Search Site

What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

There’s nothing like an open road with clear skies to make you feel free. If you’re the proud owner of one of the 8.6 million registered motorcycles in the United States, you know the joy you feel when you take to the street on two wheels.

While riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, it can leave you vulnerable to injuries or death if you get into an accident. Even if you are a safe driver with advanced protection, you’re still more exposed to serious injury than those driving passenger vehicles or trucks. 

If you’ve recently been injured due to someone else’s negligence while riding your motorcycle, you shouldn’t have to face your injury alone. Visit our contact page or start a chat in the lower right corner to get in contact with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.

Keep reading to learn more about common injuries from motorcycle accidents. 

A Disproportionate Number of Injuries and Fatalities

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States but are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities. This disproportionate number of deaths shows how exposed motorcyclists are to danger on the road. 

When looking at multiple-vehicle crashes, one data point the NHTSA revealed in its five-year safety plan is that the driver of the passenger vehicle or truck caused two-thirds of collisions. Many drivers in these accidents violated the motorcycle’s right-of-way. 

As a motorcyclist, you learn to take extra precautions and stay as conspicuous as possible due to this lack of awareness. However, you can’t always avoid every driver’s failure to see or look out for you. When accidents occur, motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured than passenger vehicle occupants. 

These injuries can affect your entire body and cause immense pain and suffering, completely altering your life and livelihood. 

Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

When breaking down nonfatal injuries to motorcycle drivers, the NHTSA determined an approximate percentage of injuries by the primary body part. The list is as follows:

  • 30% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in the leg and foot area
  • 22% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in the head and neck area
  • 20% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in the upper trunk area (shoulders and chest) 
  • 18% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in the arm and head area
  • 8% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in the lower trunk area (abdomen and pelvic region) 
  • 3% of motorcyclist injuries occurred in an unknown space

This breakdown can give us insight into the most common parts of the body that are affected by motorcycle accidents. Now, let’s look at a few of the most common injuries for motorcycle drivers. 

Lower Extremity Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

When experts talk about your lower extremity, they are referring to “everything between your hips and toes.” This area is most at risk of injury whenever you are in a motorcycle accident. A review from the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopedics and Traumatology (EFORT) on the common mechanisms of motorcycle injuries found that 40%-60% of orthopedic injuries in motorcycle crashes occurred in the lower extremity. 

Why does this happen? Two reasons the lower extremity has a higher percentage chance of injury than other parts of the body include the following:

  1. Riders instinctively use their feet and legs to modify their crash when they lose stability.
  2. The lower extremities are also the most likely to get caught under the motorcycle when experiencing a low-side crash. 

Two common injuries are tibia-fibula fractures from limb entrapment under the motorcycle and severe ankle sprains from an attempt to modify the crash. Any injuries to your lower extremities can significantly hamper your mobility and ability to complete routine personal and work tasks. 

Traumatic Brain and Skull Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

Without a helmet, your head is susceptible to severe injuries that can lead to death. Head injuries are the most common cause of motorcycle accident fatality. Wearing a helmet could help save your life and is required by law if you are under 26 years old in Missouri. 

Even with a helmet, the head and brain are still at risk of injury, albeit a lower risk. Blunt-force trauma to the head from a crash can result in a variety of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions or contusions. Traumatic brain injuries can greatly impair your ability to think, reason, problem solve or remember. Even the mildest TBIs can cause debilitating symptoms, leaving you unable to work or interact with others as you did before.  

Cervical and Spinal Cord Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

Neck and spinal cord injuries are common in high-speed collisions; the impact from the collision can cause your head to swing backward violently, causing whiplash. If you are in a head-leading crash, a blow to your head during a collision can transfer to your neck and spinal cord. Once this happens, you may experience a partial or complete loss of function from the damaged part of the spine onward. Damage to the neck and spine can result in serious loss of mobility or paralysis. 

Upper Extremity Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

The upper extremity includes the shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. This part of your body is responsible for bracing for impact when you head-first off your motorcycle. This section is susceptible to a variety of injuries, including breaks, fractures, sprains and dislocations. 

The EFORT review of motorcycle collision mechanisms also found that the collarbone was the most likely part of the upper extremity to get injured, followed by forearm, hand and wrist fractures. Any injury to your upper extremity can make it challenging to carry out basic tasks, which may leave you unable to work and provide for your loved ones. 

Serious Abrasions from Motorcycle Accidents

The last common injury you will see in many motorcycle accidents is severe abrasions from the speed of the motorcycle rider’s landing, known as road rash. These abrasions can be incredibly painful and can lead to scarring and infection. This injury to the skin can not only cause immense physical pain but can also leave strong emotional pain. Studies have found a strong correlation between scarring and deep emotional trauma due to the societal importance of appearance. 

If you’ve experienced severe road rash, the pain and disfigurement from the accident can greatly reduce your ability to interact with others, hold a job or carry out daily tasks. 

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured In a Motorcycle Accident?

If you’ve suffered any of the injuries above or another injury due to someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to deal with the physical, emotional and financial consequences alone. Here are a few steps you can take to deal with the fallout of a motorcycle accident injury:

  • Get medical attention. Trying to tough it out may be tempting, but it isn’t worth it. Even if the accident was seemingly minor, you may begin to show signs of injury days or weeks afterward. An adrenaline rush can temporarily decrease your body’s ability to feel pain. Talk with a medical professional who can assess your body to make sure you have a strong grasp of your injuries. 
  • Write down your account of the accident. It’s essential to take note of your side of the accident as soon as possible. Having your account written down or recorded while the incident is fresh on your mind is essential to ensure you don’t forget critical details. Memory retention research has shown that you may naturally lose up to 70 percent of new information from an event within a day. If you cannot do this due to your injuries, ask a close friend or family member to take notes. 
  • Gather statements from potential witnesses. If any other drivers from the scene stopped and gave you contact information, get a statement from them as soon as possible. The same memory retention principle can apply to them. 
  • Collect as much photographic evidence as possible. Any images from the accident scene or your injury can help you better tell the story of your accident and injury and prove the other driver’s fault. 
  • Contact an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer. Your injury is serious, and you shouldn’t have to deal with other parties trying to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Meeting with an expert injury attorney can help you focus on recovery and give you the support you need to begin the long road to recovery. 

An injury from a motorcycle accident is a traumatic event, and the team at Eng & Woods Attorneys at Law wants to help you get the compensation you need. Get help from a legal expert who can help you understand how much your injury is worth and how to proceed with your case. The team at Eng & Woods is dedicated to helping victims of negligence get justice. 

Visit the contact page or click the chat box in the lower-right corner to get started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Office Location
  • Columbia Office
    1000 West Nifong Boulevard, Building 7
    Suite 201
    Columbia, Missouri 65203
    Phone: 573-874-4190
    Fax: 573-874-4192
Write A Review

google review