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Facts About Road Rash

Facts About Road Rash

Motorcycle riding is one of the most popular pastimes in the Sunshine State. However, due to the limited safety elements of these vehicles, injuries can be far more severe than those from typical car crashes. One such injury common among motorcyclists is “road rash.”

Road rash injuries can vary widely. However, they’re generally characterized by cuts, burns, and scrapes that result from the skin rubbing against the pavement when a rider falls off their motorcycle.

Road Rash Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 80% of motorcycle accidents in the United States result in injury. Of those injuries, approximately 30% are road rash injuries. 

Due to the nature of motorcycle accidents, road rash primarily affects the arms, legs, and torso. The severity of these injuries can range from minor abrasions to severe skin loss, permanent scarring, and even nerve damage from deep wounds.

Many factors affect how road rash injuries occur, and every motorcycle crash presents unique circumstances.

Types of Road Rash Injuries

Road rash injuries can be classified into three types based on severity:

First-Degree Road Rash

Abrasions and scrapes on the skin mark the mildest form of road rash. Because of their subtle nature, these injuries can be treated with basic first aid, such as cleaning the wound with water, applying antibiotic ointment, and protecting it with bandages and gauze.

Second-Degree Road Rash

When road rash is more severe, it can cause blistering, burns, and deep scrapes. Second-degree road rash can be painful and may require emergency medical attention. Treatment can include:

  • Cleaning and sterilization
  • Removing foreign objects
  • Stitches and staples
  • Medication to prevent infection 

Even a seemingly mild road rash can cause complications when left untreated, so it’s important to seek medical attention following an accident.

Third-Degree Road Rash

The most severe cases of road rash are characterized by:

  • Deep tissue damage
  • Skin loss
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Numbness and swelling
  • Severe pain

Most cases of third-degree road rash require emergency medical attention to diagnose potential complications and begin treatment immediately.

While most road rash injuries are classified as surface-level wounds, complications may still occur, including:


Skin becomes vulnerable to infection from bacteria and foreign objects when cut, scraped, or otherwise damaged. This is particularly true in severe road rash injuries, where the skin may be completely torn away and exposed for an extended period.


Even the mildest road rash injuries can result in permanent scarring, especially if not adequately treated. Scarring is often difficult to repair and can be life-changing and cause emotional pain and suffering.

Nerve Damage

When road rash injuries are deep enough, they can affect and damage nerves. Depending on the location, nerve damage from road rash can result in numbness, tingling, reduced mobility, and even mild paralysis.

Risk Reduction 

Motorcycle riders can take several steps to reduce their risk of injuries from crashes and collisions, including road rash. If you ride a bike in Florida, consider the following recommendations to keep yourself and your passengers safe:

  • Wear protective clothing
  • Always ride with a helmet
  • Engage in defensive driving
  • Install high-visibility lights
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Avoid riding a faulty bike
  • Take motorcycle riding lessons

By taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid severe injuries or death.

What To Do After a Crash

Motorcycles are dangerous machines. When a crash occurs, speed and road conditions can severely impact the gravity of an injury.

If you suffer a road rash injury, seek immediate medical attention to prevent potential complications. And if a negligent motorist caused your crash, talk to a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options.

Contact the New Port Richey Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in New Port Richey today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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