Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Despite their perceived tough exterior, motorcycle riders are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. An estimated 14% of all traffic fatalities in Missouri were motorcycle riders in 2022, with 81% of motorcycle crashes leading to injury or death.

Motorcycles offer less protection than passenger cars, which can mean more severe injuries in a collision. It’s essential to be aware of these risks and take precautions to safeguard your well-being before hitting the road.

Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents expose riders to a high risk of injury due to their lack of protection on the road. Here are some common injuries that motorcyclists suffer and their possible long-term consequences:

  • Road Rash: When motorcyclists are thrown from their bikes, their skin can scrape against the road, removing layers and leading to painful abrasions known as road rash. This injury can range from mild to severe, potentially requiring skin grafts and leading to serious infections and scarring.
  • Head Injuries, Concussions, and TBIs: Motorcyclists are at risk of head injuries during collisions or in being thrown onto the pavement. While helmets can reduce severity, they don’t always prevent concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries can lead to lasting neurological issues and cognitive impairment.
  • Facial Injuries: Without the protection of a car frame, riders’ faces are susceptible to injuries from debris, crashes, or direct contact with the pavement. These injuries can lead to facial fractures, dental damage, and permanent disfigurement.
  • Chest Injuries: During a motorcycle crash, the chest may sustain considerable impact, resulting in broken ribs and punctured lungs. These injuries can affect breathing and potentially lead to internal bleeding, requiring urgent medical care.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: The legs and arms of motorcyclists often bear the brunt of crashes, leading to injuries such as tibial fractures, broken wrists, and shattered elbows. These often require surgical intervention and extensive rehabilitation.
  • Spine Injuries: Motorcyclists face a heightened risk of spinal injuries from high-speed impacts and falls. These injuries can vary from herniated discs to irreversible spinal cord damage, potentially leading to partial or complete paralysis.

Injury Prevention Strategies

Adopt a safety strategy to prevent or reduce injuries while riding your motorcycle. Begin by wearing appropriate safety gear to shield your head and body, and practice defensive riding techniques to help avoid accidents.

Protective Gear

Before you set out on your ride, equip yourself with the following safety gear for protection:

Body PartWhat to Wear
HeadFull-face helmet with impact-resistant polycarbonate shellAnti-fog, scratch-resistant visor for clear vision
BodyReinforced leather or Kevlar jacket with CE-approved armor on the back, shoulders, and elbowsLeather gloves with carbon fiber knuckle protectionAbrasion-resistant pants made from Cordura or leather with knee and hip protectorsDeployable airbag system integrated into a jacket or vest for added impact protection
FeetAnkle-high, made from durable leather or other tough synthetic, with reinforced toe boxes and non-slip solesMoisture-wicking, breathable material to ensure comfort under boots

Defensive Riding Techniques

Defensive riding can increase your safety on the road. Here are some techniques to help you anticipate potential hazards and maintain control, which can reduce your risk of accidents:

  • Maintain Visibility: Ensure you are visible to other drivers. Use your headlights, wear reflective clothing, and position yourself in the lane where you can be seen.
  • Follow the 3-Second Rule: Keep a safe following distance of three or more seconds from the vehicle in front of you to provide enough time to react to sudden stops.
  • Scan Constantly: Scan your surroundings for hazards such as aggressive drivers, animals, or road debris.
  • Communicate Intentions: Use signals to inform other road users of your intended actions, like turning and changing lanes.
  • Avoid Blind Spots: Stay out of the blind spots of larger vehicles like trucks and buses, which are usually located to the sides and up to 30 feet behind a truck.
  • Ride at Safe Speeds: Adjust your speed to match road conditions. Lower speeds are safer in poor weather conditions or on curvy roads.
  • Prepare for Intersections: Be extra cautious when approaching intersections. Be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary, and watch for vehicles that may suddenly cross your path.

Let Cofman Townsley Fight for You

While proper precautions can help prevent a crash, a negligent driver’s actions can still cause harm. You need qualified legal representation to protect your rights if you’re hurt in a collision.

At Cofman Townsley, our Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers know the biases motorcycle riders face, and we have the tools and resources to help you fight them. We can show your track record of safety to support your claim and get you compensation.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you after a collision in St. Louis.