Doctor tells bikers paralysis 'the least of your problems' if you are in a bad accident

Up to 12% of motorcyclists have been in a crash in the past two years, according to the Road Safety Authority.

Doctor tells bikers paralysis 'the least of your problems' if you are in a bad accident

Up to 12% of motorcyclists have been in a crash in the past two years, according to the Road Safety Authority.

The authority's survey also found that three in five bikers have had a near miss in the same period.

Motorcyclists are being reminded that speeding is a factor in 49% of all motorcyclist fatal collisions ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Riders also risk serious spinal injury following a collision on a motorbike.

Dr Keith Synnott is a consultant at the National Spinal Injuries Unit in the Mater Hospital, said: "People will also assume, oh it's terrible that you're paralysed that you need to use a wheelchair, but what people don't realise is that is actually the least of it.

"When you are paralysed, not only can you not move your legs, but you can't feel your skin so you get pressure sores if you sit too long. You can't manage your bowel or your bladder, so somebody else needs to do that for you.

"Sexual function is also affected, you may be infertile."

The RSA and Gardaí are also highlighting the misuse of quad bikes and scramblers on the road and in public spaces such as parks.

Dr Synnott said: “Quad bikes and scramblers are not toys, they are heavy, dangerous pieces of machinery that can cause life-changing injuries or death. Riders risk spinal injury following a collision on a quad bike or scrambler.

"Impacts often happen on areas of uneven ground or as a result of unstable vehicles, especially in the hands of children, leading to people falling and landing awkwardly or the vehicle landing on the rider.”

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: “Of the motorcyclist drivers killed over the last 5 years, from 2014-2018, the vast majority of these were male riders.

"The highest risk groups were those aged between 25 and 44 years, followed by those aged 45-54. "

"My message to these riders is to ease off the throttle and stick within the speed limits. Ordinary drivers need to be aware of motorcyclists, particularly in their blind spots, when turning, overtaking and at junctions.

"All road users must share the road safely and give space to others, particularly vulnerable road users – motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

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