Most Common Motorcycle Injuries and How To Prevent Them

common motorcycle injuries

Even a seasoned motorcycle rider can experience a road accident. Riding carefully, observing traffic laws, and taking safety precautions is essential to reducing risk on the road and avoiding injury. Learn about common motorcycle injuries and what you can do to prevent them.

Motorcycle Accidents Are More Dangerous than Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the risk of death on the road is 30 times higher for motorcyclists than for people in passenger cars.

Motorcycles don’t offer the same protections as cars — such as seat belts, air bags, and a sturdy metal frame — making both injuries and death more likely in the event of an accident.

Injuries to the Lower Extremities

Research from the NHTSA found that motorcyclists most commonly suffer lower-extremity injuries. These include all types of injuries below the waist, ranging in severity from road rash and fractured bones to permanent inability to walk.

The frequency of lower-body injuries is due to the position of the legs and pelvis on the motorcycle, which makes them more vulnerable to impact.

Injuries to the Upper Extremities

Upper-extremity injuries — or injuries to the arms and hands — are the second most common motorcycle injuries, according to data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

A 2021 study published in the journal of the International Society of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology further found that broken bones in the hands and forearms were the most common upper-extremity traumas in motorcycle accidents.

Other Common Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcycle accidents can cause many other types of traumas. Common injury types include:

  • Head and neck injuries, especially whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spine and back injuries
  • Broken ribs
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Severe burns

The NHTSA reports that while lower-body injuries are more common, head and chest injuries tend to be more severe and potentially fatal.

Interestingly, motorcycle riders aged 40+ are more likely to sustain injuries above the waist than their younger counterparts. That’s because older people tend to ride larger and heavier bikes that provide more safe leg protection. Another reason is that bigger motorcycles are easier to overturn due to their sheer size. 

How To Ride Safely and Prevent Motorcycle Injuries

You can never predict every eventuality. However, there are things you can do to protect yourself and minimize risk on the road. Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind:

Never Take Your Helmet Off When Riding

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmet use can lower the risk of head injuries by a whopping 69%. Helmets also reduce motorcycle fatalities by 37%. 

So, with these figures in mind, be sure to always wear a helmet, regardless of local regulations.

Invest in (and Wear) Protective Gear

In addition to wearing a helmet, consider investing in high-quality gear such as:

  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Protective clothing
  • Eye protection like visors or goggles

Ride With Caution at All Times

Learn where the blind spots of other motorists are and don’t ride in them. Also, make sure to always leave ample room between you and the front vehicle and obey speed limits.

Put Safety First With Law Tigers

At Law Tigers, we know that even seasoned motorcyclists can experience trouble on the road. If you’re ever injured in an accident, call us at +1 (888) 863-7216 as soon as possible.

Our team will refer you to a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area. They will explain your options and advise whether you can seek compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.