Motorcycle Boots: Underrated Safety Measures for Motorcyclists
Many studies have examined the most frequent causes of accidents for vehicles and the most common injuries they inflict. They give us important insight into which hazardous situations to avoid and how to protect our most vulnerable body parts. But how insightful are these numbers really? We are looking at the most common injuries for motorcycle riders and why motorcycle boots are more indispensable than expected.
The Most Frequent Motorcycle Injuries
If we are looking at motorcycle accident statistics, there are many factors to include when it comes to figuring out which parts of our body are most vulnerable. It isn’t enough to simply count the injuries of people admitted to hospitals after an accident. We need to include both injured and dead accident participants, which gear they were wearing, their age, the time of day, the weather, their inebriation and many other factors.
The kind of crash and the speed of motorcycle riders are big factors into injury location, severity, and mortality rates. Head-on collisions with automobiles are the most common fatal crash. High velocity crashes are deadlier than slow speeds. However, if we are looking at the numbers comparing fatal accidents and the injuries of riders treated in hospitals, these are our results:
- This NHTSA-Report states that the most common injury for motorcycle riders affect their lower extremities. Broken bones are more frequent than soft tissue injuries.
Based on information like this, motorcycle riders should concentrate on protecting their legs and feet more effectively. The selection of motorcycle pants and boots from ChromeBurner shows us which options we have.
- If we want to reduce our risk of broken bones in our legs and feet, we should choose motorcycle boots with a high shaft and additional bracing to stabilize and protect our ankles. This way, the boot adds to the motorcycle pants’ protection up to our knee and offers additional shielding to vulnerable parts like our joints.
While injuries to the lower extremities were the most frequent, head, chest and abdominal injuries are often more severe. This leaves us with questions concerning which areas were less protected or need better protection: Is it the ones with more severe or the ones with more frequent injuries?
When we are looking for the right protective gear, there are two questions we can ask ourselves about the frequent leg and foot injuries:
Were the injured wearing the right gear to protect this area?
Is protective gear for some areas less effective than others?
The term Survival Bias, or Survivorship Bias, describes a logical error when we examine damages that were fatal and those who weren’t. A famous example describes how Abraham Wald, a statistician in World War II, tried to minimize the amount of bomber planes they lost to enemy fire. He looked at the damaged areas of bombers that returned home.
While the Military had planned to reinforce the areas where the planes were damaged the most, Wald advised to improve the areas where the bombers showed the least damage.
- His reasoning: Since none of the returned planes were damaged in these areas, the planes that were did not survive enemy fire.
Considering the frequency of injuries to the legs, maybe we shouldn’t assume that they are the most likely to be hit. They might also be the ones where most people choose not to wear protective gear. Or possibly protective gear for feet and legs is less functional than others, leading to injuries faster.
The Quality of Lower Extremity Gear
Good motorcycle gear has certificates that prove its quality and safety standard. The European Commission is one of many organizations that test gear. They repeatedly expose it to strains and negative effects that would affect it in an actual accident. One of the most basic tests measures how much impact force the armor lessens and if it’s enough to keep a bone from breaking.
Only the gear that reaches their criteria is given the CE-marking of their certificate. Since motorcycle gear for legs and feet goes through the same tests as others, we can assume that it isn’t less effective.
The Choice of Lower Extremity Gear
When it comes to the choice of gear, we are looking at a different situation: The most protective motorcycle boots are bulky, heavy, and stiff. They are meant to stabilize our ankles and keep them from twisting. The additional armor protects our bones. That, however, makes them rather impractical for day-to-day situations. These boots are not made for walking and can’t easily be used when you want to combine your ride with other activities on foot.
- For more comfort and utility, many motorcycle riders choose less protective gear or regular leather boots instead of specific motorcycle gear. Naturally, they do not have the same protective features and lead to injuries faster.
Most motorcycle riders agree that a helmet is a necessary safety precaution to protect our head and brain. Not all put the same care into selecting and wearing other protective gear such as gloves, pants, and boots.
With our lower extremities being in a vulnerable position when riding and stopping, you should not trust in the protection of non-motorcycle boots. The armor, padding and bracing of motorcycle boots can protect both your shins, ankles, and feet. With the frequency of lower extremity injuries, investing in good motorcycle gear for legs and feet is worthwhile.