Ardent riders know the thrill and freedom that a motorcycle offers. But the same riders know how severe injuries can be in the case of a motorcycle accident.
The rider and passenger are out in the open in a motorcycle without protection. That means even a minor accident can lead to life-changing injuries.
Motorcycle accident injuries can leave you unable to work, care for yourself, or return to everyday life.
So, what some of the common injuries resulting from motorcyle accidents? Read on to find out everything you need to know!
Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Accidents – The Numbers and the People
Motorcycles comprise only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. Yet; motorcyclists account for countless traffic fatalities.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, there were approximately 88,000 motorcycle accidents and 5,579 fatalities in 2020.
The risk of death from road accidents happens to be 28 times higher among motorcyclists than car occupants. Motorcyclists are also five times more likely to sustain injuries.
The report shows that motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic mortalities. As of 2020, the motorcycle mortality rate stood at 23.41 for every 100 million vehicle miles covered.
These statistics differ from passenger cars with a fatality rate of 0.90 per 100 million vehicle miles.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries – The Numbers
The 2020 CrashStats data from the NHTSA provides vital information on motorcycle accidents. Here are the statistics:
- Motorcycle accidents result in approximately 88,000 injuries annually.
- Half of the injuries to motorcyclists occur on the ankle, lower leg, knee, or upper thigh.
- 5,579 motorists died in motorcycle accidents in 2020 alone.
- 73% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were not alcohol-impaired.
- 60%of motorcycle crash fatalities occurred in urban areas compared to 40% in rural zones.
- 91% of passengers killed in motorcycle accidents were males
- The majority of motorcycle crashes (78%) occur in good weather conditions
Most of these motorcycle accident fatalities are preventable. According to the NHTSA, riders would prevent 58 out of every 100 deaths if they had been wearing helmets. It is time that you start wearing your helmet when riding your bike.
What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Most often than not, motorcycle accident injuries are catastrophic. Any body part can sustain injuries in a motorcycle crash, even at low speeds. Here are seven common motorcycle accident injuries.
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
An NHTSA study involving 104,472 motorcyclists injured in traffic accidents found that 15% of riders with helmets and 21% without helmets suffered TBI. Within this group, TBI accounted for 54% of riders who did not survive.
Fractures might probably be the most common motorcycle accident injuries. Pelvic and wrist bones tend to be more vulnerable to fractures.
This is how fractures occur- during an accident, the rider attempts to use their hands to protect their face.
The hands or wrists bear the impact, resulting in fractures. Doing this also exposes the rider’s lower extremities, hence suffering hip or pelvic fractures.
3. Road Rash
Road rash injuries occur when a rider comes into contact with the road’s surface during a crash.
If the rider’s clothing gear is thin enough, the pavement can scrape through the layers of clothes and reach the skin underneath. This results in severe skin abrasions known as road rash.
The severity of road rash ranges from mild to severe and requires prompt medical attention since they are highly susceptible to infections and permanent scarring.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are also prevalent in motorcycle accidents. SCI is among the most severe injuries as it can lead to permanent disability. When the spinal cord sustains an injury from the impact of a crash, it can result in paralysis.
5. Lower-Extremity Injuries
Lower-extremity injuries are more common among riders than any other type of injury. Among all lower-extremity injuries, leg injuries are the most common, followed by bone fractures and soft-tissue injuries.
6. Internal Injuries
Any blunt-force trauma can cause damage to internal organs and internal bleeding. Internal injuries from motorcycle accidents can also occur when sharp objects penetrate the skin during an accident (penetration trauma).
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7. Biker’s Arm
When thrown off the bike during an accident, the rider instinctively attempts to break their fall with their hands. Apart from a broken arm, this could cause permanent nerve damage, otherwise known as a biker’s arm.
Wearing a leather jacket and elbow pads could help motorcycle occupants reduce the risk of this injury.
How Common Are Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident?
The chances of sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident are unbelievably high.
You see, motorcycles don’t have the protective body of other vehicles. So, motorcyclists are more predisposed to sustain severe or fatal injuries after an accident.
Motorcycle injury statistics show that the rider sustains some injury in about 98% of multiple vehicle accidents and 96% of single-vehicle accidents.
Furthermore, motorcycle riders are five times more likely to sustain an injury than their car occupant counterparts. They are also 28 times more likely to die in motorcycle accidents.
That tells you how common injuries from motorcycle accidents are!
Can I Suffer Severe Harm from a Motorcycle Accident?
You can suffer severe injuries if involved in a high-impact motorcycle accident. Some of the most severe injuries that can change your life permanently include:
a) Spinal Injuries
If you’re thrown off a motorcycle or collide with another heavy vehicle, you can suffer serious damage to the spine, leading to total or partial paralysis. Even minor damage to the spine could cause long-term problems, which call for long-term treatment.
b) Internal Injuries
Internal bleeding from these types of accidents is not uncommon. Your organs may rupture or bleed due to the force of the impact, leading to life-threatening complications.
c) Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries are usually devastating as they can cause damage to the brain. Unlike other body organs, the brain can’t heal on its own.
So, if you suffer a TBI from a motorcycle accident, you will likely require extensive and prolonged medical treatment.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?
Yes. By law, every owner should have a minimum level of motorcycle insurance.
Most states require motorcyclists to have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person and $50,000 per accident. A motorist must also have at least $10,000 in property damage coverage.
Even if motorcycle insurance is not mandatory in your state, you should have it. A motorcycle accident can leave you with severe injuries whose medical bills can rise to unmanageable levels.
But with a motorcycle insurance policy, you can recover the medical bills, lost wages, and other damages after a devastating injury.
So, insurance is the only way to save yourself from financial ruin after a motorcycle accident.
What Motorcycle Coverage Options Do I Have?
There are various motorcycle insurance coverages that you can consider, including:
- Comprehensive and collision coverage– The best covers if you are still financing your bike. These coverages protect you against collision, theft, and vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage– can cover your medical bills and lost wages due to injuries from the accident.
- Medical payments coverage– MedPay covers medical bills regardless of fault, up to your policy limits.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
No one wants to be involved in a motorcycle crash. Unfortunately, this is a risk that comes with being on the road. Head injuries, spine injuries, and internal bleeding are all common consequences of motorcycle accidents.
If you have been a motorcycle accident victim, it’s advisable to seek medical treatment immediately. And since treatment can take a financial toll on you, you may need to pursue a legal claim for your damages.