Motorcycle Crashes: Common Injuries and Preventative Measures.
In California, motorcycles are ridden for commuting to work or school, and for recreation. Whether you are an avid motorcyclist, or simply starting to ride, you know that riding motorcycles have certain advantages over driving a car. However, you also know that riding motorcycles come with certain dangers that can be very serious.
This article provides you with some facts about motorcycle accidents and best practices used in order to avoid them.
1. Do you know where most motorcycle accidents take place?
You may be surprise to learn where most motorcycle accidents take place. According to statistics gathered by National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA),
- 97% of motorcycle accidents occur in clear and dry road conditions, as opposed to rainy or inclement weather;
- 92% of motorcycle accidents take place on non-interstate roads, as opposed to interstate roads;
- 65% of motorcycle accidents do not occur at intersection;
- 61% of motorcycle related fatalities occur in urban areas; and
- 57% of motorcycle accidents occur during daylight, as oppose to nighttime.
2. What are the most common types of injuries associated with motorcycle accidents?
Regardless of whether you are riding on the streets of Santa Clarita Valley, the San Fernando Valley, or anywhere else in Los Angeles County, fatalities, unfortunately, are the most serious injuries when it comes to motorcycle accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 5,579 motorcyclists died in vehicle accidents in 2020.
In addition to those fatalities, an estimated 82,528 were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2020. Most common injuries include:
- Leg fractures;
- Ankle fractures;
- Arm fractures;
- Hand and wrist fractures;
- Fractures in the spine;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Back injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Road rash and scarring; and
- Internal bleeding or damage to organs.
3. How can you best protect yourself?
Always wear a helmet
The best way to protect yourself is by wearing the appropriate gear, especially a helmet. In fact, wearing a helmet may be the best way to protect yourself from suffering a head or brain injury.
When it comes to purchasing a helmet, make sure that the helmet displays the DOT symbol, otherwise the helmet may not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Additionally make sure that the helmet fits properly. A properly fit helmet should be adjusted to accommodate the size of your head and you should pay attention to how the helmet feels when you shake your head.
Always wear other protective gear
Never ride in shorts because if you skid, you will surely suffer road rash. You should always wear protective pants and a motorcycle jacket, some of which come with extra padding that may protect you from an injury.
Additionally, never ride in sandals. Instead, always wear sturdy boots to protect your ankle and foot.
Obey all traffic law
Always obey all traffic laws, including obeying speed limits, signaling when changing lanes and leaving sufficient room between your motorcycle and other vehicles in case you need to make an abrupt stop.
Additionally, drive defensively. This means being cognizant of other vehicles’ blind spots and avoiding them, avoiding distractions and keeping your focus on the road.
Make yourself visible
Motorcycles are not as visible as other motor vehicles. So, make yourself more visible. When riding during the day, make sure your headlights are properly working and are on. Also, when riding at night, always wear a reflective vest or other reflective material that will make you more visible to motorists.
Avoid riding in bad weather
Whenever possible, avoid riding your motorcycle in bad weather. First, visible will be impacted which can make it difficult for motorists to see you, resulting in them striking your bike. Second, the chances of skidding out in the rain or from a patch of ice is increased significantly.
4. What kinds of treatment are typically rendered?
If the injuries are serious or potentially life-threating, immediately call for an ambulance and/or paramedics. If you believe you may have suffered a neck or back injury, try not to move until help arrives and you are stabilized.
If you suffer minor injuries, consult with a health care provider at your earliest convenience. If the injuries include whiplash, sprains and strains, then you may require treatment from a chiropractor.
If you suffer from road rash, you will need to seek consultation with a plastic surgeon.
In addition to physical injuries, most victims suffer from emotional trauma related to motorcycle accidents. If you suffer from such trauma, please make sure you get the appropriate help you need to overcome such trauma.
This article is brought to you by Mason Rashtian of The Mason Law Firm, a full-service personal injury attorney and accident lawyer. We represent clients all throughout California and Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita Valley, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Canyon Country, Newhall, and the entire San Fernando Valley.
We can be reached at (661) 270-5677.
This article is meant for informational purposes only.