Passenger vehicles in 2020 are safer than they have ever been, with advanced safety features like crumple zones, side-curtain airbags, and blind-spot detectors. At best, these types of technologies can completely prevent accidents, and, even at worst, they can at least lessen the likelihood of the driver or passengers suffering severe injuries in an accident. Motorcycles, by comparison, offer none of these safety features, and this lack of protection puts motorcyclists at greater risk of suffering certain types of injuries in accidents.
Leg and Feet Injuries
The most common types of injuries motorcyclists face, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are leg and feet injuries, which made up about 30% of all non-fatal injuries to motorcyclists between the years 2001 and 2008. There are several theories as to why this is the case. One explanation is that, unlike helmets for the head, safety gear for the legs and feet are much less common and riders are less likely to take advantage of existing solutions. Alternatively, the legs and feet are more likely to suffer injury when a motorcycle crashes into another vehicle or a stationary object and they become pinned between the motorcycle and the object that the motorcycle struck. It could also be due to the fact that motorcycles tend to fall over in crashes, which can crush a rider’s feet and legs beneath it.
As is to be expected in motorcycle crashes, head injuries are very common and, depending upon the circumstances of the accident, can be severe and even life-threatening. This is largely due to inconsistent helmet use among riders, as well as state-level variations in helmet laws. When a helmet is the only layer of protection between a rider’s head and the pavement, choosing not to wear one can often make the difference between life and death. According to the CDC, about 22% of all motorcycle crash injuries between 2001 and 2008 occurred to the head and neck of the rider.
A third type of injury that motorcyclists suffer at greater rates than passenger vehicle occupants is burns. Unlike the occupants of passenger vehicles, there is little to no protection between a motorcyclist’s body and the natural elements. This exposure puts motorcyclists at a greater risk of suffering burns from several sources, including from the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe, accident fires, chemical leaks from vehicle batteries, and even “road rash”—a type of burn-like injury that occurs when the skin is exposed to the pavement at high speeds. Depending upon their severity, burn injuries can significantly affect the life of the sufferer.
Contact a Waldorf Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered any kind of injury in a motorcycle accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover. Contact the Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles by calling 301-705-5006 for a consultation. We have offices in Leonardtown and Laurel for your convenience.