Lower Extremity Injuries More Common in Non-Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

There are over four million registered motorcycles in the U.S. Sounds like a huge number, right? In fact, motorcycle riders only make up about two percent of all registered vehicles in the nation but account for approximately five percent of all highway fatalities every year.

Most motorcycle crashes in Southern California involve a car, as the driver of the vehicle most likely doesn’t see the motorcycle or fails tot yield to the biker. Whatever the case, because a motorcycle is smaller than a vehicle and lacks doors or any other metal protecting a biker from the force of the impact, motorcycle drivers tend to be seriously injured or die as a result of a crash.

Reports have shown that wearing the appropriate gear, such as properly fitting DOT approved motorcycle helmets and safety garments, can help lower ‘ injuries substantially. However, even wearing the appropriate gear in a severe crash can’t prevent a motorcyclist from getting injured or killed.

The most injured parts of a motorcyclist’s body are the head, arms, and legs.

According to the data collected in 2008 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), lower extremity injuries remain the most common, non-fatal injuries affecting motorcyclists treated in level I and II emergency trauma centers. Even though upper extremity injuries, such as head injuries, chest injuries, and abdominal injuries are more severe, they are less common in motorcycle crashes when compared to lower extremity injuries.

The lower extremity injuries occur to the ankle, foot, leg, knee, hip, thigh, and pelvis, and continue to be the most commonly sustained injuries for motorcyclists. In fact, findings show that bone fractures are the most common type of lower extremity injury affecting motorcycle operators treated in trauma centers. Other common lower extremity injuries include ankle injuries.

The fact that leg and ankle injuries are often the most common types of lower extremity damage that a motorcyclist suffers is probably due to the proximity of a rider’s feet to the ground. Both ankle and leg injuries can take months of rehabilitation and physical therapy to return to normal. These statistics reflect non-fatal injuries as well as the amount of upper extremity injuries as compared to lower extremity injuries. They don’t reflect the fatality rate of motorcycle crashes.

Sadly, the statistics show that over 80% of motorcycle crashes in Orange County and throughout the nation result in some type of injury or death to the motorcyclist. If you have been injured in a Southern California motorcycle crash or lost a family member as a result of a fatal motorcycle accident, then you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney to find out if you have a legal case.

Call a knowledgeable Orange County motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Office of John P. Burns today for a free consultation. Attorney John Burns is an experienced personal injury attorney who also authored a book, 9 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Vehicle Accident Case. Get your free copy by visiting our website or calling us at (877) 320-1338.


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