As a motorcyclist, you may be at greater risk of being injured or killed in an accident than those driving a car or truck. The United States Department of Transportation reports that almost 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2018, and while the number decreased from the previous year, motorcyclists are still in danger. While each incident is unique, there are a few injuries common to these types of accidents, and knowing what they are may help you be more aware of the potential risks associated with motorcycle riding.
Skin and tissue trauma, which is known among motorcycle riders as road rash, occurs when you are thrown from your bike and forward momentum causes you to slide along the pavement. If you are not wearing protective clothing, this can cause the skin on your arms and legs to suffer severe abrasion. Depending on the severity of the crash, you may require skin grafts to repair the damage and be at risk of infection both before and after the grafting.
Head trauma is one of the most common injuries among motorcycle drivers and passengers, especially in those states that do not have helmet laws. If you are struck by a vehicle and thrown from your bike, you may suffer a concussion, a skull fracture or facial wounds that could be permanent. Wearing approved headgear can minimize the risk of this type of injury.
Some motorcycle injuries come with a higher risk of death or permanent disability, such as those involving head trauma or serious burns. Mindful motorcycle driving and wearing protective safety gear may help keep you safe.