The most common type of motorbike accident injury
is to the head – a closed head injury where upon impact there is a
violent movement of the head which causes the brain to move around in
the skull, causing damage upon impact together with stretching and
squeezing the brain tissue and blood vessels.
On average there are about 600 bikers a year killed on our (UK) roads
and 7000 serious injuries. Head injuries are the main cause of death and
serious injuries. A bike rider is 45 times more likely to be killed in a
road accident than a car driver.
Once the collision has occurred, or the rider has lost control
through some other mishap, several common types of injury occur when the
- Collision with less forgiving protective barriers or roadside
“furniture” (lampposts, signs, fences, etc…). Note that when one falls
off a motorcycle in the middle of a curve, lamps and signs become
impossible to negotiate around.
- Concussion and brain damage, as the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects. Riders wearing an approved helmet reduce the risk of death by 37 percent.
- Breakage of joints (elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and wrists),
fingers, spine and neck, for the same reason. The most common breakages
are the shoulder and the pelvis.
- Soft tissue (skin and muscle) damage (road rash)
as the body slides across the surface. This can be prevented entirely
with the proper use of motorcycle-specific protective apparel such as a
leather jacket or reinforced denim and textile pants.
- There is also a condition known as biker’s arm, where the nerves in
the upper arm are damaged during the fall, causing a permanent paralysis
of arm movement.
- Facial disfigurement, if in the absence of a full-face helmet, the
unprotected face slides across the ground or smashes into an object.
Thirty-five percent of all crashes show major impact on the chin-bar