Head injuries are one of the most common types of injuries, even if the rider is wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet definitely gives way better chances of survival after a motorcycle accident, however there is still a high risk of attaining a brain injury. The reason behind this is that during a crush, the brain crashes against the inside of the skull, resulting in a serious injury. Another type of brain injury is a rotation injury, because the helmets do not minimize this type of injury. Rotation of the head when crashing can cause serious damage to the structures of the brain.
In many cases, the diagnosis of brain injuries in motorcycle accidents is delayed or missed completely. This occurs, since the emergency room personnel primary focus on life threatening injuries. Mostly signs of brain bleed are looked for, but a thorough neurological examination is sometimes not carried out due to lack of time. Although some injuries might not be life threatening, they still can cause serious impairment. Some patients experience trouble learning new things, trouble reading or loss of memory. Often times these problems are not solvable, however, for many it is important to know that there is a problem, for both personal and legal reasons.
Shoulders and Elbows
Shoulder and elbow injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents. There are several reasons for these injuries. A very common occurrence is that the rider holds the handlebars when the accident takes place. The natural reflexes cause the rider to grip the handlebar and as the person is being thrown off the bike, the arms and shoulders are pulled from the bars with a lot of force. Besides this, many times the rider will hit the pavement arms and shoulders first. Another way of injuring arms and shoulders is when a car or the motorcycle itself hits the rider.
Usually the arm and shoulder injuries are multiple. The natural reflexes will often prompt the rider to extend arms to break the fall. With this movement, the force of the fall travels from palms, elbows to shoulders and the neck. A common type of injury after a motorcycle accident is the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. In this condition, the space under the clavicle and the first rib is narrowed and causes damage to the arteries, veins and nerves passing through it. This results in permanent pain in the arm. This syndrome is hard to diagnose and many patients suffer from pain for long periods of time without a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Groin injuries are an often occurrence in motorcycle accidents, however, many of the injured do not mention it due to embarrassment. It has been reported that 17% of all motorcycle accidents involve an injury to the groin. Most common way of attaining this injury is when the crotch hits the gas tank or the handle bars while being thrown from the motorcycle. Groin injuries can range from mild to very serious and sometimes even life threatening.
Leg, Ankle and Feet Injuries
The most common type of motorcycle accident injuries are the lower limb injuries. The range of injuries is wide and motorcyclists often face serious disability. Very often feet and ankles get crushed, and fractures are also often seen. The rider’s protective gear plays an important role in minimizing the risk of injury. This is also an important entity from the legal side of the matter, since insurance companies might refuse to pay for recovery if the motorcyclist did not wear any protective gear.
Most and Least Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the data of insurance claimants, the most common types of injuries are to the lower limbs. Fractured femur and tibia are very commonly seen. Besides lower limb injuries, head injuries are very common. There has also been an increase of head injury count over the years, but it is believed to be due to the improvement of the diagnostic testing methods.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the least commonly seen type of injury. This injury is also often undiagnosed and with time, can cause serious impairment.
Road rash is commonly seen injury in motorcycle accidents. It is the scraping of the skin that is exposed without any riding gear. In most cases this injury is not significant and only extends to the skin. However, it can also be dangerous and can go through skin to muscles, tendons and soft tissue. In this case, the recovery time is longer and the injury can leave a permanent scar. In some cases, the ability to move certain parts of the body can be impaired due to the scaring.