Along with Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio, Texas reports some of the most motorcycle accidents in the country. In fact, in 2016, 496 motorcyclists and their passengers in Texas were killed in collisions, while another 2008 bikers and their passengers suffered debilitating injuries due to crashes. There were, of course, thousands more who endured less serious injuries in minor motorcycle crashes.
Why do so many Texas riders get injured or killed? Theories abound, including the lack of a universal helmet law in Texas. However, recent statistics show that in 2016, almost half of those killed and more than half of those injured in motorcycle crashes were, in fact, wearing helmets. The reality might simply be that motorcyclists and their passengers are more exposed and vulnerable in an accident than motorists in cars or trucks.
Different Kinds of Motorcycle Crashes, All Can Be Deadly
The following are the most common types of motorcycle crashes in Texas:
- Collision with a fixed object such as a road sign or a tree
- Crash with a vehicle making a left turn
- Rear-end collisions
These accidents result in some of the most common injuries experienced by motorcyclists and their passengers, injuries that can range from minor to fatal. Below are some of the injuries often associated with motorcycle crashes:
- Head injury. This is the most common motorcycle crash injury and includes everything from a concussion to traumatic brain injury.
- Neck injury. This type of injury is also common and can lead to long-term disabling injuries such as paralysis, and even death.
- Road rash. Road rash occurs when the rider is thrown from the motorcycle and rubs exposed skin or minimally covered skin across pavement at a high rate of speed. The result can be a massive injury to the skin.
- Biker’s arm. Because a motorcyclist lacks the enclosed space that a vehicle provides, they will often be thrown off the bike during a collision. Since placing one’s arm in front of one’s body is instinctive during an accident, motorcyclists will often sustain a “biker’s arm injury” that can result in permanent nerve damage to the arm and upper body.
- Leg injury. These injuries can include shattered or broken bones in the knees, legs and feet.
Protecting Yourself from All Impacts of a Motorcycle Injury
Headgear alone won’t guarantee you an injury-free ride. However, there are several precautions you can take as a motorcyclist to try to mitigate the severity of a crash and potential injuries:
- A quality helmet to protect your head and neck
- Protective clothing such as kneepads, gloves and leather jackets
- Elbow pads to protect your arms
- Motorcycle boots
If you are hurt in a motorcycle crash in Texas, there are some important things you should do right away, actions that can help you physically but also legally:
- Call 9-1-1. Even if you feel that your injuries are minor, call 9-1-1 and have medical personnel perform a professional assessment. Concussions and neck injuries are not always apparent immediately after a collision.
- Cooperate with police. If you are able, cooperate with police so that they can complete a thorough and unbiased accident report.
- Contact an attorney. Before speaking with insurance companies or adjusters, always seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. They will act on your behalf and in your best interest with the other party or parties, their attorneys and insurance representatives.
There Are Laws on Your Side; Protect Yourself
As a motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger, you can be especially vulnerable to injury as the result of a crash. That reality doesn’t make the crash or your injuries your fault. You have a right to the roads, and you have rights should another driver’s negligence cause you harm If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Ted B. Lyon & Associates for a free consultation. Call us today at 800-TedLyon or email us to find out more.