Frequently Asked Questions - What is a Major Cause Of Death in Motorcycle Accidents?
The reason why motorcycle accidents are more fatal than a typical auto accident is because there is nothing surrounding you to protect you from impact unlike a vehicle where there are airbags to cushion your body from hitting the interior. Just the impact from your body being struck by a vehicle or object is enough to cause a fatality. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by both operator error, other drivers not paying enough attention, slippery roads and poor weather to name a few. Motorcycle accidents can happen anytime anywhere, so paying attention to your surroundings, wearing protective clothing and a helmet, not riding in inclement weather and not speeding or weaving in and out of traffic a some ways motorcycle riders can try to keep themselves as safe as possible.
The number one cause of death in a motorcycle accident is head trauma. This is the reason why wearing your crash helmet is extremely important. Your brain is very fragile and can easily sustain significant trauma. Wearing a helmet does not guarantee you won’t suffer a head trauma but it does greatly reduce the risk of any extreme or permanent damage. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you suffer any type of head trauma, you should immediately seek medical treatment. Even if you do not think the damage is severe enough to warrant medical treatment, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Brain damage is not always immediately apparent and can sometimes take days or weeks to develop. Ruling out any significant damage immediately can reduce the risk of any permanent injury or even death. Your doctor will have you undergo CT scans or MRIs to check the level of damage. If there is any type of damage that needs to be surgically operated on, you will most likely need to undergo that surgery immediately before it becomes inoperable which can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.
Head trauma can cause anywhere from a mild concussion to complete brain damage. A concussion is often the most common brain injury and it can easily be detected and treated. A concussion is caused from a blow to the head which causes blood vessels in the brain to stretch. Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion can be drowsiness, headaches, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting. Even though you can recover easily from a concussion, you can not recovery from brain damage. Brain damage caused from an accident is classified as a traumatic brain injury which causes the brain to bounce around inside the skull damaging the brain. If you do suffer from a traumatic brain injury, you may slip into a coma. If you do slip into a coma which lasts for weeks, the treating physician will discuss the prognosis with your next of kin who will have to decide whether or not to keep you in that state or remove you from life support. If you are kept on life support, chances are you may never come out of your coma or if you do, there is an extremely high risk that you will have suffered severe brain damage and can remain in a vegetative state for the rest of your life. Most people do not recover from a severe brain injury which can unfortunately lead to death.
Another cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents are chest and abdominal injuries. Specialized clothing can be worn while riding a motorcycle which has been designed to protect your body from impact from an accident. While this does not always protect you or save your life in this situation, it can help reduce the risk of serious injury or death. Unfortunately, this clothing can be very expensive, so a lot of motorcycle riders forego the clothing in order to save money. Chest injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can include internal bleeding or damage to your organs or heart. Broken ribs are a very common injury in a motorcycle accident. The rib cage protects your internal organs but if the ribs are broken, there is a strong chance that it can puncture one of your organs or a blood vessel which can lead to death. A torn aorta is also a very common motorcycle accident injury which can be caused by a broken rib puncturing or severing the aorta. If this happens, emergency surgery is always required to repair the damage but if the damage is not repaired right away, it will most definitely lead to death.
A collapsed lung can also be fatal if not repaired immediately. The lung can be punctured by a broken rib which causes the lung to deflate and not be able to take in any air. If ventilation is not provided, it is extremely difficult to breathe and can cause death after a very short period of time. If caught in time, a collapsed lung can be operated on surgically and your life can be spared; however a collapsed lung can lead to further complications such as respiratory failure or pneumonia which can also be life threatening. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which causes inflammation and fluid in the lungs, making it extremely hard to breathe. Pneumonia can be treated but it is contagious so if you develop pneumonia, you should always stay away from people until you are fully healed. A chest x-ray or blood test can identify if you have pneumonia and the symptoms can include coughing, headaches, chills, fever, shortness of breath and chest pain.
You are always taking a risk by riding a motorcycle and you can only do so much to protect yourself. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should always be checked out immediately by a medical professional, even if it is just to rule out any internal damage as some symptoms do not show up right away and can take days or weeks to develop. Another good step in protecting yourself is hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who knows your rights and who will make sure you’re getting the right medical treatment for your injuries.