Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than driving with an automobile. This is in part because the motorcyclist is not protected by anything and in part because the two wheeled vehicle is just not as stable as driving with four wheels.
There are several types of motorcycle accidents, including collisions with other motorcyclists, collisions with four wheel vehicles, collisions with fixed objects and collisions with the road as when a cyclist loses control of the vehicle.
Motorcycle accidents with fixed objects usually mean that two separate impacts have occurred. The two impacts are first, an impact with a fixed object and second, the final impact with the road. A study was done to see whether a motorcycle accident with a fixed object was more likely to result in a fatality when compared to a single collision with the ground. Road side impacts include those with concrete barriers, guardrails, signs, trees and utility poles.
The researchers used the Fatality Reporting System, a database documenting fatalities of different types of incidents. This analysis looked at over 3500 fatal motorcycle accidents that occurred with roadside objects.
The research revealed that motorcycle accidents with roadside objects had a much higher fatality risk than if the collision was with the ground or even with another motor vehicle. Guardrail collisions were 7 times more likely to be fatal in comparison to collisions with the ground. Collisions with trees were much worse. These types of collisions were 15 times more likely to result in a fatality when compared to collisions with the ground.
Roadside collisions with fixed objects were reported to be the most harmful type of collision when it comes to motorcycle accidents. The exception in most cases was a collision with signage. This is a relatively small roadside object and doesn’t result in as severe an accident as say, collisions with a tree. The researchers determined that accidents between motorcyclists and fixed objects were more severe and more harmful to the motorcyclist than is a collision between the motorcycle and the ground.
Injuries sustained with a motorcycle accident and a fixed object include getting a closed head injury. A closed head injury usually happens when the second impact occurs with the ground. It can occur with or without a helmet but is of course more serious when the individual does not have a helmet. Closed head injuries cause loss of consciousness, seizures, and sometimes coma. It leads to the possibility of long term brain injury or brain damage.
Injuries caused by a motorcycle colliding with a fixed object and then the ground can cause fractures of the pelvis. The pelvis is a ring-shaped collection of mostly fused bones that occurs in the pelvic region. This type of fracture can be unstable and must require surgery to repair. It can lead to long term pain and long term difficulty with ambulation.