Road rash is one of the most common injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash. In fact, it’s one reason that sturdy leather jackets hang in many motorcyclists closets. Just because it is common, though, does not mean that road rash is a trivial injury. What should motorcyclists know about road rash?
What is road rash?
Road rash—sometimes also called a “raspberry”—is a skin abrasion caused by friction. These injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, but they also commonly impact bicyclists or pedestrians who are relatively unprotected from the rough pavement in an accident.
While road rash is typically a superficial injury that causes redness and stinging, other cases may have a larger impact. Road rash that breaks the outer layer of skin can cause pain and swelling, and deeper injuries can cause disfiguring scarring or skin loss. The most severe cases may require skin grafts to heal completely.
What happens if road rash doesn’t heal properly?
As Mayo Clinic notes, abrasions can become infected even if you take proper care of the wound. Symptoms of an infection include:
- Wounds that do not heal or worsen over time
- Increased pain
- Swelling, warmth or redness around the affected area
- Discharge coming from the wound
If road rash becomes infected, you may need additional medical care to address the infection.
Because infections do not appear immediately, it is important that victims of motorcycle accidents seek medical attention quickly after an accident. Seeking medical care allows them to document their injuries and gives them the foundation for a personal injury case in the future.