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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.