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Most Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries

What are the most common motorcycle crash injuries? Many people are seriously injured in motorcycle accidents each year. Motorcycle riders are at a much greater risk of suffering injuries when they are involved in collisions than are the more-protected occupants of other types of vehicles. Because of the danger to motorcyclists, many wear safety gear, including helmets, boots, gloves and jackets. While safety gear does provide some level of protection, injuries still may occur. Several studies have been conducted that provide information about the types, locations and severity of the most common types of motorcycle crash injuries, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the World Health Organization and the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. As California motorcycle accident attorneys, we see the following most commonly:

  1. Road Rash: Road rash is the most common motorcycle accident injury. It is a result of a rider sliding across the pavement after being thrown from the motorcycle. The friction caused by the pavement tears away the skin, leaving abrasions and lacerations.
  2. Broken Bones: Motorcycle accidents often involve high speeds, so broken bones are common injuries resulting from a crash. Common fractures include leg, arm, and shoulder injuries.
  3. Head Injuries: Head injuries are the most serious type of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. These can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries.
  4. Spinal Injuries: The force of the impact during a motorcycle accident can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis.
  5. Internal Injuries: Internal injuries are difficult to diagnose and can be life-threatening. Common internal injuries include lacerations of the liver, spleen, and kidneys.

The CDC Study of Non-Fatal Motorcycle Injuries

The CDC reviewed the data for 1,222,000 people who had to go to the hospital for the treatment of non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries from 2001 to 2008. The most common location of injuries was on the feet or legs of riders, accounting for 30 percent. Injuries to the neck and head accounted for 22 percent. Next most common were injuries to the chest, back or shoulders followed by injuries to the hands and arms. Injuries to the pelvis and hips rounded out the most common locations of non-fatal motorcycle injuries.

The AAAM Study: Age of Rider and Helmet use

The AAAM looked at injuries in relation to helmet use as well as the age of the rider. The researchers reviewed police reports and hospital discharge reports for all motorcycle riders who were injured between 1998 and 2002 in the state of Maryland. Injuries were ranked in severity for nine different body locations. People who were wearing helmets had the lowest numbers of severe injuries while having the highest numbers of less-severe injuries. Like the CDC, the AAAM found that the greatest number of injuries happened to the legs and feet of riders.

The AAAM study showed that riders under the age of 40 were more likely to suffer from severe head injuries when they were not wearing helmets. For those over age 40, the opposite was true. The most common type of severe injury resulting in riders dying at the hospital were injuries to the thorax. This was followed by injuries to the head and injuries to the abdomen. Overall, the study did not find that helmet use influenced the data significantly.

The WHO Study and the Nature of the Injuries

WHO looked at the specific types of injuries for riders in Pakistan who sought treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. People who only suffered soft tissue injuries without fractures were excluded, as were those who suffered head injuries that required neurosurgical intervention. Injuries to the legs and feet were again the most common injury locations. For the legs, the most commonly broken bones were the tibia and fibula bones in the lower legs, followed by fractures to the femur. The most common upper body fractures were the radius and ulna bones of the lower arms followed by the humerus bones of the upper arms. The bone with the greatest risk for fractures overall were the tibia bones of the lower legs, making WHO recommend that riders consider lower-leg protection while they are riding.

The NHTSA Study and Fatal Injuries

The NHTSA provided information it obtained from death certificates for 8,539 motorcyclists who died in motorcycle accidents from 2000 to 2002. For those who wore helmets, 57 percent of the people who died suffered injuries to multiple areas of their bodies. 44 percent of people who were not wearing helmets died after suffering injuries to multiple locations. 19 percent of helmeted riders died after suffering head injuries while 36 percent of unhelmeted riders suffered head injuries. Overall, 51 percent of fatalities involved injuries in multiple body locations and 27 percent involved head injuries. In fatal crashes in which riders only received one injury, head injuries were the ones that were most commonly fatal.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or your loved one have suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you will likely need to get legal help in order to recover the fair compensation amount you deserve for your losses. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney today to learn about your rights.

Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.