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There is nothing like cruising on a motorcycle. It is exhilarating. It gets your blood pumping, gives you a sense of freedom and takes away tension and stress. But that fun road trip can quickly turn dangerous. Motorcyclists risk more serious injuries compared to those driving closed vehicles. These tips will help you raise your motorcycle safety awareness.
According to the NHTSA, in 2021, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed — 14% of all traffic fatalities. NHTSA data show that this is the highest number of motorcyclists killed since at least 1975.
When in an accident, motorcyclists can suffer a range of injuries from the less serious, such as lacerations and abrasions, to broken bones and internal damage and even permanent disfigurement and disabilities.
Road Rash, one of the most common injuries, occurs when the rider’s skin is dragged along the surface of the road causing painful burns. Ranging from mild to serious, road rash burns can lead to infections, surface nerve damage, and leave permanent scarring.
Biker’s Arm injuries occur when you put your arms down to break a fall or brace for impact.
Lower extremity injuries involve the feet and legs
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries can leave the rider partially or permanently paralyzed.
Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries, can occur whether wearing a helmet or not, but not wearing a helmet puts the rider at greater risk of incurring this type of injury.
Using the right motorcycle safety gear can help mitigate the severity of injuries should you have an accident.
In an accident you may be inclined to fall on the hands or arms to brace for the fall. Protective gear can protect your skin and upper body from the injuries sustained by asphalt, gravel and hot exhaust pipes.
Proper helmets and eye protection can reduce the chance of head and brain injuries. Although wearing a helmet cannot eliminate all the risks, it is the best way to protect your head.
The best protective measures against road rash and other types of burns include wearing a combination of protective clothing such as motorcycle jeans, kneepads, gloves and a leather jacket.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published May 7, 2020. It was reviewed on May 2, 2023, and updated for content and accuracy.