Safety for motorcycle riders has continued to increase over the last few decades, though there are still many variables that riders cannot control. Motorcyclists simply do not have the protection around them that drivers and passengers in a vehicle do. To best prevent motorcycle injuries, motorcyclists must stay alert and share the road with other drivers. People driving cars and other vehicles must also share the road and pay attention, especially when a motorcycle rider is around. Riders know that making themselves visible can help reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. In addition, safe riding practices and adherence to the rules of the road help keep everyone safe. Drivers and riders alike must make an effort to share the road safely. Accidents can happen, so what do you do when you’ve suffered a motorcycle accident? Here are the top 7 motorcycle injuries, common causes, and how to get the treatment you need after a motorcycle accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While a motorcycle rider’s experience and weather conditions outside can both play a role in causing an accident, these are less common causes of motorcycle accidents. In fact, most motorcycle accidents tend to involve distracted or unaware drivers. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of all car accidents on the road these days. As the number of distractions increases, like with cell phones and other handheld devices, drivers can lose awareness of those around them and put others on the road at risk.
Motorcycle accidents are common in intersections, especially when a driver disregards traffic signals or right-of-way rules. Whether a driver or rider fails to yield to oncoming traffic, this can lead to a dangerous accident in the middle of a very busy intersection. Another common cause of motorcycle accidents involves blind spots. Cars and trucks may lose visual on a motorcycle if the rider passes into a blind spot, which can lead to the driver accidentally colliding with a motorcycle located in their blind spot. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving above the speed limit can also cause motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle riders must also take the necessary precautions to avoid common motorcycle accidents.
7 Common Motorcycle Injuries
Here are the top 7 motorcycle injuries that occur each year in the US.
Road rash is a nickname for the types of scrapes and cuts a rider may get when falling off their bike. This injury is typically a combination of a friction burn and skin abrasions caused by the skin scraping against something rough, like asphalt or concrete. In some cases, road rash may be considered a superficial injury that only impacts the skin. However, falling off a motorcycle and suffering road rash can end up taking off several layers of skin, which can then require surgery to allow the area to heal correctly.
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries and also impacts motorcycle riders too. If a motorcycle gets hit from behind, this can cause the rider’s head and neck to snap forward and backward rapidly. While the helmet provides protection for the head, a whiplash injury can cause muscles in the neck to strain outside their normal range of motion. Damage to tendons and ligaments in the neck, upper back, and shoulders may also occur. Whiplash can also impact vertebrae in the neck and lead to other injuries like a herniated disc. If you suffer a whiplash injury, you may feel soreness and stiffness in the neck, along with difficulty turning your head in certain directions.
Biker’s arm is a common motorcycle injury that occurs when a rider may hold their arms in front of them as they brace for impact. A motorcycle rider may also suffer biker’s arm if they get thrown from the bike and fall on their outstretched arms. Sudden, forceful impact to the arm and hand can aggravate or damage nerves in the upper arm. Biker’s arm can result in limited control or feeling in the hand and fingers, along with symptoms like pain, tingling, and numbness. Nerve damage from a motorcycle accident can take time to heal and impact day-to-day routines and activities.
Broken bones can also occur from a motorcycle accident. A broken bone is also known as a fracture, and there are several types of fractures that can occur with a serious accident. Commonly broken bones from a motorcycle accident include fractures to the wrist, arm, leg, ankle, and foot. In some cases, you might not realize you have a broken bone right away because you have what’s known as a hairline fracture. This type of fracture refers to a crack in the bone that is only visible on an X-ray or other diagnostic imaging. One of the most serious types of broken bone is called a compound fracture, where the broken bone pierces the skin. This can put you at risk for an infection in the area and will typically require surgery.
Another common injury suffered by motorcycle riders is a broken rib. This injury can be quite painful and even lead to internal damage like a punctured lung. Broken ribs cause pain around the injured area that may get worse with simple movements or when you breathe. A fractured rib can lead to breathing complications due to the close proximity of the ribcage and lungs. Broken ribs can cause bruising and swelling around the chest area, along with dizziness or lightheadedness. This type of injury requires medical attention immediately to rule out any life-threatening damage to your internal organs.
A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury and one that often occurs in motorcycle accidents. While motorcycle riders wear helmets to help protect the head from this type of trauma, a sudden blow to the head can still result in a concussion. A concussion occurs when a sudden force of impact causes the brain to jostle around and collide with the skull walls, which can result in bruising or even bleeding. Concussions come with a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. In the event of a serious motorcycle accident, a rider who suffers a concussion may even lose consciousness due to a concussion. All head injuries require immediate medical attention to check for a serious brain injury like a concussion.
Common motorcycle injuries like those listed above can also result in serious, potentially life-threatening internal bleeding. Internal injuries can include bleeding around the lungs, brain, or other organs. A motorcycle accident could also result in tears, cuts, or other damage to the aorta or other blood vessels that help circulate blood throughout the body. Internal bleeding can be extremely dangerous and result in loss of blood, organ failure, and death. Common causes of internal bleeding include blunt force trauma, penetrating trauma, or decelerating trauma. Symptoms of internal bleeding may include pain at the injured site, pale, clammy skin, breathlessness, and loss of consciousness.
Comprehensive Care for Motorcycle Injuries
No matter how minor the accident, you should always get checked out for any motorcycle injuries after an accident. If you delay getting the treatment you need, you can end up putting your health and even life at risk. Here’s what to expect when getting treatment for motorcycle injuries:
Emergency Medical Attention
Some motorcycle injuries may require emergency medical attention. This may involve an assessment at the accident site by first responders or a trip to the local emergency room or urgent care center. Emergency medical attention will attend to all serious or life-threatening injuries. Once you are in stable condition, you may need continued care and will have to follow up with a motorcycle accident doctor.
Thorough Diagnostic Process
Car and motorcycle accident doctors will provide you with a thorough diagnostic process whether you need emergency medical attention for your injuries. For minor injuries, you may head straight to your Snellville motorcycle accident doctor for diagnosis and treatment. At AICA Orthopedics in Snellville, our team of car and motorcycle accident doctors have access to X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans so you can get an accurate diagnosis for your injuries.
Individualized Treatment Plan
Our Snellville motorcycle accident doctors also create individualized treatment plans for each person who comes through our doors. Your individualized treatment plan will be specific to your symptoms and the type and severity of your injuries. Our team of multi-specialty doctors will provide you with comprehensive treatment and care for your motorcycle injuries. Get quality support for your injuries from diagnosis through your recovery and rehabilitation.
Visit our car and motorcycle accident clinic in Snellville for the attention and treatment you deserve for your injuries. At AICA Orthopedics, our team of doctors includes orthopedic doctors, neurologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists who work together to provide you with a personalized plan of care. Get started today with one of our Snellville motorcycle accident doctors and experience first-hand how our team at AICA Orthopedics in Snellville is dedicated to providing you with the best care around.