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Road rash: a common biking injury

| Aug 7, 2016 | Injuries |

Bicyclists fit all walks of life. Some get on their bikes only occasionally, others use their bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, and still others head out on long recreational rides that are dozens of miles long. One thing that is hard to avoid is falling and getting scraped up, a condition that is commonly referred to as road rash. Sometimes falls happen simply because a rider has lost their balance, but other times they happen when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle or because they fall when they turn to get out of the way.

How Bad Is Road Rash?

The severity of road rash depends on how fast the rider is going when they hit the ground, or how fast they move once they are on the ground. It is common for cyclists, but anyone who travels on the road with areas of skin exposed is vulnerable, including motorcyclists, skaters, and pedestrians. For small spills, a good wash, some anti-bacterial ointment, and a good bandage can sufficiently heal the wound. Bigger falls can mean heavy bleeding, and some scrapes have been known to cut to the bone leading to a great deal of pain and potential nerve damage.

If you can’t easily walk away from a fall or crash, it is a good idea to get professional medical attention for road rash in order to get the pain under control and prevent more serious conditions such as shock or infection, which in the most extreme cases could lead to the loss of a limb. When severe road rash is a factor in a bike crash, it isn’t unusual for other injuries to tag along, such as broken bones and head injuries. Only by fully analyzing your injuries can you know what you’re up against.

Avoiding And Treating Road Rash

The best way to avoid road rash is to avoid the fall, if you can. Ride at a safe speed, and do your best to stay alert and in control of your bike to avoid falling. You can also be better prepared in the event that you do fall by wearing protective gear such as a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads as well as long pants and sleeves when possible.

If you do end up with road rash, there are things you can do to limit the amount of scarring you’ll experience. Be sure to wash and dress your wounds with a secure bandage and antibiotic ointment, and watch for signs of infection. Once bandages are ready to come off, treating scars with moisturizers can help make them less obvious.

If your road rash, or other injuries, weren’t your fault but happened due to a driver’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to stand up for your rights too. Record the details of the crash, and share them with an attorney as well as the driver’s insurance company. An experienced attorney can often get to the bottom of why the accident happened and help you get the compensation you need to treat your injuries right.