This, unfortunately, is not the case with motorcycles. While motorcycles allow riders to feel fully immersed in the environment while traveling, this also means that the only physical protection they have is from a helmet and the durability of the fabrics on the clothing they choose to wear. Because of this, motorcycle accidents, when they occur, tend to be more serious, with some common areas for both injuries and injury locations.
The Physical Factors
Physics plays an important role in how serious motorcycle injuries can be. The rider’s speed, the speed of the other motor vehicle—if it’s a collision—and the size of the motorcycle and vehicle involved all factor into the degree of injury.
Injuries generally fall into two locations.
Lower Extremity Injuries
Any injury below the waist is classified as a lower extremity injury. The legs and the pelvis are the two most common areas for lower extremity injuries. This is because the positioning of the legs at the lower half of the motorcycle increases the odds of an impact with other vehicles, especially lower profile vehicles such as cars, where a collision is likely to occur at the leg/hip area.
At best, lower extremity injuries can be superficial, such as cuts and bruises. At worst, a lower extremity injury can result in a permanent disability requiring the use of a wheelchair since the legs and feet are now paralyzed or amputated.
Upper Extremity Injuries
Injuries that occur from the waist up are considered upper extremity injuries, although in this case, there is a demographic characteristic to these injuries. Statistically, motorcyclists over the age of 40 are more likely to receive injuries to the head, neck, and abdomen than younger riders.
Part of the reason for this is the type of motorcycle used. Riders over 40 tend to invest in heavier, more expensive motorcycles. This change in mass and center of gravity for heavier motorcycles adds more protection for the lower extremities and increases the possibility of overturning.
There are numerous possible injuries and side-effects from a motorcycle accident, including:
• Traumatic brain injury
• Organ damage
• Facial disfigurement
• Internal bleeding
• Broken ribs
• Broken limbs
• Amputated limbs
• Spinal injuries
And others. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario is the death of the rider. Because a motorcycle rider has no seatbelt or other means of attachment to a motorcycle, a collision of any sort tends to make the rider eject from the motorcycle itself, unless the crash pins the rider to the cycle, such as if a rider is caught between a vehicle and a freeway barrier.
The majority of motorcycle accidents tend to occur between motorcyclists and other vehicles. If you’ve been injured on a motorcycle through another driver’s negligence, talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Find out how to get the compensation you’re owed from the responsible parties.