According to motorcycle accident statistics collected in 2006, for every mile traveled, motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants. The majority of those deaths are the result of head or chest injuries.
Even more common, though, are leg injuries, which account for half of all motorcycle injuries, with bone fractures occurring more frequently than soft tissue damage.
Motorcyclists who ride without protective gear are susceptible to many other types of injuries as well. Bruises, sprains, joint dislocations, internal organ injuries, and spinal damage are all probable without gear.
One of the most common injuries that is most feared by motorcyclists is road rash, or severe abrasion of the skin.
The resulting injury to the skin is nearly identical to third-degree burns, and in some cases, may require skin grafts.
Depending on the severity of the injury, and the percentage of the body subjected to it, road rash can take years to heal.
Not surprisingly, the highest number of annual motorcycle accidents occur during the summer months, with that number being greatly reduced during the winter when more motorcyclists opt for enclosed vehicles.
Hospital costs for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can range from $21,000 for a single injury, to more than $50,000 for multiple injuries.
Most motorcyclists are fully covered by health insurance, while a few rely on Medicaid or Medicare.
But 20 percent of those involved in motorcycle accidents have no medical insurance and must pay all hospital costs out of pocket.
To avoid, or at least minimize injury when riding a motorcycle, wear the proper gear, no matter how hot it is outside:
> Helmet – In some states, it's mandatory, but even if it's not, a helmet can save your life. (Helmet Law)
> Long pants and long sleeved jacket – Ideally, your riding gear should be made of leather or some other abrasion-resistant material. At the very least, jeans and a jacket made from heavy denim.
> Boots – Motorcycle boots should be leather, and cover the ankles.
> Gloves – They should also be leather, and full gloves—not the kind that leave fingertips exposed.
> Goggles – If your helmet doesn't have an incorporated face shield, you still need to protect your eyes. Tinted face shields or goggles also provide some sun protection and can reduce glare.
Bachus & Schanker, LLC, protects the rights of Colorado residents injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, and accidents caused by drunk drivers in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Littleton, Boulder, and more.