Surviving a motorcycle accident is a roll of the dice you never want to take. Here are some preventative and response actions you can take to boost your odds.
In 2018, motorcycle ownership in the US went up to 8.02% from 6.94% back in 2014. That represents 1.5 million more motorcycle riders in the nation!
During the same year, motorcycle deaths also dipped by 5% from the previous year. This marks the second consecutive year of fewer motorcycle fatalities.
There are, however, many ways to raise a rider’s odds of surviving a motorcycle accident.
Ready to learn all about motorcycle accidents and how to get out of one alive? Then let’s dive right into it!
- Riding Helmetless Can Lead to Fatal Injuries
One of the key motorcycle accident facts you should know is that riding without a helmet could kill.
In fact, in US states without a helmet law, 72% of fatally-injured drivers died due to not wearing a helmet in 2018. That’s in contrast to the 26% of helmeted drivers who sustained fatal injuries.
- Wearing a Helmet Raises Your Odds of Surviving a Motorcycle Accident
A study also projected that from 2008 to 2020, as many as 3.4 million people could die due to motorcycle crashes. However, proper helmet use could prevent 1.4 million of these fatalities.
This shows how wearing a helmet can raise your chances of making it after a motorcycle accident. If you have one on and you get into a crash, it can lower your odds of dying by 37%. It can also reduce your brain injury risks by up to 69%.
- Rider’s Jackets Can Help Reduce Road Rash Severity
Road rash is among the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. It occurs when exposed skin rubs or scrapes against another object, such as the surface of the road.
Road rash can already occur due to minor accidents like trips that lead to falls. So, you can just imagine how much worse it could be if you add speed to the formula. That’s why in many crash cases, road rash involves the removal of several layers of the skin.
You can lower your risks of road rash and other crash injuries by wearing proper rider’s clothing. Motorcycle jackets designed for both safety and fashion can lower injury risks by 23%. Wearing a jacket can also reduce the need for hospitalization after a crash.
- Protective Motorcycle Gear Can Help Lower Crash Impact
Body armor can also help you reduce your odds of sustaining injuries in a motorcycle crash. Motorcycle gloves can also keep your hands and wrists from injury.
Boots designed for riders can protect your lower legs and feet from crash injuries too. Quality motorcycle pants will further safeguard your legs from injuries.
The fewer and less extensive your injuries are, the better your chances of surviving a crash.
- Don’t Slam On Your Front Brakes
Slamming on the front brake can lead to the motorcycle flipping over. This will likely throw you off the bike. Worse, the bike may fall on and trap you underneath.
If you’re about to crash, apply both brakes in a progressive manner. Of course, the priority is still the front brake, but you should also apply the rear brake at the same time. Doing so will even out the weight distribution on your bike.
- Steer Away From Obstructions
If you still can, maneuver your bike away from on-coming traffic or huge road obstructions. Steer your bike toward a direction that will cause the least amount of impact. If there’s a grassy area on the side, for instance, do your best to make that your crash site.
- Try Not to Let Go of Your Bike Right Away
Bailing as soon as you crash can force you to slide a long way. Letting go of your bike can also hurl you a long distance. You may also get thrown off high above the ground.
As much as possible, keep your hands and feet inside the bike during the crash. Let go of the vehicle only when you’re about to land on the ground again. Then, quickly roll over and away from the landing spot of the bike.
- Keep Your Face and Head Off the Ground
Keeping your face and head protected during a motorcycle crash is key to your survival. One way to do this is to slightly bend your elbows and tuck them toward your chest. Place your hands over your head with your forearms covering your face.
- Seek Medical Help As Soon As You Can
High-impact crashes can cause temporary or permanent paralysis. If you can’t feel any sensation in any part of your body after a crash, dial 911 right away. Do the same if the accident causes visible and severe injuries.
Even if the crash doesn’t cause severe pain or paralysis, head to the nearest emergency room as soon as you can. Not all injuries cause visible or tangible symptoms after all. You may not feel the effects of internal injuries right away, but you may already be bleeding inside.
- See a Doctor Specializing in Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One study found that 26% of car crash patients reported moderate to severe pain a year after the accident. In another study, a combined 77% of auto crash patients had a herniated disc.
These health conditions are just as common in motorcycle crash victims. Riders may even have it worse, considering that nothing will cushion their backs in a crash.
Surviving a motorcycle accident shouldn’t only mean keeping yourself alive. Survival should also be about reducing your risks of long-term pain and suffering.
This is why it’s vital to see a medical specialist as soon as you can following a motorcycle accident. This can be chiropractic care, physiotherapy, or orthopedic treatment.
Getting yourself checked following a motorcycle accident can reveal such hidden injuries. Prompt and proper diagnosis ensures you undergo the correct treatment. The sooner you get treated, the higher your chances of surviving the after-effects of a crash.
Increase Your Odds of Surviving a Motorcycle Crash
Your main goal should always be to ride safely to avoid motorcycle crashes in the first place. Slow down, always make yourself visible, and never occupy a motorist’s blind spot. All these can help you stay out of motorcycle crashes.
As prudent a rider as you are though, you may still get into a crash due to other motorists. That’s why it’s best to master the techniques of surviving a motorcycle accident. The more educated a rider you are, the higher your chances of survival.
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