Freedom Hurts: Permanent Injury Risks for Motorcyclists
This year is the year. You’re finally going to reward your hard work with buying yourself a motorcycle for Christmas—much to the dismay of your wife and teenage daughters. Although your children believe this decision to be part of a midlife crisis, your wife just thinks you have a death wish. However, you just want to feel free while coasting down the highway without being stuck in a metal box.
Unfortunately, your better half can’t relate. Ever since you started bringing home bike catalogs she has been vehemently searching the internet for motorcycle safety. She has even been sneaking photos of road rashes and accident reports into your briefcase. When you try to explain that you’re aware of the risks, she starts spouting accident statistics and stories she found online of people who have regretted riding.
Knowing the risks, and still wanting to own a motorcycle, should be enough for her to realize that you’ll be safe. Besides, if by chance you are in an accident, a few scrapes aren’t a big deal in comparison to the joy of riding. Seriously, it’s not like a few rides a year is going to ruin your life, right?
Permanent Injuries Suffered by Motorcyclists
The term “donor cycles” is widely used throughout emergency rooms to describe the dangerous and often fatal outcomes of riding a motorcycle. This unfortunate term originated as a result of the tragic number of severe injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents.
According to a government survey taken from the Injury Prevention and Control faction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcyclists are 15 times more likely than automobile drivers to be involved in an accident. Furthermore, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to suffer a permanent injury. The CDC states that the exposed design of motorcycles increase the risk of permanent injury to the riders by nearly 300 percent over regular motorists. They contribute these injuries to being a result of being thrown, crushed, dragged, and battered when involved in an accident.
If you’re lucky enough to survive a motorcycle collision, broken bones and road rash aren’t the only injuries you need to worry about. In fact a few painful breaks is nothing compared to the potential permanent damage you may wind up suffering for the rest of your life. These injuries include:
- Eye damage. Your eyes—if not protected—can become scraped, impaled, crushed, or even gouged out by flying debris. Not only can this lead to permanent blinding, it can also cause infections and chronic pain.
- Scarring. Severe road rash can permanently disfigure your skin and cause unsightly scarring over large areas of your body.
- Brain damage. Head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, especially when helmets aren’t worn. Although minor damage such as concussions are likely, swelling, bleeding, and impact force can lead to permanent cognitive loss and brain damage.
- Paralysis. Since there is very little protection surrounding a motorcycle, your spine can easily become smashed, crushed, severed, twisted, or broken in a collision. Even minor spinal damage can cause partial paralysis, but severe damage could wind up completing paralyzing your entire body.
- Death. Over 1,000 motorcyclists a year are mortally wounded during accidents, while another 4,000 wind up succumbing to their injuries within a week after their accidents.
Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones From a Bleak Future
Before making the decision to join the motorcycle community, make sure that you’re well aware of your risks and are prepared for potential outcomes. Drive carefully and defensively to avoid accidents, and make sure you seek medical attention immediately if you’re injured. Remember that when you rev up your engine, you’re putting your future and your family’s future at stake—be responsible!
You can also help protect your fellow bikers by clicking the media icons to share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. It’ll only take a second, but you may wind up giving a loved one the information he needs to secure his entire future. Please, share now.