photo of a white motorcycle helmet laying on a paved road after an accident

What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents occur for different reasons, with varying degrees of impact. Some have more severe adverse effects than others. Sometimes, the negligence of motorists causes motorcycle accidents, and other times the fault is with the motorcyclists. Motorcycle accidents often cause property damage, physical injuries, or death. 

Learn about the common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents and the preventive measures you can take to avoid or minimize them.

What Injuries Are Sustained by Motorcyclists?

Motorcycle riders can sustain different types of injuries in an accident. Here are some of them:

Leg Injury 

Many motorcyclists sustain leg and foot injuries in motorcycle accidents. These injuries may cause severe damage and disability. However, you can prevent leg injury by using protective pants, boots, and a helmet to protect yourself while riding. 

Internal injuries 

Another injury that riders experience is internal injuries. Internal injuries are dangerous because they are almost not noticeable, but the outcome can be damaging. Because of that, you should seek medical attention immediately after any crash.

Road Rash 

Road rash is an accident where motorcyclists fall off their vehicles and scratch their bodies against the lane. Such accidents can result in severe skin damage, nerve damage, and infections. You can prevent road rash by wearing defensive clothes that protect your skin from scraping in case of a fall.


Riders can suffer from burns if their motorcycles’ gas spills off during a crash. Burn injuries from such occurrences are usually severe and can have permanent effects.

Spinal injuries 

Another severe motorcycle accident injury is spinal cord injury, which can be brutal or mild. Often, spinal injuries result in death, paralysis, and nerve damage. Most spinal injuries caused by motorcycle accidents occur in the thoracic spine, but they also affect different parts of the spine.

Head Injury 

Head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. They can have devastating effects, such as traumatic brain injury, concussions, and death. You can safeguard yourself against a head injury by wearing a helmet while driving.

Muscle Damage 

Motorcyclists may experience muscle damage anywhere on the body during an accident. You can prevent permanent muscle damage by using protective gear when riding.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Head Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents?

Head injuries are a common injury in motorcycle crashes, and they may have long-term implications. Below are some probable effects of head injuries occurring in motorcycle accidents:

  • Paralysis: In some accident cases, head injuries may result in paralysis. The paralysis can be partial or complete.
  • Cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments: Head injuries may cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments, such as disorientation, unusual confusion, and cognitive defects.
  • Memory loss: Individuals who sustain head injuries may struggle with memory retrieval. The effect on their brain may also affect their ability to create new memories.
  • Speech disabilities: Head injuries can lead to damage in the language centers of the brain, which causes speech disabilities.

What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents occur for different reasons, including:


Many riders speed while they drive and claim it’s the fun way to drive. However, it can be dangerous and result in fatal injuries. Collisions that occur due to overspeeding generally cause fatal or catastrophic injuries.

Drunk Driving

For safe motorcycle driving, you should be focused and sober. This is because you need to pay vivid attention while you navigate the road on your bike. Consuming alcohol can affect your ability to focus, which can cause a motorcycle crash. In 2020, an estimated 41% of motorcyclist deaths due to single-vehicle crashes were caused by alcohol impairment. 

Lack of Licensing & Experience 

Sadly, some motorcycle drivers are inexperienced and don’t have a license to drive a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 36% of motorcyclists involved in serious crashes in 2020 drove without a valid motorcycle license. The lack of experience and license seems to make them more likely to be involved in an accident.

Left Turning Cars 

Some motorists misjudge riders’ speed while turning at intersections, or even fail to see them while making a turn. Many motorcycle accidents are the result of someone making a mistake at the intersection.

How Can You Prevent Motorcycle Accidents?

While motorcycle accidents are common, you can adopt these methods to prevent or at least minimize the impact of motorcycle crashes as you ride. 

Drive Protected

Wear protective materials like thick gloves, strong boots, and effective eye protection. Also, observe the weather to know when to add extra protection.

Make Yourself Visible

Some accidents occur because other road users do not see the rider early. But, you can prevent it by actively working to be seen while riding. Take deliberate measures like wearing shirts and painting your bike with bright colors. Ride in the lane you’re most likely to be seen by other vehicles. Also, always use your headlights whenever you’re riding at night.

Wear a Helmet 

Helmets are saviors for motorcyclists. They can save motorcyclists from death and injuries. Using a full-face helmet while riding reduces the chance of death and injury by a significant percentage. In fact, wearing a helmet while driving will reduce the chance of riders sustaining a head injury by sixty-nine percent. Furthermore, it may also prevent the case of deaths by 37 percent.

Stay Focused While Riding

Always be alert while riding your bike. Avoid wrong practices like texting while riding on your bike as you risk falling victim to a crash. Pay attention while driving to effectively navigate lane changes, potholes, and unwatchful vehicles.

Obey Traffic Laws 

Simple practices like obeying traffic laws can save you from accidents. Observing practices like adhering to speed limits and signaling before changing lanes is a big deal while riding.

Beware of Intersections

Accidents mostly occur at intersections and it can be due to motorists ignoring motorcyclists. So, you need to be extra careful while navigating intersections to avoid any form of accident.


PubMed: Prevalence of Motorcycle Accidents and Its Associated Factors Among Road Traffic Accident Patients in Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, 2019

PubMed: Spinal injuries in motorcycle crashes: patterns and outcomes

CDC: Motorcycle Safety

NHTSA: Traffic Safety Facts

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