Motorcycling enthusiasts are well aware that nothing compares to the exhilaration of riding a motorcycle at top speed while taking in picturesque views, pleasant weather, and the open road.
Nevertheless, even frequent riders will appreciate the simplicity, convenience, speed, and cost-effectiveness of motorcycles. After all, it is a hassle-free method of transportation that will get you from point A to B much faster than the vast majority of other automobiles.
However, as exciting and practical as riding might be, it can also be rather risky. In the worst-case situation, motorcyclists may get fatal injuries as a result of motorcycle collisions.
The majority of these injuries are caused by the recklessness and carelessness of drivers. Regardless of one’s level of caution, these instances may possibly occur. Unpredictable road conditions cannot always be avoided, regardless of how cautious a biker may be.
With this in mind, it’s vital to have a good picture of typical injuries from motorcycle accidents. Learning about this downside to motorcycling will give you an idea of what to prepare for, whether you’re an experienced rider or a starter looking for your first-ever motorcycle.
Listed below are the most common motorcycle accident injuries bikers in California may find themselves in and the measures you can take to avoid them and protect yourself.
Relevant Statistics on Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The number of motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities nationwide exists in the thousands and has been seeing an upward rise in the last couple of years alone. The growth and prevalence of these scenarios give every rider in California even more reason to be sufficiently informed and prepared.
What Percent of Motorcycle Accidents Result in Injury or Death?
According to a study published in May 2022 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) using data obtained in 2020, there were 82,528 recorded injuries out of 8,317,364 registered motorcyclists. This statistic included 5,579 fatalities. These data correspond to a national fatality rate of 67.08 per 100,000 registered motorcycles and an injury rate of 992.
How Often Do Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities Occur?
In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) early estimate of traffic fatalities for 2021, motorcycling fatalities saw an 11% increase from 2020 statistics. In it’s release of traffic safety facts published in May 2022, the NHTSA also reported that motorcycle-related fatalities occurred nearly 28% more frequently than those associated with car crashes and other types of motor vehicles.
These national rates are particularly notable in California, which is home to roughly 800,000 registered motorcycles. As such, it helps to brush up on every factor of motorcycling in this state, including potential injuries and fatalities.
10 Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in the State of California
When motorcyclists are involved in collisions, there is minimal outside structure to absorb impact energy and crush. In contrast to other motor vehicles, in which a protective barrier surrounds the driver, the rider of a motorbike is immediately exposed to the impact of a collision. This method of damage entails that the biker absorbs the collision’s force on the body, resulting in more apparent and serious injuries depending on the body part impacted and other circumstances, such as speed and number of cars involved.
Below are some of the most common injuries sustained in California motorcycle accidents. The majority of these injuries occur when the rider is forcefully thrown off the motorbike upon collision.
A road rash is an injury to the skin caused by friction that leads to a build-up of heat. As such, it is considered both an abrasion and a heat burn.
A road rash often occurs when the motorcyclist falls out of the motorbike and comes into contact with the hard pavement, generating frictional force. The affected area of skin with an extreme road rash will appear red, raw, and inflamed, causing sharp and burning pain. You might have a first-degree road rash or a second-degree road rash, depending on the extent of the damage.
Also caused by friction, skin abrasions are less intrusive superficial wounds that lead to scrapes and scratches of varying sizes. Abrasions may also result in scarring depending on size and depth.
Typically, motorcyclists who find themselves in accidents receive skin abrasions in their upper and lower extremities.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe injury characterized by headaches, blurred vision, vertigo, memory and concentration challenges, and balance problems. Physical, cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial repercussions of TBI are extensive. Head trauma significantly impairs brain function and damages brain cells.
A TBI is often the result of a forceful blow to the head, often also coming with neck injuries and severe to permanent nerve damage. For instance, a biker may get a TBI after striking the ground with his head following a fall.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) encompasses emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that arise following exposure to a significant threat to life or serious physical injury, consistent with a disastrous motorcycle accident. PTSD symptoms in injured motorcyclists include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
In motorcycle accidents, riders usually extend their arms or legs to brace themselves from the impact of the collision. As a result, the force sustained in these body parts causes painful and debilitating fractures that may take a long time to heal.
Falls or direct impacts from motorcycle accidents can cause damage to the vertebral bodies of motorcyclists. Spinal cord injuries include annular fissures, disc protrusions, and stenosis, which cause severe pain, numbness, and weakness.
A study that analyzed patterns and outcomes of spinal injuries in motorcycle crashes found that multiple-level spinal injuries are common to most drivers involved in motorcycle accidents and that the thoracic spine is usually the most injured spinal region.
Also known as hemorrhaging, internal bleeding is an injury caused by damaged blood vessels. Internal bleeding may result from blunt force or penetrating trauma.
In a motorcycle accident, internal bleeding may be due to a fall or the driver hitting a fixed object such as a wall or street lamp during the impact course of a collision.
Soft tissue injuries (STIs)
Perhaps the most common out of all these motorcycle accident injuries are soft tissue injuries (STIs). Soft tissue damage occurs to motorcyclists when trauma from falls or direct impacts causes damage to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. STIs manifest in inflammation, bruising, redness, and swelling.
How To Avoid Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Despite the unpredictability of road conditions and the difficulty of preparing for unanticipated events, it is essential for motorcycle riders to take the required safeguards to avoid potential motorcycle-related accidents and injuries. Traffic crashes are not uncommon, but you can certainly do something to increase motorcycle safety.
Wearing U.S. DOT-compliant Safety Helmets
For one, using safety helmets while riding a motorcycle cannot be underscored enough. A study analyzing helmet use and treatment outcome in motorcycle-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) confirmed that wearing helmets significantly reduced head injuries among riders.
California Civil Code section 27803 mandates that all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)-compliant safety helmets at all times.
Furthermore, there are essential rules laid down by California laws that you need to be well-acquainted with to ensure your safety as a motorcyclist and those around you while driving on the road.
Wearing the Appropriate Motorcycling Gear
In addition to utilizing safety helmets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also enjoins riders to wear protective gear like sturdy jackets, pants, boots, and gloves that provide sufficient protection in case of falls and crashes.
How to Protect Yourself Ahead of Any Motorcycle Accident Injury
You must take a few extra precautions to ensure that you are adequately prepared for a catastrophic motorcycle accident, just as any other rider would.
Ensure That You Have Insurance Coverage
Before you may ride your motorbike, you must get adequate insurance coverage for it as your property. In addition, you must reevaluate your bodily injury policy or file an application if you do not have one.
Protecting yourself and your property in advance of a possible motorbike accident should provide you with sufficient coverage for even the most catastrophic occurrences. Whether your motorbike has minor damage or is a total loss, having insurance will cover the necessary expenses.
Importantly, you must have existing insurance coverage that will cover all potential injuries you may receive in a motorbike accident, regardless of whether they require urgent medical attention or long-term care.
Enlist the Services of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A motorcycle accident attorney is a professional attorney who handles matters involving motorbike accidents. These attorneys have vast expertise and an expert-level understanding of all motorcycle-related legislation and regulations.
Having a motorcycle accident attorney in mind prior to any occurrence involving a motorbike means that your rights are immediately protected from the point of impact until the case is resolved. Therefore, it is important to proactively seek the help of a competent and reputable motorcycle accident attorney. We can guide you in filing your lawsuit.
Where To Find the Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in California
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for compensation to help you cover the costs of medical care and other damages. Look no further than Motorcyclist Attorney for the best legal representation in California.
Our team of specialized personal injury lawyers and motorcycle experts guarantees to help motorcycle accident victims get coverage for medical bills and obtain sufficient compensation for all types of injuries sustained from a motorcycle crash.Motorcyclist Attorney is determined to fight for you and will guide you every step of the way. Visit us today for a consultation and a free case evaluation.