When you want to leave the grind of everyday life behind, Seattle has some wonderful neighborhoods to explore on your motorcycle. Because roadways can become crowded, though, you must share the road with a variety of vehicles.  Eventually, a negligent driver may cause a collision. Wearing protective gear is an effective way to minimize your chances of sustaining a life-changing injury in a motorcycle wreck. 

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, roughly 20% of motorcycle accidents in the Evergreen State result in a serious injury to the rider. While you may sustain a variety of injuries, road rash is a common one in motorcycle crashes. This injury occurs when skin rubs against a rough road surface. Road rash can range from minor to severe. 

First-degree road rash 

The lowest level of road rash results in red, tender or sore skin. Even though this condition probably does not require medical intervention, you must clean and treat the affected areas. Provided you are not allergic to it, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment may speed your recovery. Of course, you should always talk to your physician before using any medication. 

Second-degree road rash 

Second-degree road rash occurs when your skin breaks during a slide, crash or fall. If you have this condition, you are apt to experience bleeding and soreness. Any time you have a cut or scrape on your skin, infection is possible. Therefore, you must treat the condition properly, wrapping or bandaging damaged skin until it heals. 

Third-degree road rash 

The most severe type of road rash probably requires medical or surgical intervention. With this injury, much of the outer layer of skin may be missing, with layers of fat or muscle exposed. Even worse, third-degree road rash is often excruciatingly painful. 

Following any motorcycle accident, you should request a medical evaluation. After all, you may have sustained injuries that are not immediately perceptible. If you have road rash, though, you must also realize that the condition can be quite severe. Put simply, to recover completely, you must not take road rash lightly.