They are a sight and sound of summer, the humming of a motorcycle’s engine roaring down the road, but they come with some added risks. Experts at SolutionHealth are offering some important safety reminders to keep motorcyclists safe this summer.
Each year, both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health (both members of SolutionHealth) see many injuries related to motorcycles. “We see injuries when someone is riding under the influence, riding while distracted, riding at night, riding on unfamiliar roads, and riding in poor weather conditions, especially rain,” Jennifer Weymouth, DO, FACOS at Elliot Health System explains.
These injuries can be very serious and sometimes deadly, but they often result in the need for extended care, reconstruction, and rehabilitation.
“People in vehicles do not always see motorcycles clearly, and this results in thousands of accidents every year in our community,” Jess Wyman, MSN,/MHA, RN, TCRN, NRP, Trauma Program Manager at Southern New Hampshire Health, explains.
To help reduce the risk of injury, riders should follow these simple steps:
Wyman and Weymouth recommend that riders wear a helmet, a Kevlar long-sleeved shirt/jacket and pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, Kevlar gloves, and a neck brace, especially if racing. When purchasing a helmet, it’s important to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It should also meet Department of Transportation criteria for impact resistance protection.
In an ideal world, Weymouth says children would not be on motorcycles, however, if they must, they should wear the same protective gear.
“Beyond the obvious risk of traumatic injury, the road rash that we see in these motorcycle accidents is disfiguring, dramatic, and life-changing for many of our patients,” Wyman says.
“Every time I see a motorcyclist without a helmet or protective gear, I say a little prayer for their safe return home,” Weymouth explains.
Both also highly recommend that riders, at the very least, take a basic rider course.