Mar 28, 2017

A Brush with Reality

As part of an article I’m writing on safety training, I landed on Wikipedia’s page on “motorcycle safety.” Here is a grim reminder of what we regularly face experiencing in a motorcycle crash:

Consequences of accidents:

Once the collision has occurred, or the rider has lost control through some other mishap, several common types of injury occur when the bike falls:

  • Collision with less forgiving protective barriers or roadside "furniture" (lampposts, signs, fences, etc...). Note that when one falls off a motorcycle in the middle of a curve, lamps and signs become impossible to negotiate around.
  • Concussion and brain damage, as the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects. Riders wearing an approved helmet reduce the risk of death by 37 percent.
  • Breakage of joints (elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and wrists), fingers, spine and neck, for the same reason. The most common breakages are the shoulder and the pelvis.
  • Soft tissue (skin and muscle) damage (road rash) as the body slides across the surface. This can be prevented entirely with the proper use of motorcycle-specific protective apparel such as a leather jacket or reinforced denim and textile pants.
  • There is also a condition known as biker's arm, where the nerves in the upper arm are damaged during the fall, causing a permanent paralysis of arm movement.
  • Facial disfigurement, if in the absence of a full-face helmet, the unprotected face slides across the ground or smashes into an object. Thirty-five percent of all crashes show major impact on the chin-bar area.

Honestly, the whole Wikipedia section is worth reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety

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