What Is the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injury?

Jun 8, 2017

Most everyone knows the risk of injury involved with riding motorcycles, but what are the most common injuries to worry about if you’re out on the road, and how can you protect yourself from enduring them? This blog answers the question, what is the most common motorcycle injury? It also discusses what causes the most motorcycle accidents and how a motorcycle injury attorney can help you if you have a motorcycle accident.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the cases of more than 1.2 million motorcyclists treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. between 2001 and 2008 after being involved in non-fatal motorcycle accidents. They found that 30% of all non-fatal motorcycle injuries occurred to the legs and feet, while 22% of non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries were inflicted to the head and neck.

A similar study by the Advancement of Automotive Medicine showed that those who wore helmets had a decreased risk of sustaining severe injuries and an overall lower number of severe injuries. Another CDC study found that helmets reduced the risk of death in motorcycle accidents by 37% and reduced head injury by 69%.

Some distracted drivers in passenger cars may fail to notice the motorcyclists sharing the road with them. Failure to see motorcycles could cause drivers to swerve into a motorcyclist or rear-end a bike, resulting in a severe motorcycle accident. Any injuries that a motorcyclist suffers could be considered life-threatening or may even be life-altering. If a distracted driver was found liable for the crash, a motorcycle accident lawyer assist in seeking appropriate compensation.

Common Motorcycle Injuries

There’s no predicting where you might experience injuries if you have a motorcycle accident. However, the most common injuries are as follows:

1. Head Injuries

Because many people neglect to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, head injuries are among the most common damages incurred by motorcyclists. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be severe and cause other complications such as seizures, difficulty thinking, concussions, and other issues depending on where in the brain the injury occurs.

2. Road Rash

Road rash happens when people slide across the pavement after they down their motorcycle. If the motorcyclist doesn’t have thick enough material to protect them from the pavement’s friction, they can experience severe skin damage. The skin damage can result in scar tissue and other more severe complications, such as muscle damage.

3. Broken Bones

Broken bones commonly occur in motorcycle accidents. Road rash can scrape so much muscle away from the bone that it breaks, or riders may incur broken bones from the collision with an automobile. The ribs, arms, and legs are some of the most common areas where riders experience broken bones.

4. Spinal Cord Injuries

Like broken bones, spinal injuries occur from downing your motorcycle or colliding with another automobile. Spinal injuries can be severe and even fatal, depending on where they occur. They can also cause paralysis.

5. Muscle Damage

Motorcycle accidents can cause severe muscle damage from injuries such as road rash and compound fractures. They can also cause ligament and tendon damage.

Key Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The most trustworthy authority on motorcycle accidents is the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). They compile annual statistics that help us better understand why motorcycle accidents occur and how those reasons contribute to the types of injuries motorcyclists endure.

The following are crucial motorcycle accident injury statistics compiled by the NHTSA:

Motorcycle Accident Fatalities and Injuries

In 2017, 5,172 fatalities and 89,000 injuries occurred from motorcycle accidents.

Passenger and Rider Fatalities

In the same 2017 study, 94% of fatalities were riders, and 6% were passengers.

Motorcycle Accident Weather Conditions

The study revealed that weather contributed to motorcycle accidents, finding that 97% of all accidents happened in cloudy conditions, compared to 2% in the rain and 1% in the snow.

Motorcycle Accidents’ Location

The study found that a sizable majority (65%) of accidents occurred at places besides the intersection, while 35% actually occurred at the intersection. Also, 60% of motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas, while 40% occurred in rural areas.

Alcohol and Motorcycle Accidents

Of the 5,172 motorcycle fatalities, 1,357 of them were impaired while driving. That number skyrocketed to 43% when analyzing the data among single-vehicle accidents.

Speeding and Motorcycle Crashes

32% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved speeding. Only 18% of fatal car crashes, 14%of small-truck fatal accidents, and 7% of large-truck fatal accidents involved speeding.

Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

There are many causes of motorcycle accidents, but according to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration data, the most common reasons are speeding and alcohol use. Their data also reveals that 35% of all accidents occur near intersections, suggesting that pedestrians or drivers passing through intersections without thoroughly examining the intersection are also contributing factors.

In their study, The Anatomy of a Motorcycle, the NHTSA found that motorcyclists fail to understand the motorcycle’s potential malfunctions and the motorcycle machinery’s complexity. They designate inexperienced motorcyclists’ “lack of experience or failure to appreciate the motorcycle’s inherent operating characteristics and limitations” as a contributing factor to motorcycle accidents.

How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Control Your Speed

Controlling your speed can significantly reduce your risk of crashing. When you speed, you increase the likelihood that you will lose control of your bike. Additionally, the higher your speed when you collide, the more likely you will sustain severe injuries.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

As a motorcycle rider, you must be especially mindful of your surroundings. Car drivers are less likely to pay attention to motorcyclists because they are more used to looking for other automobiles.

Committing to practices such as looking behind you when you stop at an intersection to ensure no one is in danger of running into you can help prevent many crashes. Being ready to pull away at intersections will also help you avoid accidents.

Gear Up

Wearing the appropriate safety equipment can drastically reduce your risk of severe injuries in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet, long, thick pants that cover your entire leg, a thick leather motorcycle jacket, thick boots, and durable gloves will protect you from road rash injuries due to exposed skin.

Conclusion- What Should I Do If I’m Injured In a Motorcycle Accident?

Severe motorcycle accident injuries are especially prevalent because of their high speeds, and riders often collide with larger automobiles. Because motorcycle injuries are common, such as those to the head and spine and broken bones, remaining aware of the potential risks involved in riding a motorcycle can prove the difference between life and death.

Following the correct safety protocol, such as wearing a helmet, following the speed limit, and staying especially aware of the traffic conditions, can help prevent you from sustaining injuries while riding your motorcycle.

If you get into a motorcycle accident, the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm has personal injury lawyers for motorcycle accidents and motorcycle accident attorneys to help. Our skilled team of lawyers will help you seek the motorcycle accident injury compensation you deserve if you sustain an injury to another driver’s negligence.

Contact us today to discuss your case and get started down the correct recovery path so you can get back on the open road. Legal reinforcement is just a phone call away. Call 303-333-7285 to get a free case evaluation.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm | Website | + posts

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm is a team of personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO serving victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Each of our lawyers is licensed with the Colorado State Bar (CBA) and specialize in injury law.

We've recovered tens of millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients. For 13+ years we've helped thousands of people get back on their feet after experiencing serious injuries. We will take your case to trial and get the maximum settlement possible.

Previous Post

Next Post

Related Posts



denver personal injury attorney