The Risks of Riding a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle can be a high risk endeavour. What can you do to prepare for accidents and injuries that can occur when on the road?


Paul McFarane

3/18/20232 min read

Motorcycle riding is a popular recreational activity and form of transportation in Australia. However, it is also a risky activity that can lead to severe injuries in the event of an accident. According to the Australian Road Deaths Database, there were 189 motorcycle fatalities in Australia in 2020. The most common types of injuries suffered by motorcyclists involved in accidents include head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, major bleeding and fractures. Given the high risk of injury associated with motorcycle accidents, it is important for riders to carry a well-stocked first aid kit.


We were contacted by a customer this week asking us what kit he should be encouraging his fellow riders to be carrying on their longer cruises. It’s a good question. Most first aid kits marketed to motorbike riders are designed to treat normal day-to-day injuries, but will they be sufficient to treat the sorts of injury profiles that are likely to occur following high-speed motorcycle accidents?


One of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents is road rash, which is caused by the rider's skin scraping against the pavement. Road rash can range from minor scrapes to deep, painful wounds that can take weeks or even months to heal. In severe cases, road rash can lead to infection or even permanent scarring. It's important to clean and dress road rash wounds immediately to prevent infection and promote healing.


Another common injury in motorcycle accidents is broken bones. Fractures to the arms, legs, and ribs are common, and can be extremely painful and debilitating. In some cases, broken bones may require surgery to repair. It's important to immobilise any suspected broken bones and seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Head injuries are also a concern for motorcycle riders. Even with a helmet, riders can sustain serious head injuries in accidents. Traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering and require extensive medical care. Wearing a helmet is crucial for reducing the risk of head injuries but having the skills and training to identify and manage a head injury can be lifesaving in the event of an accident.


In addition to these injuries, riders may also sustain cuts, burns, and other injuries in motorcycle accidents. It's important for riders to carry a well-stocked first aid kit that includes items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. Riders should also be trained in basic first aid skills and know how to administer first aid to themselves and others in the event of an accident.


Carrying a well-stocked first aid kit is not only important for riders' own safety, but also for the safety of other road users who may be involved in accidents. Providing immediate first aid can prevent injuries from becoming more serious and can help to stabilise injured individuals until emergency services arrive.


This question from our customer (an ex-Paramedic) has made us think about what we could offer in this space. We would want to include a lifesaving tourniquet and compression bandage to manage major bleeding as well as a good selection of wound care products. The biggest issue with designing a Motorcycle Trauma Kit is that there is very limited space on a bike so it will need to be compact as well as versatile.

What do you think should go in a compact, life saving Motorcycle Trauma Kit, if we were to put one together? What would be in your contents list and why?