5 Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

May 04, 2016

misc image

Motorcycle riding is a beloved pastime by many motor enthusiasts in the United States.

Motorcycle riding is a beloved pastime by many motor enthusiasts in the United States. Over 149,000 motorcycles are registered in the state of New Jersey. They are far outnumbered by the over 3 million registered cars on the roads, making riding a motorcycle the riskiest method of transportation. Due to the nature of motorcycle riding, motorcyclists are easily the most vulnerable group of persons on the roadways at any given moment. In fact, a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to die than a passenger in a car from a roadway accident. The statistics are striking. The accidents occur every day in a variety of ways, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths each year.

80% of all motorcycle accidents result in some type of injury, and over half of all motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles occur at intersections. Most of the time this happens because the driver does not notice the motorcycle he is sharing the road with. Over two-thirds of motorcycle crashes that do not involve other cars are because of excessive speeding. More than 40% of single vehicle motorcycle fatalities, or accidents in which the motorcycle was the only vehicle involved and resulted in one or more fatalities, occur at turns and corners. Not only is important to practice riding a motorcycle cautiously before performing routine maneuvers at unsafe speeds, it is important to be a defensive rider and assume that cars can’t see you when you are on a bike.

Auto accidents involving motorcycles are a major contributor to the high rate of injuries and fatalities for motorcyclists on the roadways, highlighting the need for both drivers and riders to exercise caution and safety while sharing the roads.

Regardless of safety equipment, the majority of motorcycle accidents result in all kinds of injuries, from mild to severe. We have compiled a list of the top 5 most common motorcycle injuries.


During motorcycle injuries, it is not uncommon to sustain injuries to your lower extremities including your knees, calves, ankles, and feet. Most of these injuries are not fatal, however without proper care they can turn into injuries that are disabling long-term.

Road Rash

Road rash is probably the first injury that comes to mind when we think of motorcycle accident injuries because of the nature of the rider sliding across the pavement after being thrust from his motorcycle. It is much more severe than a simple scrape or bruise as the force with which you scrape the pavement causes multiple layers of your skin to be peeled away possibly exposing muscles underneath. Because there are no seatbelts, a cyclist can easily fly over the handlebars upon an impact and by the laws of physics, what goes up must come down. In this scenario it is extremely important to wear protective gear like a leather riding jacket, riding pants, riding boots and gloves.


Biker’s Arm is a condition that happens when a motorcyclist is thrown off the bike immediately upon impact. In a regular car, most passengers wear their seatbelts for protection. When they get hit, they travel in the direction of the impact, but are encased in their seatbelt and car to protect from the outside environment. A motorcycle does not have such protections. Because of the human instinct to cradle oneself before a fall to minimize impact, the arms are affected by the severity of the impact leading to damage to the bones and nerves in the hands and arms. This can result in permanent nerve damage in the arms and upper body.

Muscle Damage

When you ride a motorcycle, there is nothing separating you from the environment of a busy street. Muscle damage can occur anywhere in your body and if it becomes permanent it leads to paralysis, a condition you cannot undo. To protect yourself wear a helmet, ear plugs, and layers of sturdy clothing. A leather jacket designed for motorcycle riding is especially important to protecting the layers of skin underneath. There are also knee and elbow pads available to wear underneath.

Head and Neck

Head and neck injuries such as concussions or fractures of the skull are by far the most common injuries sparked by motorcycle accidents. Your head holds your brain which is the most powerful organ in all your body, and also the heaviest. It must be protected at all times when riding a motorcycle as helmets drastically reduce the severity of any injuries acquired.

Head and neck injuries such as concussions or fractures of the skull are by far the most common injuries sparked by motorcycle accidents. If you experience neck pain after a motorcycle accident, it's important to seek medical attention immediately to ensure there is no underlying damage to the spine. Immediately following a vehicular accident, whether in a car or on a motorcycle, your body is in shock causing you to feel like you are perfectly fine physically. Don’t listen to your body at this time; get yourself checked into a hospital right away to make sure you didn’t sustain any serious injuries. Many serious injuries are not discovered until days or weeks later because of this period of shock. If you feel chronic pain as the result of a motorcycle accident injury you can find help at one of our New Jersey Pain clinics. Book an appointment today.