Did you know that around 5,000 people are killed while riding motorcycles every year? The terrifying truth of riding a motorcycle is that you are 27 times more likely to die than a car driver, when accounting for miles driven.
Despite the fact that the dangers are greater, motorcycle accidents aren’t talked about as much as car accidents, or even pedestrian and bicycle accidents. This might be because they’re often grouped with all motor vehicle accidents, but motorcycles are different from other motor vehicles. Motorcyclists are almost always more seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents than drivers are cars.
We need to do a better job educating the public about the risks that motorcycles face. The National Safety Council has shared some of the risk factors that affect motorcycle drivers. For example, they were more likely to be intoxicated with 27% of motorcycle fatalities involving the motorcyclist drinking alcohol.
However, we want to also talk about the most common injuries that arise. We covered this topic briefly before, but wanted to explore it in more depth. Here are the six most common injuries resulting from accidents involving motorcycles.
#1: Amputated Limbs
Because of the way a motorcycle is ridden, the lower extremities are more likely to become injured in a motorcycle crash— and they’re more likely to need amputation as well. Feet and legs can be damaged to the point of requiring amputation or even severed in a motorcycle crash. This is also true of the upper extremities as well, as they’re the second most common type of injury that could result in an amputation. Hands and arms (and feet and legs) can become trapped between heavy pieces and crushed— which can also require an amputation.
#2: Broken Bones and Ribs
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, the pelvis and the ribs are most likely to get broken. As mentioned above, the lower extremities are more likely to become injured, and this includes the pelvis— and although the ribs aren’t considered a lower extremity, they’re very likely to suffer an injury in a motorcycle or car accident. The upper extremities can also be broken or fractured in a motorcycle accident. Some broken bones may only require a cast while others may require surgery to correct.
#3: Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
Sometimes motorcycle accidents can result in injuries that aren’t apparent right away, which is why it’s always to seek medical attention after any type of motor vehicle accident. Both internal bleeding and damage to internal organs are a possibility when it comes to a motorcycle accident as a result of something called blunt force trauma. When blunt force trauma occurs, blood vessels are either torn or crushed, and this is what causes internal bleeding and damage to organs. If these injuries aren’t treated, the victim can have serious complications or even die from these injuries.
#4: Spinal Injuries
Another type of injury resulting from a motorcycle accident that can’t be seen from the outside and may not even be noticed right away is a spinal injury. Like other internal injuries, a spinal injury is a result of blunt force trauma— more specifically, a traumatic blow to the spine that causes the tearing of spinal cord tissue. Spinal cord injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries sustained from blunt force trauma because they can result in partial or total paralysis, known as paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities) or quadriplegia/tetraplegia (paralysis of all extremities, pelvic area, abdomen, etc.).
#5: Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are another very serious type of injury that results from a motorcycle and other motor vehicle accidents. Both blunt trauma and penetrating trauma (an object penetrates the body) can cause a TBI. This is one reason why it’s so important to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. TBIs can range in severity from short-term problems that get better over time and/or with treatment, to more severe problems that result in a permanent disability or even death.
Other effects can include:
- Aphasia (difficulty speaking and understanding speech)
- Issues with judgment
- Loss of sensation
- Memory loss and issues
- Poor balance and coordination
Financial compensation is available for those who have suffered a TBI (or any other type of injury) in a motorcycle accident by contacting motorcycle accident lawyers in your area.
Whiplash (also known as neck strain) is a neck injury that results from forceful and rapid back-and-forth motion. This injury can also affect bones, muscles, and ligaments. The good news is that whiplash can be easily treated, but the bad news is that this is also an injury that may not be apparent right after a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash isn’t the most serious type of injury, but some whiplash injuries can be more severe than just stiffness and minor pain.
Reckless driving (including distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding) by both drivers and motorcyclists can result in these traffic accidents. When all drivers of all types of vehicles follow the traffic laws and exercise more caution when sharing the road, traffic accidents can be prevented and motorcyclists (and drivers of cars) won’t suffer any of these injuries.