Top 6 Most Common Motorcycle Injuries in California

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Motorcyclists are exposed to more hazards than those inside passenger vehicles, and severe injuries are not uncommon after a collision occurs. During the most recent reporting year in California, 11,435 motorcyclists sustained injuries in traffic collisions. Unfortunately, 539 motorcyclists lost their lives as a result of collisions that same year. Here, we want to examine six of the most common injuries motorcycle riders and passengers sustain in California.

1. Head and Facial Injuries

Studies into motorcycle accidents reveal that the head is the most commonly injured site of the body as a result of motorcycle collisions. Data indicates that approximately 60% of admitted patients and 85.4% of all motorcycle accident deaths resulted in a head injury in the group studied.

Head and facial injuries are more likely to occur if a motorcyclist does not wear a helmet or does not have a properly fitting helmet. Traumatic brain injuries could lead to lifelong disabilities for a victim. Additionally, facial injuries may result in permanent scarring and disfigurement in a visible area of the body.

2. Traumatic Brain Injuries

According to the CDC, hundreds of lives could be saved each year if all motorcyclists wore helmets. The reality is that motorcyclists are more susceptible to sustaining traumatic brain injuries than individuals inside traditional passenger vehicles. Even when a person wears a helmet, there is simply not much protection from the force of a vehicle. The CDC states that helmets are 37% effective for riders and 41% effective for passengers in preventing deaths if a motorcycle accident does occur, and they reduce the risk of a head injury by 69%.

3. Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can significantly affect the health and well-being of a motorcyclist. There are varying levels of spinal cord injuries that can occur, and these types of injuries are generally classified as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury is one where the spinal cord gets severed at the site of the injury, resulting in complete paralysis from the site of the injury downward. Individuals could also experience an incomplete spinal cord injury, which could lead to varying levels of paralysis from the site of the injury down.

4. Road Rash

Road rash occurs when an area of the skin has been scraped away. These are considered severe skin abrasions that can lead to significant pain and suffering as well as scarring and disfigurement for a motorcyclist. Road rash is more likely to occur on areas of exposed skin after a rider crashes, but it can still occur even if a person has protective clothing on.

5. Fractured Bones

Fractured or dislocated bones are a major risk associated with motorcycle accidents. Riders are exposed to significant dangers not only from the initial impact with the vehicle that can cause these injuries but also from the impact with the ground or fixed objects resulting from the collision. Fractures can occur to any part of the body, including arms, legs, ribs, the skull, and more.

6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Individuals may experience various types of emotional and psychological stress after a motorcycle crash occurs. Though often overlooked, these types of injuries must be acknowledged in order for a person to receive the compensation needed for a complete recovery. Individuals may experience prolonged feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety as a result of the actual motorcycle crash, the recovery process, as well as any disability or loss of quality of life caused by the injuries.