When an automobile accident throws a motorcycle rider from a bike, the rider will likely hit and slide across the ground. Contact with a surface, especially a harsh surface, will likely scrape the skin. These kinds of scrapes, known as road rashes, can be very painful. Depending on their intensity, road rashes may endanger the health of a rider if not treated.
Healthline explains that road rashes occur when contact with a harsh surface rips an outer layer of the skin off, leaving behind a reddened area. Road rashes vary in their intensity. Some people sustain a road rash by merely rubbing their skin against another surface, which might only leave a small red mark that a person can easily treat at home. But rashes sustained in auto accidents are often larger and require treatment from a doctor.
Large road rashes present the danger of infection. Broken skin allows harmful pathogens like bacteria to enter the body, which can lead to severe sickness and even death. Sometimes bikers in road collisions end up with debris like glass or metal lodged in the rash wound, which may introduce an infection as well. Even after doctors clean and bandage the rash, a patient may need to watch for signs of infection following the injury.
Some road rashes take a long time to heal. A severe enough injury can rip several layers of skin off. In such cases, a biker may need skin grafts to seal up the wound. The biker may require additional care stemming from the injury or the grafting procedure in order to recover. Doctors will likely caution road rash patients to watch for signs like pus or drainage from the wound, which could indicate a possible infection.