If you ride, have ever ridden, or know someone who has ridden a motorcycle, you probably have heard the phrase “donor cycle.” This term, which is widely used throughout emergency rooms, sadly refers to the dangerous and often fatal outcomes of riding a motorcycle: if you ride a motorcycle, the joke goes, you’ll most likely wind up as an organ donor.
It’s a bitter joke with a serious kernel of truth: a tragic number of severe injuries and fatalities have been caused by motorcycle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer from impact force and drag injuries than car passengers during a collision. This statistic, in conjunction with the fact that nearly 200,000 traffic accidents a year involve motorcycles, make your odds of suffering a horrifying injury higher than you may realize.
Now that you know the risks, do you know how to protect yourself from injury?
Motorcycle Safety Fashion: Protective Equipment to Wear While Riding
In order to protect the nine million registered motorcyclists in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feels that proper protection should be taken seriously by all who ride—even if state law doesn’t demand it. This is why they strongly encourage motorcycle drivers and passengers to strongly consider wearing the following articles of clothing and safety equipment every time they take their bikes out on the road:
- Helmets. Helmets are the most essential piece of safety equipment a biker can have. Although they are not required in all 50 states, including Pennsylvania (as long as you’re older than 21 and have a motorcycle license), wearing a helmet can drastically decrease your otherwise high risk for painful facial abrasions and catastrophic head, brain, and neck injuries.
- Durable outerwear. Leather, ballistic nylon, or tear-resistant jackets and pants, and other types of rip-resistant clothing can act as a second layer of skin and protect your body from scrapes and abrasions. Instead of sustaining painfully severe road rash, your clothing will take the majority of the damage.
- Safety goggles or eye protection. If your helmet doesn’t already have facial protection, proper eyewear is highly recommended to help prevent potential blinding from debris scraping your eyes. In addition to protecting your retinas, goggles can help keep dust, sunlight, and wind from impairing your vision and causing a severe accident.
- Heavy-duty gloves. Gloves can provide extra grip on your bike’s handlebars (especially useful for “ape hangers”), which will decrease your chance of accidentally letting go or slipping, while also serving to protect your hands from being scraped, cut, and mangled as you instinctively push them out in front of you to brace against a fall.
- Boots or durable footwear. Heavy boots will protect your feet and ankles from scrapes and road rash injuries, while also helping to provide better traction when you put your foot down.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you must always be conscious of your own personal safety. If this means being the only person in your motorcycle group wearing a helmet and a full protective suit—so be it. Although you may seem uncool now, they’ll certainly envy you when you visit them in the hospital.
Protecting Your Future When Precautions Fail
Taking proper precautions and wearing proper safety gear can significantly lower your risk of serious injury if you suffer a collision. However, depending on the severity of an accident, a helmet and a few layers of leather may protect you from fatal wounds but may not be enough to keep you 100% out of harm’s way. Fortunately, surviving is enough to give you options to fight back.
After suffering through a motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t have to also suffer long-term physical and financial consequences because someone else wasn’t paying attention. You deserve support, guidance, and a trustworthy hand to help you get back on track. Contact us today to see how we’ll not only give you the support you need, but also fight to make sure you get the injury compensation you deserve.
Your future may be a little off-balance right now, but we can help make sure it doesn’t veer off course. Call today for a free consultation and see for yourself how we can get your future back on course.