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7 Most Common Injury From Motorcycle Accident

In this article, we will be discussing the most common injury that could result following a motor bike accident; this is covered in the topic “Most Common Injury From Motorcycle Accident“.

What Is A Motorcycle Accident?

Motor bike accident entails any accident involving a motor mike. It may be two (2) motor bikes, a motor bike with a four (4) legged vehicle, a motor bike with a stationary object, a motor bike with human, etc.

It is worthy of note that a motor, has only two (2) leg making it more susceptible to fall.

Motorcycle Injury Statistics

National Safety Council Reports:

Fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers increased 11% from 2019 to 2020, while the rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased by 23%. Over the last 10 years, deaths have increased 20% while death rates have increased 27%.  The number of motorcycle fatalities now stands at 5,579 and the rate is 31.64 per 100 million vehicle miles. In 2020 motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 3% for trucks).

The number of nonfatal injuries decreased by 2%, while the injury rate increased by 10% from 2019 to 2020. Longer term nonfatal injury trends cannot be assessed. Starting in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) transitioned from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES) to the Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS). CRSS estimates and NASS GES estimates are not comparable due to different sample designs, so 2016 and later injury estimates should not be compared to earlier years. From 2016, the number of injuries has decreased 21%, while the injury rate has decreased 8%. However, the injury rate has been trending up for the last two years.

Motorcyclist Injuries And Injury Rates, 2011-2020

Year Injuries Registered motorcycles Injury rate per 100,000
registered motorcycles
Vehicle miles
traveled (millions)
Injury rate per
100 million vehicle
miles traveled
2011 82,000 8,437,502 968 18,542 441
2012 93,000 8,454,939 1,103 21,385 436
2013 89,000 8,404,687 1,056 20,366 436
2014 92,000 8,417,718 1,093 19,970 461
2015 89,000 8,600,936 1,032 19,606 453
2016 (1) 104,000 8,679,380 1,203 20,445 511
2017 89,000 8,664,108 1,023 20,149 440
2018 82,000 8,659,741 945 20,076 408
2019 84,000 8,596,314 975 19,688 426
2020 83,000 8,317,363 992 17,632 468

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Federal Highway Administration.


Most Common Injury From Motorcycle Accident

Common injuries suffered include:

  • Road rash
  • Facial fractures and disfigurement
  • Broken bones and burns
  • Limb amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
  • Internal Injuries

READ: What Is Side Impact Collision; Causes & Its Effects On The Body

Road Rash:

Road rash is a serious motorcycle injury that can result in a lifetime of pain and suffering, including permanent disfiguration, scarring, and limited mobility which can significantly impact your entire life.

Road rash is type of skin abrasion that occurs to the exterior of the skin when the skin is scraped against something rough. In the case of motorcycle road rash, the skin is scraped against the ground, removing the outer layer of skin and leaving the underneath of the skin exposed to the elements. Many people who are in a motorcycle accident and get road rash experience metal, rocks, gravel, and other foreign object and road debris in the areas where the skin has been scraped away.

The most common places on the body where road rash occurs include: Lower legs, Thighs, Arms, Face, Palms, Elbows, Knees, Shoulders, etc.

There are different degrees of road rash:

  1. First-degree road rash: This is the least severe form of road rash and is typically experienced as bruising, scrapes, redness, and minor bleeding. First-degree road rash can often be treated at home.
  2. Second-degree road rash: This type of road rash is when the scraping of the skin breaks the skin and leaves the layers under the skin exposed but still intact. Many people experience debris like glass, dirt, and gravel in their road rash wound when a second-degree road rash occurs. In most cases, individuals will need medical attention for second-degree road rash.
  3. Third-degree road rash: This is the most severe type of road rash and often involves severe abrasions that leave nerves, tendons, muscles, and bone exposed. Risk of infection is highest with a third-degree road rash. Permanent scarring and disfigurement can also occur. Many people will need extensive medical treatment such as skin grafting to recover.
  • Facial fractures and Disfigurement:

A facial fracture is a broken bone in the face.

If you suffer from a facial injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Some fractures are minor. However, complex fractures may cause irreversible damage and can even be life-threatening.

Located near to the bones in your face are the nerves and muscles that are responsible for sensations, expressions and eye movements. The muscles and nerves are located near to the facial bones. The face is close to the brain and central nervous system (CNS). Fractures may result in damage to cranial nerves, depending on the particular type and location of the fracture. Fractures to the orbit (eye socket) may result in problems with vision. Fractures of the nose may make it difficult for the injured person to breathe or smell. Also, fractures of the jawbones may cause breathing problems or make it difficult to chew, speak, or swallow.

  • Broken Bones and Burns:

A fracture is a broken bone, the same as a crack or a break. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured in any number of ways (crosswise, lengthwise, in multiple pieces).

Although bones are rigid,  they do bend, or give, somewhat when an outside force is applied. However, if the force is too great, bones will break, just as a plastic ruler breaks when it is bent too far.

The severity of a fracture usually depends on the force that caused the break. If the bone’s breaking point has been exceeded only slightly, the bone may crack rather than break all the way through. If the force is extreme, such as that caused by an automobile crash or gunshot, the bone may shatter.

In a motorcycle accident, you also are likely to suffer from thermal burn injuries. This injury can be caused by chemicals, fire, or even hot metal parts. It is painful because it can penetrate layers of skin, muscle, and bone. The first-degree burn will cause only superficial damage to the skin. The second-degree burn will destroy the entire dermis and result in permanent scarring. A third-degree burn can permanently discolor your skin.

Read: 13 Most common types of road accidents

Although it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a motorcycle accident, most burns will heal on their own within a few weeks. Those with severe burns, like second and third-degree burns, will need to undergo surgery to perform a skin graft.

  • Limp Amputation:

Whenever a road accident happens, the extremities are one of the body parts that face the biggest risk of injury. This is particularly true for motorcycle accidents, where the Newtonian forces tend to be greater and where the lack of safety features heightens the risks of an injured appendage.

In the worst-case scenario, it can even result in an amputation. Body part that could be amputated due to motorcycle accident are – Individual fingers, Hands, Limbs, Toes, Foot, Leg, etc.

  • Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury can occur when a motorcycle rider is thrown from their bike during a crash, and whether or not they will suffer with paralysis following the injury depends largely on the severity of the accident and the location of the injury.

A spinal cord injury often results from a traumatic blow to the spine that breaks the vertebrae causing fragments of bone to tear into spinal cord tissue. Some spinal cord injuries will heal and the patient will recover completely, while others will result in complete paralysis according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

  • Paralysis and Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are not uncommon when a motorcyclist strikes his or her head in an accident on a Dallas roadway or highway. Those injuries can include minor brain injuries like concussions, or more severe or devastating injuries that can leave a person dependent on long-term care.

There are three degrees of traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident. These include mild, moderate and severe. A mild traumatic brain injury – or concussion – may or may not include loss of consciousness. In a moderate TBI, the patient loses consciousness for up to a few hours, though in other cases it lasts only for several minutes.

  • Internal Injuries

Some internal injuries sustained after motorcycle injuries include: Bleeding around the lungs; Pneumothorax (aka a collapsed lung); Tears in the aorta; Tears, cuts or blunt trauma to organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, stomach or bowels; Intracranial hemorrhage; Reproductive organ injuries; Joint, tendon and muscle injuries.

It’s important to be aware of some of the common internal injury signs. In many cases, the signs are obvious and severe and there will be no doubt that the individual requires immediate medical care. However, in other cases, the signs are more subtle and there is no visible accompanying injury that will alert bystanders or the victim of the seriousness of the injury.

Any of the following symptoms might be an internal injury sign and warrant a call to for emergency from the accident scene or a trip to the nearest emergency room for examination.

  1. Loss of consciousness or headache: Pain in the skull or loss of consciousness may result from internal hemorrhaging in the brain. This is an emergency situation and requires immediate medical care.
  2. Swelling or pain in the abdomen: Swelling can occur due to blood in the abdomen when there is an internal injury. In addition, pain in this area may signal a more serious condition than the initial examination uncovered.
  3. Discolored skin: Internal bleeding can cause the skin to turn a deep purple as it seeps into the soft tissues beneath the skin’s surface. This may indicate that there is a more serious internal injury.
  4. Light-headedness or fainting: Blood loss that occurs internally can cause dizziness. Any type of fainting spell or feeling of dizziness requires an examination to rule out an internal injury after a motorcycle accident.
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