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The Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcycle on mountain roads

In the picturesque settings of Virginia, motorcycling offers not just a mode of transportation but an exhilarating way to explore the scenic beauty. Whether it’s scenic routes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the views of the Colonial Parkway, the gorgeous trips down US 460, or the skyline views down the coast, there’s plenty to enjoy with a summer motorcycle trip.

However, the thrill of the ride comes with its share of risks. According to the National Safety Council, motorcycles accounted for 14% of vehicle fatalities in 2021 (approximately 5,932 deaths), despite only accounting for 3% of all motor vehicles. The most dangerous time for Virginia motorcyclists starts now, with half of all accidents occurring from May to August.

In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, let’s take a look at the most common motorcycle injuries and the steps to take if an injury occurs.

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Head Injuries

Despite advancements in helmet technology, head injuries remain among the most severe consequences of motorcycle accidents. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can range from mild concussions to more severe conditions that may result in long-term cognitive issues or even death.

Road Rash

When a rider is thrown from their motorcycle and slides across the pavement, the resulting abrasion, known as road rash, can vary from superficial scrapes to deep wounds requiring surgical intervention.

Lower Extremity Injuries

Legs and feet are particularly vulnerable in motorcycle accidents. Fractures, sprains, and even amputations are not uncommon, affecting a rider's mobility and quality of life.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The impact of a motorcycle crash can cause damage to the spinal cord, potentially leading to partial or complete paralysis. These injuries are life-altering and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Internal Injuries

The force exerted during a collision can lead to internal injuries, including organ damage and internal bleeding. Such injuries might not be immediately apparent but are incredibly serious.

Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Injuries

To minimize the risk of these common injuries, consider the following safety measures:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet, along with protective clothing such as jackets, pants, gloves, and boots designed to minimize injuries during a crash.
  • Be Visible: Wear reflective clothing and use lights to increase your visibility to other road users, especially at night.
  • Ride Defensively: Assume that other drivers may not see you. Maintain a safe distance, avoid blind spots, and be prepared to react to others' actions.
  • Obey Traffic Laws: Speeding and reckless maneuvers significantly increase the risk of accidents. Adhere to speed limits and traffic signals.
  • Stay Sober: Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which impair judgment and reaction times.
  • Take a Motorcycle Safety Course: Even experienced riders can benefit from courses that offer advanced riding techniques and defensive driving strategies.

What to Do If You're Injured

If you're involved in a motorcycle accident in Norfolk or Roanoke, Virginia, taking the right steps can protect your health and legal rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is paramount. Even if injuries seem minor, hidden complications can arise. Immediate medical evaluation is crucial.
  • Report the Accident: Notify the police so there's an official accident report, which can be vital for insurance and legal purposes.
  • Document Everything: Take photos of the scene, your injuries, and all damages. Collect contact information from witnesses.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Attorney: Motorcycle accidents can result in complex legal and insurance challenges. An experienced attorney can navigate these complexities, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Norfolk and Roanoke, VA

At Kalfus & Nachman PC, we are dedicated to supporting injured motorcyclists. We understand the unique challenges you face and are committed to advocating for your rights. Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences, so we will fight to hold wrongdoers accountable and get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love had been injured in Roanoke, Norfolk, Newport News, and the surrounding areas, contact us at (855) 880-8163 for a free consultation.
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