If you’re someone who can’t wait to jump on your motorcycle and head for the open road, you’re not alone. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that bike registrations in the U.S. topped 8.6 million in 2021, more than double the number (4.3 million) registered in 2002.
While there’s no doubt that riding can be an extremely exciting, freeing and exhilarating experience, you also need to recognize that you stand an 80% chance of sustaining serious injuries or even dying if you crash.
Motorcycle accident statistics are sobering at best and include the following:
Unfortunately, bike riding is an inherently dangerous activity. Not only do motorists often not give you the respect they give to passenger vehicles and trucks, but your bike does not offer you the protections available to passenger vehicle occupants.
Numerous causes exist for motorcycle accidents, but they can be broken down into the following three categories:
Given that upwards of 276 million motor vehicles were registered in the U.S. in 2020, these bigger and heavier vehicles far outnumber motorcycles. Consequently, what their drivers do can catastrophically impact you. The most common causes of bike accidents attributable to others include the following:
It should come as no surprise to you that bike riders can be just as guilty of poor driving habits as motor vehicle drivers. If you engage in any of the following practices and an accident ensues, you may share responsibility with the other driver for causing it:
While most motorcycle accidents involve the bike and a motor vehicle, usually a car, your bike can crash without the cause being someone’s negligence or recklessness. Usually, inclement weather or hazardous road conditions cause these types of accidents.
It goes without saying that riding your bike during inclement weather poses an even greater danger to you than riding on a clear, warm, sunny day. Bad weather, including the following, makes riding extremely hazardous:
Finally, hazardous road conditions, such as the following, can cause a crash before you have time to avert it:
Most motorcycle crash injuries are notoriously serious ones. After all, you have only your clothing, and hopefully your helmet and a pair of goggles, to protect you from whatever you hit — or whatever hits you.
The most common bike injuries consist of the following:
While wearing a DOT-approved helmet can save your life, it can’t prevent you from sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Defined as what happens when your head violently impacts a hard object, such as the pavement, a guardrail, a tree, a bridge abutment, etc., a TBI is an extremely serious injury that can disable you for life.
Unfortunately, no two TBIs are the same, so it’s impossible to predict the lingering effects yours could have on you. Nevertheless, common long-term TBI consequences include the following:
If you break or otherwise damage your neck or back in your bike accident, the result could well be a spinal cord injury that partially or totally paralyzes you.
The precise location of your SCI and the severity of it determine how much paralysis you may experience. If you injure your middle to lower back, the result likely will be paraplegia, i.e., paralysis and loss of sensation in your hips, legs and feet. If you injure your neck or upper back, the result likely will be quadriplegia, i.e., paralysis and loss of sensation in your arms, hands and trunk in addition to your hips, legs and feet. Either way, you may never be able to walk again and need to use a wheelchair to move from one place to another.
Your arms and legs are at particular risk in a bike crash, with common injuries including the following:
In addition, you also face the very real possibility that your bike will fall on you, possibly causing a crush injury so severe that your affected arm or leg will need to be amputated.
It’s almost inevitable that you will receive road rash injuries in your bike crash as you slide along the pavement or other surfaces. At highway speeds, the sliding could well tear off your clothing, leaving your skin unprotected from the abrasions that road rash causes.
In severe road rash cases, the wounds could go through your underlying muscles and other tissues all the way to your bones. If this happens, you face skin grafting and possibly reconstructive surgery. These, in turn, likely will leave lasting scars.
If you become involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in Idaho, Texas or Utah, come to Fielding Law. We are a premier personal injury law firm composed of lawyers who aggressively represent people injured in all types of accidents, including motorcycle accidents. We offer you a free initial case evaluation, and you never pay a legal fee unless and until we favorably resolve your accident claim.