Bikers love the excitement and freedom of the open road, while understanding the risk. However, the statistics suggest that if you ride long enough, you’ll be in an accident. And if you’re in an accident, you will probably be hurt. Eight out of ten motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared with two out of ten car crashes.
Knowledge Is Power
Below are common injuries that riders suffer in motorcycle accidents. Note that these statistics do not include crashes where the rider died at the scene. If you’re involved in an accident, be sure to get legal support from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Until then, ride defensively so you don’t become one of these statistics.
Lower-Extremity: Legs, Ankles, Knees
More than half of all riders in nonfatal accidents suffer injuries to their legs, ankles, and/or knees, making this the most common type of non-fatal injury. Injured riders can have long recovery times, require extensive physical therapy, and be affected for years by joint or muscle damage sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Upper Extremities: Hands, Wrists, Elbows, Arms
Injuries to the biker’s hands, wrists, elbows, and/or arms occur in 35 percent of crashes. Frequently they happen when a cyclist instinctively tries to break his or her fall with an outstretched arm. The best protection against these injuries is motorcycle gloves with a hard plastic piece on the heel of the hand and base of the thumb. On impact, the plastic slides instead of gripping the ground, so the body absorbs much less force.
Head injuries occur in about 25 percent of nonfatal motorcycle crashes. Many, perhaps most, of these are preventable. According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control study, motorcycle riders have a 69 percent lower risk of head injury and a 37 percent lower risk of death in a crash if they wear a helmet.
Thorax: Chest, Shoulders, Ribs, Back
Between 20 and 25 percent of motorcycle riders who survive a crash have midbody injuries to the chest, shoulders, ribs, and/or back. These injuries, while less common than those to the lower or upper extremities, tend to be more serious. Thoracic injuries are expensive to treat and tend to require longer recovery time than injured arms or legs.
Face and Neck
Twenty to 23 percent of riders in nonfatal accidents suffer face and/or neck injuries. Facial and neck wounds are not usually as serious as head or thorax injuries and are seldom life-threatening, but they are very painful and can result in visible scarring.
Just under 20 percent of motorcycle riders admitted to a hospital after a crash have abdominal injuries. Like midbody injuries, abdominal trauma occurs less often than injury to arms or legs, but it is more serious, has a greater risk of complications, and more often results in death.
More than eleven percent of riders hospitalized after a motorcycle accident have a spinal injury. Almost half of them have damage to more than one section of the spine, and one in five have a neurological injury. One in ten is paralyzed below the level of the injury, and another one in ten dies. The chances of a spinal injury are relatively low, but if it happens the results are catastrophic. Serious motorcycle racers count on a back protector to reduce the risk of spine injury.
Get good gear and wear it every time you ride.
However, if you, or someone you love, is injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important that you act quickly to protect your interests, especially if another driver was at fault. Attorney Jim Miron is experienced with common injuries from Bridgeport motorcycle accidents, and will advise and represent you against insurance companies, the other driver, and any others involved. Stay safe when you ride, but if something happens, call (203) 339-5991 to get experienced help so you can concentrate on what matters most—getting back on your feet.