Road rash: A common but critical injury for motorcycle riders

| Mar 9, 2020 | Firm News |

Road rash is one of the most common injuries a New York motorcyclist can sustain. When a rider loses control of the bike, skidding across the pavement is likely to cause damage. A full-face helmet and protective clothing can help shield riders to some extent. But if a motorcycle collides with another vehicle at high speed, even the best gear may not protect them from road rash completely.

Road rash occurs when the skin scrapes against a rough surface. It can be a minor injury that does not necessarily require immediate medical care. Healthline Media gives general advice on how to treat minor cases of road rash at home. But when a rider sustains road rash during an accident, the effects can be brutal.

For the skin, road rash is similar to a burn. Most people are familiar with the severity measurements of burns and will recognize the ratings. With first-degree road rash, mild redness and irritation may occur, but the wound is mostly superficial. Those with second-degree rashes experience an open and bleeding wound with swelling. The area may sustain nerve and muscle damage. Third-degree rash, the most acute form, injures both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. Exposed nerves, muscles and bone may take severe damage. Those with second- and third-degree road rash should seek medical attention immediately.

Riders can help protect themselves by wearing the proper gear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends a helmet with a U.S. Department of Transportation-rated safety standard. NHTSA also provides additional resources on how to choose the right helmet and other protective clothing.