Without the protection of a steel cage around you, traveling at 60 mph can be exhilarating!
It can also cause some serious motorcycle accident injuries to your body – but it usually only dampens your enthusiasm for riding until the injuries heal.
While the helmet issue may grab the headlines, I would suggest that whether you chose to wear a helmet or not, you should wear as much protective gear as possible.
When the weather turns warmer, many riders wear nothing more than a tank or t-shirt and some even wear shorts and sneakers. However tempting this may be, at a bare minimum, no matter the weather, everyone should have on boots, jeans and at least a long-sleeve t-shirt and some type of gloves.
There are also many light-weight mesh jackets that can be worn with minimal discomfort. This clothing, while perhaps slightly uncomfortable, will protect you from a great deal of pain if you are ever involved in an accident.
Motorcycle accidents can be much more devastating to your body than car accidents. As an expert Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer, I am involved in motorcycle injury settlements for the following common motorcycle accident injuries time after time:
Broken arms, shoulder tears, leg and pelvic fractures seem to be the common types of broken bone injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. Broken fingers, fractured wrists or knees, and spinal fractures are less common but can lead to permanent disability or even paralysis. It is important for cyclists to wear the correct type of footwear, because toes are easily broken or amputated as a result of a motorcycle crash.
Paralysis or Nerve Damage
“Biker’s Arm” is a term for nerve damage and paralysis of the arm from the initial fall off the cycle as a motorcycle accident unfolds. When a biker falls from the cycle in a motorcycle accident, the upper arm typically receives most of the impact, and usually loses the battle with much harder surfaces.
This injury is common because the biker’s natural human instinct is to draw the arms in front of, or around themselves for protection. This reaction means that the upper arms absorb most of the initial impact with the ground, and often takes the body weight of the rider as well.
Elbow pads or a leather jacket may help protect the rider.
Of course head injuries play a major role in motorcycle accident injuries.
According to motorcycle accident statistics gathered by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, head injuries are the most common cause of fatalities in motorcycle wrecks. The majority of these deaths are a result of the rider not wearing a helmet.
Concussions and brain damage can happen when the head makes contact with the ground. And don’t think that just because you are wearing a helmet that you can’t get a concussion. When the head hits the inside of the helmet the padding keeps your head from opening up, but not from being rattled. With serious bleeding and swelling in the brain, head injuries can also cause paralysis or loss of brain function. You can reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident fatality by up to 37% percent (statistically) if you wear a motorcycle helmet.
If you’re involved in an accident and hit your head, be on the alert for unusual headaches, dizziness, difficulty maintaining balance, and even difficulty swallowing.
These symptoms don’t necessarily show up immediately. Depending on the extent of the damage, epilepsy, memory loss, difficulty processing languages, depression and other long term effects can manifest themselves also.
Road rash is also an extremely painful reality if you have an accident. It happens when the skin on any part of your body slides across the pavement. To reduce the severity of road rash, wear leather jackets or pants, reinforced denim, or other thick and durable motorcycle-specific materials. Wearing these can reduce the risk of serious road rash by over 50%.
Although road rash is not life threatening, it is often described as the most painful type of injury suffered in a motorcycle accident, and can lead to loss of wages because of temporary immobility.
If severe enough, this injury can lead to exposed nerves, muscle, or even bones. Long term effects can include permanent nerve damage or infections.
Anyone who has ever had to endure the pain involved in the debridement process (scrubbing of the wound with a wire-like brush to clean out gravel, dirt etc.) and dressing and re-dressing of the wounds often say it is the most painful situation they have been through.
I recently witnessed this first-hand as I was with a client who was having her bandages peeled off in order have her wounds cleaned and re-dressed. The pain she experienced during this procedure must have excruciating based upon her sobbing and cries of distress as this was taking place.
If your unprotected skin slides across a hard surface, or impacts against any harder object, aside from road rash, permanent disfigurements can be a reality. Over 36% percent of motorcycle wrecks result in a major impact on the face, causing permanent disfigurement if you are not wearing a full face protective helmet. A motorcycle helmet is designed that way on purpose!
As you can see, with almost every one of these common injuries, proper personal protective equipment is one of the top recommendations for reducing the severity of these wounds.
However, if you are in an accident and sustain serious injury, a qualified and experienced motorcycle injury lawyer can help you recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering.
Free Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Consultations
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident because of another driver, poor signage or unsafe pavement, call “The Cycle Attorney”, Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney Lee D. Gaber, at 888-292-5352 (888-cycle-law). I offer free home, hospital or office consultations for PA motorcycle accident settlements.