As a motorcyclist, you have a higher risk of injury or death if you’re in an accident. There are about 58 motorcycle fatalities annually in the United States for every 100,000 registered motorcycles. This is over four times higher than the 12.4 death per 100,000 for car drivers.

Despite most motorcyclists being careful riders, your safety often depends on others’ behavior. This includes car drivers, pedestrians, other motorcycle riders, and even road maintenance (or lack thereof). Many states have mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders to prevent injury. But some riders may wonder if wearing protective gear is actually helpful in a crash?

Essential Protective Gear for Motorcyclists

There are several items of protective gear that have been proven effective at reducing the severity of injuries due to motorcycle accidents, including:

Helmets

The most essential piece of protective gear you can wear while riding your motorcycle is a helmet. If you’re ejected from your motorcycle during a crash, injuring your head has the potential to cause the most severe injuries and death. With head injuries being the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, wearing a helmet reduces your risk of head injury by 69%, while your risk of death goes down by 42%.

South Carolina does not have universal helmet laws. Only riders 20 years old and younger are required by law to wear a helmet.

Gloves

Even minor motorcycle accidents can cause painful injuries. Riders who fall off their motorcycles can land on their hands or use them to break the fall. This can cause road rash as well as broken fingers and knuckles. Some armored riding gloves even come with wrist armor that can save you from a break.

With broken wrists taking up to eight weeks or more to heal, investing in a pair of high-quality armored riding gloves can prevent a debilitating injury that could result in significant financial losses due to medical costs and loss of income.

Boots

Riding boots play a similar protective role as gloves, protecting your ankles and feet from breaks and scrapes. Steel-toed riding boots can help you avoid broken toes, and their reinforced structure can prevent cuts and painful twists.

Jacket and pants

Opting to wear a jacket and pants specially made for motorcyclists can save you some serious pain and anguish from road rash and lacerations. Jackets with armor plating and leather pants will keep you from sustaining injuries to your skin and bones. Research supports that riders wearing protective clothing have shorter hospital stays, and their overall recovery is shorter.

Common Injuries

Injuries from a motorcycle accident can range from a minor sprain or bruised limb to broken bones and traumatic brain injury. Other common motorcycle accident injuries include:

Road rash

Road rash is an abrasion caused by friction between your skin and the road. In some cases, road rash can cause an infection that requires immediate medical attention by a doctor. Signs that the abrasion is infected include swelling, increased pain, pus, warmth, foul-smelling drainage, and flu-like symptoms.

Broken bones

Statistics show that over a third of all fractures in motorcycle accidents are to the tibia or fibula, two major bones in the leg. With a broken leg taking anywhere from six weeks to several months to completely heal, taking all necessary precautions should be a priority for all motorcyclists.

Head injuries

With 21% of unhelmeted riders suffering a traumatic brain injury from their accidents, being proactive about head safety will help you safeguard your brain. Concussions are also a concern in motorcycle accidents as the brain can swell, causing anything from slurred speech to blurred vision and memory loss.

You Deserve Compensation

Ensuring your well-being when riding a motorcycle starts with taking all the necessary precautions and careful, defensive driving. If you’re proactive about safety and still get into an accident, it’s likely that another party was careless or broke the law.

If you find yourself with a damaged motorcycle and serious injuries, the person at fault should be held accountable for any expenses you incur and for the pain you suffer from the event.

Contact our law firm for a complimentary consultation if you’re looking for a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer due to sustaining injuries and property damage from someone else’s reckless behavior.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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