Living in South Texas, motorcycle wreck injuries occur practically every day. We are incredibly lucky that we can ride our motorcycles year-round. This means more motorcyclists are riding their bikes and more accidents occur year-round. If you are in a motorcycle accident, you are going to get hurt, period. However, there are some simple things you can do to make a wreck less traumatic.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 49,000 people died in motorcycle accidents over the last decade. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety In plain English, that means about 13 motorcyclists per day lose their lives.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed is the old saying. You can help prevent trauma by taking 5 easy steps ahead of time by preparing. Your next ride doesn’t have to be a deadly one.
Five Most Common Motorcycle Injuries And How To Prevent Them
1) Head Injuries
Your brain is by far your most important organ. It’s also one of your most delicate organs. Hitting your head simply tripping can cause brain damage so hitting the pavement at speed can absolutely be deadly. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is nothing to laugh at.
Helmets save lives, period. NHTSA reports that of all the people that die in motorcycle accidents every year, probably 800 fatalities could have been prevented by wearing helmets. Sure you don’t get the rush of the wind in your hair but it can very easily save your life.
Every helmet isn’t the same. You need to make sure your brain bucket meets the U.S. Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. That’s a fancy way of saying make sure your helmet has a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI both offer standards so most quality helmets you will find carry all three stickers. Sadly, there are some helmet manufacturers that produce fake stickers, so doing some research on the brand you are buying actually makes a difference.
2) Road Rash
Every biker fears road rash. It’s an injury you get when you slide across the pavement. The concrete or rocks and dirt that pave the road rub against your skin as you skid and act like sandpaper ripping off first your clothes, then your skin, then muscle and bone. While a lot of road rash is minor with cuts and bruises, the secondary effects of road rash can be serious. These include irritation, nerve damage, and infections that can take a long time to show up. If you get a road rash, absolutely seek medical attention immediately. You need a medical professional that is well trained to make sure to remove all the foreign bodies you just received as well as disinfecting and checking for nerve damage.
You may think that thick denim jeans will help, but not really. Denim will work for minor spills but laying your bike down at speed will result in your jeans quickly shredding. Ideally, you should ride completely covered. In South Texas, that can be pretty hot. Normally you should be covered head to toe. Helmets, leather jacket or a ballistic nylon jacket that breathes, and boots that cover your ankles. Also, one of the most neglected safety items is gloves. Your natural instinct is to stick your hand out and brace for the fall. Without gloves, this can cause severe trauma to your hands.
3) Muscle Damage
Muscle damage can and probably will occur when you have a bike accident. Once again, an ounce of prevention can be well worth a pound of cure. Nobody likes getting punched since it hurts. Dropping or especially getting knocked off your bike is 1,000 times worse. In a matter of seconds, you’ll feel like you went 10 rounds with a heavyweight boxer because you have. These injuries can be reduced by wearing proper safety gear.
Man jackets being produced now have padding or “armor” built into shoulders, elbows, backs and kidney areas. These make a huge difference if you have to get off your bike.
4) Leg Injuries
If a car sideswipes you on your bike, there isn’t much that can be done to protect your leg. However, most accidents involve the biker being either thrown over their handlebars or pushed off the bike. This means your legs will probably flail around as you roll or skid on the pavement. Your knees and feet also take an especially brutal beating. Wearing leathers as well as over the ankle boots can significantly help in situations like this.
5) Biker’s Arm
Your natural reaction when you are falling is to reach out and stop your fall. Even if you have enough control to not stick your arm out, your brachial plexus, median nerve, radial nerve, and ulnar nerves can take a horrible beating. This is over and above the normal breaks like you would expect.
Biker’s Arm means that you could lose some of the feeling and control that you have in your hands, arm, and shoulders. Ultimately, it could mean you could never ride a bike again. Biker’s Arm also doesn’t always show up quickly either. Sometimes it lingers undiscovered. This is yet another reason why you should always seek qualified and experienced medical care after a motorcycle accident.
Once again, wearing proper gear with padding can help prevent a lot of damage to your arms.
6) Bonus Fact
These “bonus fact” won’t help you prevent an injury, but it will help you if you are ever in an accident. Helmet or bike mounted cameras have come a very long way. They do an amazing job serving as a silent witness for you if you are in a crash. Better yet, buy a helmet with a camera built in and kill two birds with one stone.
Sadly, motorcyclists get painted as a wild-haired crazy driver, so having video evidence of your accident goes miles helping prove your innocence and their guilt.
Riding a motorcycle is a taste of freedom that driving a car can’t compare to. There is just no beating hitting the open road on two wheels. However, the more you prepare for an accident the longer you’ll be able to ride. If you do have a wreck on your motorcycle, first thing, get medical help. The next thing you should do is call a strong, experienced, and responsive legal team with the experience to get you the maximum you deserve like the Davis Law Firm. Whether you’re in San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, or McAllen, make sure to get the 4’s on your side and call 444-4444 today!