Increase Survival Odds After a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcycle accidents often leave motorcyclists and other motorists facing severe injuries, and understanding motorcycle crash survival tips becomes crucial. One alarming piece of data from 2021 reveals that 5,932 fatalities occurred among motorcyclists that year. This equates to a fatality rate of 60.03 per 100,000 registered motorcyclists. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers, but behind each of these accidents lies a person, a story, and a family left to face substantial losses.
While roads are growing more congested and traffic patterns are harder to predict, motorists must make sure to utilize the highest degree of care possible in order to prevent motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, most traffic accidents are largely unforeseeable. This is why it is vital for not only motorists but also the surrounding community to remain informed about the best safety protocols. The following advice emphasizes helpful emergency measures that motorists can follow if they are involved in motorcycle accidents.
Appreciating the Deadly Nature of Motorcycle Entrapment Accidents
Practicing motorcycle crash survival tips is crucial, as various factors during motorcycle accidents may lead to motorcyclists getting pinned (or entrapped) underneath their bikes
These factors include:
- Topple over. Especially common in low-side accidents, the loss of traction can result in motorcyclists sliding sideways with the rider trapped beneath the bike. These situations often occur when motorcyclists are navigating turns or when road conditions are slippy due to rain, snow, oil, or other elements. In these situations, the motorcyclist’s momentum often continues even after the bike’s tires lose their grip. The sideways motion, in combination with a bike’s weight, can end up forcing a motorcyclist down and trapping the rider underneath the heavy machinery. Motorcyclists, especially those unfamiliar with or unacquainted with bike handling, are at an elevated risk of serious accidents.
- Following a motorcycle accident, riders often end up ensnared by road debris, which can make the rider’s situation even worse. Following a motorcycle accident, various pieces of debris, including shattered glass, metal, or even fragments of the motorcycle, can end up limiting a motorcyclist’s movement. Heavily congested highways and urban roads with objects like litter can further increase the risk of motorcycle accidents occurring as a result of these hazards. Furthermore, in the most serious motorcycle accidents, pieces of gear or clothing can end up caught in a motorcycle’s parts, making it challenging for the motorcyclist to free themselves.
Serious Consequences of Motorcycle Entrapment
Some of the most severe injuries known to occur as a result of motorcycle accidents include:
- Escalating injuries. When trapped underneath a motorcycle’s massive frame, a motorcyclist’s body is at increased risk of experiencing compression injuries, which can result in damage to the nerves, tissues, and muscles. Extended compression can also result in compartment syndrome, which is a dangerous condition in which increased pressure within a muscle group restricts blood flow and can sometimes result in both muscle and nerve damage. The substantial weight of motorcycles not only risks worsening fractures but can also result in countless internal injuries, including internal bleeding and ruptured organs. This is especially true if the motorcycle’s weight is placed on the rider’s abdomen or chest.
- Increased risk of secondary collisions. Immobilized motorcyclists are especially vulnerable on crowded streets. Being pinned leaves motorcyclists almost invisible to oncoming traffic, especially in low-light conditions or when other nearby motor vehicles are traveling at high rates of speed. The risk of another vehicle colliding with the fallen motorcyclist or the bike can make an unfortunate situation even worse and introduce an additional element of injury and trauma.
- Burns and other fire-related injuries. Following accidents, motorcycles are often at risk of causing additional serious injuries. Damaged fuel lines or even gas tanks can leak, which creates a combustible environment. When this aspect is combined with the remaining hot parts of a motorcycle, like the exhaust, a substantial risk of ignition exists. An entrapped motorcyclist in these situations faces not just the immediate harm of burns from hot parts, but the rider also faces the risk of ending up caught in a fire. The combined risk of chemical and thermal burns in these situations can leave motorcyclists facing substantial, life-lasting injuries.
What Riders Should Do if Trapped By a Motorcycle
If a motorcyclist is entrapped under a motorcycle following an accident, one of the best things to do is follow some important pieces of advice. These recommended steps include:
- Remain calm. Following motorcycle crashes, riders should do their best to remain calm and relaxed. Panicking in such situations can interfere with a rider’s judgment and end up jeopardizing decision-making. Instead of letting your emotions get the best of you, take deep breaths to stabilize your emotions. This will, in turn, allow you to better assess the situation. Evaluate your injuries for severity and quickly identify any potential hazards that exist in your landscape, which might include leaking fuel, sparks, or the approaching risks presented by oncoming traffic.
- Try to obtain help. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to remember that time is critical. If you can physically do so, you should promptly contact emergency services. If the rider is incapacitated, it might be a wise idea to do whatever you can to get the attention of bystanders, even if this involves shouting for help. Make sure to provide all important details to those who come to help, including how your accident occurred and any potential hazards that they should expect to face while on scene.
- Extraction from the bike. Pulling yourself out of a downed bike requires a high degree of caution. Before taking any action, make sure to cautiously assess your physical condition as well as the vehicle’s position and stability. If trying to extract yourself from the bike alone seems dangerous, obtain help from those around you. Sometimes, even the most basic tools like sturdy sticks can function as levers to lift a motorcycle and offer a downed rider.
- If a rider is stuck, remain safe and alert. In cases where extraction from a bike is not possible, riders should prioritize protection. In these cases, riders should make sure to protect critical areas, including their heads, necks, and limbs. To protect these areas, riders should consider utilizing any available clothing and/or gear. Increasing a rider’s visibility is critical, especially when visibility conditions are low. Motorcyclists should also use any reflective material or items that bounce off the light to signal for help. If a downed rider can gather the attention of first responders, make sure to maintain a line of communication and update workers about any changes to their conditions.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Obtaining legal assistance following a motorcycle accident is crucial. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, our skilled accident attorneys, armed with motorcycle crash survival tips, can help you navigate the nuances of the legal system to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, do not hesitate to contact us today.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900