Living in Florida, you can ride your motorcycle year-round. There are enough side roads to get you off the interstate to see the natural wonders of the state. When riding, you get the freedom of the scenery unencumbered by car windows and steel surroundings.
However, the risks of riding a motorcycle are that riders become more vulnerable to severe and catastrophic injuries than most of the driving population. They do not have a metal barrier providing them protection from the impact of another vehicle.
Catastrophic motorcycle injuries
Some people believe that laying your bike down may be the best option when you know an accident is about to happen. A bruised or broken hand or wrist could only keep you off the road for several weeks. But you may not have the choice of laying down your bike, and broken bones may not be the only traumatic injuries you receive.
- Loss of limb: Riders thrown from their bikes are likely to suffer irreparable damage to their limbs and extremities. Catastrophic injuries such as amputated legs or arms can take away the freedom that a motorcycle represents. The amputation may not occur during the accident, but the seriousness of the injury may force doctors to remove a limb in order to save a life.
- Brain injury: The state of Florida does not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets. For those riders who do not use this protection, a traumatic brain injury is more prevalent. Even with helmets, a rider can strike his or her head on the pavement or curb, causing bruising or bleeding in the brain. An injury of this sort can result in coma or death.
- Spinal cord injury: Injuries of this type may leave a rider partially or totally paralyzed depending on where the injury occurred. If the spinal cord in the neck area is damaged this may result in quadriplegia. For most, this is permanent and life-altering.
Florida’s 2016 Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Annual Crash Report states there were over 10,000 motorcycle crashes resulting in 8,200 injuries. Of those numbers, Miami-Dade had 1,100 accidents with 835 injuries.