It’s not the first time you’ve been taken out of commission by a motorcycle accident. With all of the problems motorcyclists face, it feels like the occasional crash is just part of the game—a part you may not like, but you have to live with.
But after being laid up in bed for a few days—unable to work, in pain, and mentally and physically drained—you’re wondering if you really have the strength to go through this again. While motorcycling is always going to be dangerous, there must be a way to manage as many risks as you can, and that starts with what you wear as you brave the streets.
Your Helmet May Save Your Brain, But What About Your Face?
Motorcycle accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, and each one comes with its own healing time and lifelong complications. While you may shop for riding gear that will save your life if the bike goes down, you should also consider what safety measures will protect you in a low-impact accident, including:
Take a look at your riding gloves. Do they have padding along the outside of the fingers, around the knuckles, and on the back of the hand? Now turn them over. Is the padding strangely missing from the palm of your hand? If so, you need to look for better gloves. When humans fall, they instinctively try to brace themselves with the palms of their hands, but many glove manufacturers lighten palm padding because it can interfere with handlebar grip. Always choose gloves with palm sliders—they can prevent fractures, keep your palms intact, and help dampen the force of the road from traveling into your wrists.
Too many bikers assume that a tough pair of jeans is all they need to protect them from the wind and weather on a ride. If motorcycle pants seem unnecessary when the rest of you is protected, consider this: as little as three seconds of road contact can shred a standard pair of jeans. Not only that, but proper pants can actually prevent broken bones and twisted joints by keeping the legs in their proper position—not to mention saving precious inches of your skin from shearing off in a crash.
If you always wear your helmet, you’re already ahead of the game. But while an open face helmet may save your skull, a full face helmet can protect you from losing your entire face. How big is the difference? Imagine being thrown from your bike while turning from Flintlock Road onto 152, and your right side is dragged along the pavement for 20 feet. Now imagine you have no face shield—the abrasions have almost ground off your nose, cheeks, and lips along one side of your face. You will unlikely be able to fully repair the damage with surgery, so prevention may be as close to a cure as you can get!
Road rash injuries can be just as serious as broken bones. Deep abrasions can cause disfigurement, nerve damage, and infection that requires skin grafting or other surgical treatment. Attorney James Roswold has seen these injuries firsthand, and knows how difficult it is for bikers to receive compensation after an injury. In his book, The Devil’s Advocate: a Biker’s Guide to Accidents & Injuries, he explains what injured bikers should do immediately after a crash to protect their rights. Click the link on this page to begin reading!