How to Treat Road Rash From A Motorcycle Accident

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Motorcycles are popular vehicles used around the globe. While some use motorcycles as primary vehicles, many people use them as recreational vehicles. There’s nothing quite like the wind on your skin and in your hair when you ride a motorcycle.

Being directly exposed to the elements makes motorcycle riding special, but it also increases your risk of injury. There are thousands of fatal motorcycle accidents in the U. S. each year. In contrast, thousands more sustain injuries in motorcycle accidents. Since road rash is a common motorcycle injury, motorcycle riders should understand what it is and how to treat it after an accident.

What is road rash?

Road rash occurs when you hit a hard surface, removing the epidermis from the affected area. Suppose you’re riding a bicycle, hit something on the road, and fall off your bike. You can suffer road rash when exposed skin scrapes against concrete or dirt. Although the term implies an injury occurring while in transit, you can get road rash from carpet and other surfaces.

Motorcyclists typically travel at higher speeds than cyclists, which is one reason road rash can be more severe for those in motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles can skid over a large area. You could get road rash over a large part of your body if you’re dragged by your motorcycle. You can get road rash on any part of your skin that comes in contact with a surface while in motion.

How do you treat road rash from a motorcycle accident?

Motorcycle Crash

You may be able to treat your friction burn yourself or treat another person’s road rash. You’ll need soap and water, a soft washcloth, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, and non-adherent pads.

Whether treating road rash on yourself or another person, you should start by washing your hands to ensure you don’t get dirt in the wound. Ideally, you’ll wear gloves to protect yourself and the injured party from infection. Next, wash the friction burn without scrubbing. Clean the area without exacerbating your injury.

Antibiotic ointment is an over-the-counter medication. This ointment can kill or prevent infections. Apply the ointment to the wound and cover it with a non-adherent pad or suitable dressing. Replace the dressing with a fresh pad twice daily or as needed.

How long does it take for road rash to heal?

You should expect it to take approximately 14 days for road rash injuries to heal. You can expedite the recovery time with proper treatment. Keeping your wound clean also prevents infection and ensures your wound heals swiftly.

Severe friction burns may require additional treatment and take longer to heal. In these cases, the recovery period varies based on the extent of the injuries.

The Best Way to Treat Severe Road Rash

You may wonder how to treat road rash when severe injuries occur. In these cases, your accident may have damaged all the layers of your skin. Road rash only affecting your epidermis should heal without leaving a scar. However, you may need a skin graft if all layers of your skin are torn away. It’s also possible for road rash to be one of several injuries. Having medical personnel care for your friction burn is the best way to treat your road rash if you need medical care for broken bones, whiplash, or other severe injuries.

Consulting an Attorney

Attorney Consultation

Any motor vehicle accident can lead to medical, financial, and legal issues. These issues can last years. Get a free consultation from the best lawyer for personal injury in your area.

Injury attorneys are legal experts with extensive experience handling personal injury settlements and lawsuits after accidents. Depending on who caused the accident and the severity of your injuries, you may qualify for compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, job retraining, and pain and suffering. After your free consultation, your attorney will explain your options. Working with the best motorcycle accident lawyers ensures you understand and protect your legal rights.

How can you avoid getting road rash?

The primary ways to prevent road rash involve covering your body while riding your motorcycle. Wearing a helmet protects you from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and scraping your face.

Wearing gloves protects your hands. Since it’s instinctive to put out your hands to break your fall, it’s easy to scrape the skin off your hands if unprotected. Leather gloves are a fantastic option.

Many motorcyclists wear leather when riding to protect their bodies. Covering your skin protects you when you’re out for a ride. You’ll prevent sunburn and give yourself an extra layer of protection from projectiles that can strike you when you’re riding. Hitting a bee stings if you have bare skin, but you may not even notice if you’re wearing leather. Leather can also prevent road rash if you’re in an accident.

Wear sturdy footwear while riding your motorcycle to protect your feet. Wearing boots is a good idea because they protect your ankles and calves.

Road rash is a typical motorcycle accident injury. It may be possible to treat road rash yourself, but severe cases may require medical care. Consult an injury attorney following your accident and take appropriate steps to protect your legal rights.


Brennan, D. (2021). What to Know About Road Rash.

Number of motorcyclists killed in crashes in the United States from 1995 to 2019. (2022).

Road Rash Treatment. (2020).