If you are a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania, you likely could not wait to get out on the roads after the long winter. However, you should take care not to have so much fun that you lose sight of the dangers you face. You could be vulnerable even with protective gear, such as proper clothing, boots, gloves, eye protection and a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says as the operator of a motorcycle, you need to be more skillful than vehicle operators need to be. You must drive defensively and be alert to your surroundings at all times to protect yourself from trucks and cars with whom you share the road.
In Pennsylvania, you may ride without a helmet if you are older than 21 years and have either completed a PennDOT approved safety course or have two years or more riding experience. However, helmet laws vary from state to state, and you may want to check the laws in other states when you plan trips across state lines.
Motorcycle accident injuries
Due to the lack of protection, any motorcycle accident can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. NHTSA says the majority of motorcycle accidents have severe consequences, and some injury types occur more frequently than others do.
A significant number of motorcycle crashes cause death or disability due to head trauma, and safety authorities say the following:
- Motorcycle accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries.
- Wearing a helmet increases your chances of survival.
- A protective helmet typically lowers the chances of suffering head trauma.
Making contact with the road’s surface is typically inevitable in any motorcycle accident. Protective clothing can reduce the vulnerability to the following types of road rash:
- Road rash is the abrasion of the skin, and it can vary in severity.
- First-degree road rash is when there are only superficial abrasions that leave the skin red.
- Second-degree road rash occurs when the outer layer of skin breaks but the inner layers are unharmed.
- Third-degree road rash causes the complete removal of the skin, exposing the underlying fat and tissue layers. This can be critical and requires prompt medical care.
Being two-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles will likely fall over when they are involved in accidents. The Center for Neuro Skills reports the following:
- Bikers often land with one leg under the motorcycle, making broken legs the most prevalent fracture.
- The natural reaction to breaking a fall often leads to fractured arms and wrists.
- Fractures of the pelvis and shoulder are also common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents.
If you have to cope with the medical expenses and other consequences of a motorcycle accident that resulted from the negligence of another party, you might have grounds to recover damages. A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can assess the circumstances and determine the viability of a civil lawsuit. A lawyer can then provide the necessary support and guidance in the pursuit of a monetary judgment to cover economic and noneconomic losses.