of symptoms including from pain, weakness, and even paralysis.
As you can imagine, any of these symptoms, but especially paralysis can prevent you from working and enjoying recreational activities. Spinal cord injuries can also affect your relationships.
Spinal cord damage is treatable but usually not reversible.
Prepare for Impact
Riding a motorcycle is an enjoyable way to experience travel and the company of other bikers. While accidents are always a concern, there’s plenty you can do to minimize physical injury.
Wear protective gear made for motorcycle riders. Buy a sturdy jacket, pants, boots, and gloves. And don’t forget the helmet.
If you take a spill and end up with motorcycle accident injuries, make sure you have a medical and a legal evaluation immediately.
Heading out on the open road this summer and need a few ideas for destinations? Check out our travel articles. Have an awesome ride!