Motorcyclists are familiar with the term “road rash.” A rider understands what can happen if the rider hits the pavement. However, many motorcyclists do not realize that road rash can have serious complications.
Before your next ride, learn the facts about road rash. Taking steps to avoid road rash can not only prevent a painful injury, but it could also save your life.
What is Road Rash?
Road rash is one of the most common types of motorcycle injuries. It is the common term used for abrasions that a rider may sustain in a motorcycle accident. It describes the injury to the skin caused when the rider is dragged across a rough surface, such as gravel, asphalt, or concrete.
Road rash can occur to any exposed area of the body, but skin covered by thin material may also sustain abrasions. Abrasions are common along knees, legs, elbows, and arms.
An avulsion is one of the most common types of abrasions sustained in motorcycle crashes. Avulsions occur when the top layers of the skin are scraped away by a rough surface. Deeper open wounds may occur, which can require stitches to close or reconstructive surgery to repair.
Are There Different Degrees of Road Rash?
First-degree road rash is the least severe. The skin may appear red like a sunburn. There could be minor scrapes, but no open wounds.
Second-degree road rash occurs when the skin breaks open. There could be debris in the abrasions, such as glass, dirt, and gravel. Medical treatment is required to clean and care for second-degree road rash.
Third-degree road rash is the most severe type of abrasion motorcyclists may sustain in an accident. All layers of the skin may be damaged. Areas of exposed tissue, fat, and muscle may be visible, and the wounds may be bleeding profusely.
Treatment for Road Rash Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Minor cases of road rash generally heal within a couple of weeks with routine wound care. It is usually wise to be evaluated by a medical provider to obtain instructions for proper wound care.
In most cases, mild road rash needs to be cleaned daily with antibacterial soap. Rinse thoroughly and gently dry the area with a clean towel. Your doctor may advise you to apply a thin layer of antibacterial cream and moisturizing lotion.
Cover the area with a non-stick gauze to prevent contamination and infection. If you do notice signs of infection, contact your physician immediately. Signs of infection include:
- Foul-smelling Drainage
- Warmth Around the Affected Area
- Wounds That Do Not Heal
- Flu-like symptoms, including sore throat, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, and muscle aches.
Always seek medical attention right away after an accident in Miami. Prompt medical care can be the difference between an injury with short term complications and an injury with long-term consequences.
Road Rash Complications
Some individuals could develop severe and life-threatening complications from road rash. One of the most severe complications of road rash is Staph infection. Staph infections can be life-threatening. It can lead to sepsis and septic shock.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a very dangerous infection caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria. The infection progresses very quickly and can also lead to sepsis and multiple organ failure. Immediate hospitalization is necessary to prevent permanent damage and life-threatening complications.
Preventing Rash Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Riders may not be able to prevent all cases of road rash. However, there are steps motorcyclists can take to reduce the risk of road rash.
Tips for preventing road rash include:
- Always wear a motorcycle helmet to protect your head and face.
- Wear protective eye gear or choose a motorcycle helmet with a face protector.
- Choose riding gloves that have padding around the knuckles, along the outside of the fingers, and over the back of the hand.
- Wear leather pants or motorcycle pants. Denim and other materials can shred in seconds when they come in contact with the road.
- Choose a leather jacket or special riding shirts that protect against road rash in the event of a motorcycle crash.
These simple steps can help to keep you safe.
What Should You Do if You are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident in Miami, check to see if you are injured. If you believe you sustained serious injuries, try not to move until emergency medical services arrive, unless it is unsafe for you to remain in your present location.
Follow the recommendations of EMTs. If they suggest you go to the hospital, it is probably a wise choice to go to the emergency room. Prompt medical treatment is important for your health and any future accident claim.
Avoid giving statements to insurance claims adjusters or signing any documents until you have a chance to talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer. The statements you make to the insurance provider could be used to deny or undervalue your injury claim.
It is best to learn about your legal rights and options for receiving compensation for your injuries before you deal with the insurance company.