Motorcycle Riding Spells Freedom
Most motorcyclists ride for pleasure. It is exhilarating and freeing to take a ride on the open road. The Bay Area's mild climate, beautiful scenery, and unique roadways truly are a rider's paradise. Whether you're cruising on Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, or taking in the breathtaking forested mountains between Palo Alto and Soquel, nothing compares to the freedom of riding.
Others ride their motorcycles to commute. Motorcycles are much easier on the road than cars, use less gas than most economy cars and free up more lane space for others on the road to get where they're going. Motorcyclists may feel they're not really on their way to a destination, but that the ride itself is the destination. Unfortunately, sometimes a motorcycle ride results in life-threatening or life ending consequences.
Motorcyclists Can Suffer More Severe Injuries Than Those Inside A 4-Wheel Or More Vehicle
Motorcyclists can have a higher risk of injuries because they're out in the open without the protection that a four-wheeled or more vehicle gives its driver and occupants. Cars have seatbelts, crumple zones, and airbags - all things that bikes don't have. So, when a motorcycle accident happens, a motorcycle rider can suffer really bad injuries and even death.
What Are Some Common Injuries Suffered In A Motorcycle Accident?
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Infection after an accident
- Internal injuries (organ damage)
- Knee injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Neck injuries
- Senses: accident-related loss of smell or taste
- Silent injuries
- Wrongful Death
Motorcyclists Are Uniquely Susceptible To These Four Types Of Serious Personal Injuries:
Burns From Accident Fires
The force of a motorcycle crash can spark a leak on the motorcycle's gas tank, resulting in an explosion or fire. When this happens, a motorcycle rider may already lost consciousness. Other times, their bike has them pinned. These riders are unable to escape the flames caused by an accidental motorcycle engine fire.
A burn does not require an actual fire. Motorcycles lack the protection of a 4 or more wheeled vehicle. So, riders are especially vulnerable to getting burned by chemicals. Battery acid or gas can burn a rider, especially if the rider gets pinned by the bike and/or is rendered unable to escape the danger. Blindness can result if battery acid or gas gets into a motorcycle rider's eyes.
Engine and Exhaust Pipe Burns
For most bikes, a motorcycle's normal operational engine temperature range is between 155 degrees F and 220 degrees F. When the bike is running, a bike's exhaust pipe temperature range can be between 200 degrees F and 450 degrees F. If a motorcycle rider gets ejected from their motorcycle during a crash, their body may come into contact with the bike's very hot engine, exhaust pipes, and other parts, causing serious burns.
"Road Rash" (Friction Burns)
When a rider gets dragged across the asphalt, the least that can happen is road rash. Road rash can cause a rider to lose layers of protective skin. Some riders even require skin grafts.
Degloving is an injury of the hand. Just like it sounds, the hand gets degloved. But the "glove" here is the actual skin of the rider's hand. Degloving injuries require intricate and specialized hand surgery, and can leave a biker's hand mutilated for life.
Ejection from the motorcycle.
#4 BIKER'S ARM
After a motorcyclist is ejected from a motorcycle, they sometimes get what's called "biker's arm". Biker's arm happens when an accident causes a 400 pound or so motorcycle to land on the rider's arm, or both arms, or when the rider tries to brace for an impact using their arms. In either case, the impact to the rider's arm(s) can cause nerve damage, broken bones, and more.
Road rage from motorists who get angry at lane splitting.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane sharing is also called lane splitting, “stripe riding” or “whitelining.” Although it is legal in California, it can be very dangerous. "Whitelining" tends to happen during commute time. Effective January 1, 2017, California Vehicle Code section 21658.1 became law. It defines lane splitting as “driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane including on both divided and undivided streets, roads and highways.”
What Is Motorcycle Rider Bias?
Even though lane splitting is perfectly legal in California, some people assume that a motorcyclist is somehow to blame for an accident that happens during lane splitting. Also, the public may think just because riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, the motorcycle rider must have been at fault for any accident. This can make for quite an uphill battle when fighting your motorcycle injury case, even if you were not at fault for the accident. This is why it's best to have a good attorney fight your motorcycle accident case instead of trying to do it on your own.
What Should I Do After My Motorcycle Accident?
I recommend doing the very same things I wrote about here: what to do after a car accident. But there are two other things you should do if you get hit on your motorcycle:
Don't take off your protective gear
Taking off your helmet and other gear right after a motorcycle crash could make your injuries worse. You may not feel pain right now because you may be full of adrenaline. You may even be in shock. But, do not remove your protective gear yet. Keep your protective gear on until the ambulance arrives.
Immediately get to a place of safety if you're able to do so
If you can do so safely, remove yourself from traffic. Being injured in the roadway could lead to more serious injuries and even death. Without taking off your protective gear, try to get out of harm's way. If you're so hurt that you can't remove yourself from the lane of traffic, immediately call 911 after a motorcycle accident.
Do I Need An Attorney For My Motorcycle Accident Case?
If you or your loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, you need a good attorney to fight your case. Here are some ways that an attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident. If you hire me, I'll work on your behalf and fight for maximum payment on your motorcycle accident case.
I'm Renée Yvonne Gardner, the attorney at Gardner Law. I speak Spanish - hablo español. I fight motorcycle personal injury accident cases. I have experience with personal injury and wrongful death accident.