When the weather’s right, nothing is better than taking to the road on your motorcycle. We know that riding can be inherently dangerous. Even if you wear all the right gear and take proper precautions, you can’t control the actions of others on the road. It’s important to know the most common types of motorcycle injuries – and what you can do to avoid them. Also, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorney to assist with your case.
Here are the Motorcycle Injuries that We See Most Frequently:
Injury #1. Road Rash
We’re all familiar with this painful condition, which occurs when you skin makes contact with pavement. This is a common scenario – flipping over your handlebars and skidding across the road, leading to widespread road rash. Road rash is more than just painful. It can be dangerous. If not properly cleaned and debrided, wounds can become infected, leading to serious consequences like cellulitis, even sepsis. Other long-term conditions associated with road rash include scarring and surface nerve damage.
Avoid It: Always don protective gear before hopping on your motorcycle. Thin material like cotton will simply tear way upon contact, so choose a tough material like leather with reinforced elbow or kneepads. These protective items might seem warm and/or bulky, and a nuisance to remember each time you go riding, but the advantages definitely outweigh the discomfort.
Injury #2. Head and Spine
Head and spinal injuries are among the most common motorcycle injuries, and they can be the most devastating. Possible head injuries include:
- Concussion. The easiest way to describe a concussion is a “brain bruise.” It occurs when your brain hits the side of your skull. Symptoms of concussion include dizziness, headache, sensitivity to light, and even some emotional changes. Prolonged and repeated concussions can lead to a condition called “chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” or CTE.
- Encephalopathy. Hit your head hard enough, and your brain can swell, creating pressure inside your skull. Symptoms include dizziness, inability to concentrate, memory loss, personality changes, and seizures. This is a medical emergency.
- Skull Fracture. Your skull protects your brain, so a fracture can lead to life-threatening consequences, including bleeding, swelling, and neurological damage.
- Spinal fractures. The vertebrae of your spine house an important part of your central nervous system: your spinal cord. When your vertebrae break, you’re vulnerable to lifelong neurological damage.
Avoid It: The best way to avoid head trauma is to wear a helmet. These headpieces may not contribute to your tough image or be fashionable, but they may just save your life someday. In fact, according to California Vehicle Code Section 27803, all drivers and passengers on a motorcycle are legally required to wear helmets in the state of California.
Injury #3. Biker’s Arm
Bikes don’t have the protective housing of a car. When you fall, you make immediate contact with the ground, and your bike falls with you. When your bike falls onto your arm, it can create a condition known as biker’s arm. A motorcycle falls with great force, leading to crush injuries. Riders may also sustain significant nerve damage leading to paralysis.
Avoid It: You can’t always avoid falling off your bike, but minimize your potential for injury by wearing a jacket with reinforced elbows.
Injury #4. Leg Trauma
Your arms aren’t the only limbs vulnerable to injury. Potential injuries to the legs include burns, crush trauma, fractures, and even dismemberment. Fractures and severe bruising are also possible. These injuries may not be life threatening, but they may be permanently disabling.
Avoid It: Wearing protective pants made of a durable material will protect against leg injuries like road rash. To prevent other kinds of trauma, drive defensively and always be aware of your surroundings.
Do Your Part – Adhere to Motorcycle Safety Best Practices
You can’t ever count on the actions of others on the road. Do your part to prevent motorcycle injuries by wearing a helmet and protective clothing. Also, take extra care around drivers who are driving aggressively or erratically, and try to avoid making sudden lane changes and swift maneuvers when around other motorists on the road. Lastly, but very important, never get behind your handlebars after drinking.
Get a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on your Side
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, consult with the San Bernardino personal injury attorney at Estey & Bomberger, LLP to discuss your options. They can help you not only maximize your chances for compensation, but they can also assist in speeding up the process for you. Contact them today by filling out the contact form on this site or call 909-882-2016 today!