The Most Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
August 23, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
With hundreds of miles of open highways, beautiful coastlines, and sunny riding weather year-round, it’s no surprise that Florida is a premier destination for motorcyclists.
In 2021, there were over 645,000 registered motorcycles across the state. Sadly, riding a motorcycle always comes with significant risks to the health and protection of riders. Limited safety measures and constant exposure to the elements can make any motorcycle crash particularly serious and life-threatening.
Types of Injuries from Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle injuries are far too common in Miami and across Florida, and the results can be catastrophic. No matter where you ride, safety is vital.
If you’re a motorcyclist in the Sunshine State, it is important to learn more about the most common injuries related to motorcycle crashes.
Head and Brain Injuries
When a rider crashes or falls off their bike, the head becomes susceptible to serious injury. And the risk of severe injury increases if a rider is not wearing a helmet. Florida is one of the few states that doesn’t have mandatory helmet laws for riders over 21.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common injury associated with trauma to the head. TBIs can range from mild concussions to serious, lifelong complications. TBIs occur when the head sustains a significant blow, hit, or jolt, which can affect the internal tissues and result in complications.
Some of the most common symptoms of a TBI include:
- Speech problems
- Memory and concentration problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
- Depression and anxiety
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Seizures and convulsions
Any TBI, even a mild concussion, is a severe injury that requires attention. Failure to do so can result in complications and even death.
Bone Fractures and Breaks
Because motorcycles lack safety elements, the bones are susceptible to injury following a crash. Additionally, because motorcycles rely on the rider to balance the vehicle, most collisions result in the rider losing control.
Arms and legs can become trapped between vehicles, or the impact from a fall or crash can lead to breaks and fractures. Hands and feet may also suffer from hard impact at high speeds.
Bone injuries can range from minor fractures and dislocations to severe breaks that may require surgery and physical therapy to heal.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In any vehicle-related accident, the spinal cord is highly delicate and susceptible to injury. Because riders’ bodies are so exposed, there are few ways to protect the spinal cord, and even a minor injury to this region can be severe.
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) involve damage to the nerves that regulate many of the body’s physical abilities.
Some consequences of spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of movement
- Permanent paralysis
- Altered sensation
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty breathing
- Spasms and reflex complications
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Persistent physical numbness
The severity of a spinal cord injury largely depends on the nature of the damage. While some SCIs may be treated with medications and physical therapy, others can be permanent and lead to complications for years to come.
When riders are thrown off their bike, they often slide across the pavement at high speeds. The friction associated with these injuries can lead to significant skin lesions known as road rash.
Road rash can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement, severe burns, infections, nerve damage, and in rare cases, even amputation.
Just as helmets are essential for keeping the head and brain safe, adequate protective clothing like jackets, gloves, and riding pants are necessary to avoid serious road rash injuries.
Riding Your Motorcycle Safely
If you enjoy making use of Florida’s favorable riding conditions, make sure you are protected. Wear proper gear, such as a helmet, and watch the other vehicles on the road. To avoid injury as a motorcycle rider, paying careful attention to safety is critical.