Motorcycle riding is a beloved pastime by many motor enthusiasts in the United States. In New Hampshire, there are almost 150,000 motorcycles registered in the state. Motorcyclists are far outnumbered by the over 3 million registered cars on the road. Taking this into consideration, riding a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous methods of transportation. Due to the nature of motorcycle riding, it’s important to remember that motorcyclists are a vulnerable group of people on the roadways. In fact, a motorcyclist is around 25 times more likely to be killed in a roadway accident than a passenger in a car. Motorcycle accidents can occur in a number of ways, leaving many motorcyclists experiencing serious injuries or even death, each year.
The danger of riding motorcycles is clear, where around 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in some type of injury. In fact, most of these accidents occur at busy intersections with their many turns and corners. Most of the time, motorcycle accidents occur due to drivers not noticing they are sharing the road with a motorcycle. But, a high percentage of motorcycle crashes occur also due to excessive speeding. As a motorcycle rider, it is important to be a defensive rider, practice riding cautiously, and assume cars can’t see you while you are on a bike.
Regardless of safety equipment, the majority of motorcycle accidents result in a variety of injuries, from mild to severe. At Pain Specialty Group, we have compiled a list of the top 5 most common motorcycle injuries.
It is not uncommon for those involved in motorcycle crashes to experience injuries to their lower extremities including their knees, calves, ankles, and feet. Although most of these injuries are not fatal, without proper treatment and care, these injuries can lead to long-term disablement.
The first injury that comes to mind when one thinks of a motorcycle accident is road rash. Road rash occurs when the motorcycle rider slides across the pavement after being thrusted from their motorcycle and is much more severe than a simple scrape or bruise. The force with which the driver scrapes can cause multiple layers of their skin to peel away, possibly exposing muscles underneath. A cyclist can easily be thrown over the handlebars, due to the fact that motorcycles don’t have a seat belt. It is extremely important to wear protective gear including a riding jacket, a helmet, riding pants, riding boots, and gloves.
Biker’s Arm is a condition that occurs when a motorcyclist is thrown off their bike immediately upon impact. In a regular car, drivers and passengers protect themselves by wearing a seat belt, and in cases of car accidents, the seat belt protects them from the outside environment. However, since motorcycles don’t have seatbelts, the severity of impact on the arms can damage the bones and nerves beneath the skin resulting in permanent nerve damage in the upper body.
When riding a motorcycle, there is nothing in between the rider and the environment of a busy street. Muscle damage can occur anywhere in the body, and even cause long-term paralysis, which can be both irreversible and permanent. To protect yourself when riding a motorcycle, wear protective gear like a helmet, ear plugs, and layers of sturdy clothing. For example, jackets, knee pads, and elbow pads designed specifically for motorcyclists are important to protect layers of skin underneath.
Head and Neck
Head and neck injuries such as concussions or skull fractures are by far the most common injuries experienced by motorcyclists in accidents. Your skull holds the most powerful and heaviest organ in your body: the brain. Your brain must be protected at all times to reduce the severity of any injuries acquired.
Immediately following a vehicle accident, your body is in shock, causing you to believe you are fine, physically. However, don’t let your mind trick you - get yourself checked out at a hospital to be sure you didn’t sustain any serious injuries. In most cases, many injuries aren’t discovered until days or even weeks following an accident. If you feel chronic pain may be the result of a motorcycle accident injury, the providers at Pain Specialty Group can help here.