3 Different Types of Road Rash and How to Safely Protect Yourself Against Them

August 29, 2023

3 Different Types of Road Rash and How to Safely Protect Yourself Against Them

Man crashes motorcycle - could experience road rash

Road rash is a common injury involved with different types of accidents. 

Road rash is defined as any abrasions caused by scrapes from an accident. Road rash is frequent in both motorcycle and bicycle accidents.

Think of a situation where Jennifer goes out for a quick ride on her motorcycle. When turning the corner, another car darts through a stop sign. 

To avoid the car, she swerves out of the way. Jennifer loses control of the bike and crashes it, sliding off in the process. 

As she glides across the asphalt, her body scrapes against it. Any exposed portion of skin could become affected by road rash.

There are three different types of road rash:

Avulsion – known as the act of pulling or tearing away, an avulsion happens when the top layer of skin is shredded, occasionally digging deeper past the skin to the muscle or bone. 

Open wound – this type of road rash occurs when tissue of the skin is torn. It often requires stitches to repair the area.

Compression – when part of the body is trapped between two objects, riders may suffer the compression type of road rash.

For example, a driver’s arm is caught between their bike and the road where the accident occurs, resulting in compression. 

Additionally, there are three degrees of road rash:

First degree  – minor scrapes, redness, or bruising are signs of first degree road rash. These injuries generally can be treated at home by carefully cleaning the affected area.

Second degree  – bleeding, swelling, and even exposed muscle are possible with second degree road rash. These injuries are far more serious, and you should seek medical attention after cleaning the area.

Third degree – bleeding and swelling of deep wounds, with scraped off skin and exposure of muscles and bones are major signs of third degree road rash. Seek medical attention immediately, as there is a high possibility for infection.

If you are self-treating at home for first degree road rash, be sure to wash the affected area (without scrubbing). Apply antibiotic ointment and use a bandage to cover the wound.

Motorcycle victim lies on ground - road rash is a common injury from a crash

Generally, you will seek medical attention immediately after the injury if required. Signs of a medical emergency from road rash include:

  • Muscle or bone is visible
  • Objects such as glass or rocks are lodged into the wound
  • There’s leaking or any other discharge 
  • Uncontrollable bleeding

Road rash can lead to serious long term injuries, including:

  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent damage to muscles or nerves

Motorcycle crashes often result in other serious injuries, too. Over the last three years, Los Angeles County has averaged the most motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities across California, with 486.7 reported incidents.

Frequent motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries (concussions)
  • Neck injuries (whiplash)
  • Chronic back pain
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Loss of limbs
  • Spinal cord damage or paralysis
  • Wrongful death 

There are different ways to help prevent road rash. The gear you wear is very important.

  • A helmet with a face shield. Wearing a helmet is required to ride in California, and a face shield can help prevent facial scrapes and scratches.
  • Full fingered gloves made of leather can protect your hands. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight.
  • Boots that fit over the ankle can decrease the level of exposed skin. 
  • A jacket made of leather or another abrasion resistant material can help the body in the event of scraping against pavement, gravel, etc. 

At C&B Law Group, our Burbank motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to help you following a crash.

We will seek compensation after the negligence of another driver resulted in your injuries. Potential damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses

From road rash to broken bones, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Los Angeles motorcycle injury lawyers at C&B Law Group

We work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe us a penny in attorney fees until we win.

Reach out to us today to learn more about a free consultation.

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