Big Price for a Little Inattention

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by tlwood99, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. tlwood99

    tlwood99 Been here awhile

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    I am definitely seriously upping the gear I wear, although in Texas, that will likely affect how much I ride because of the heat.

    I have thought about airbag vests as part of that equation and generally think they are a good idea, but in my off I don't think it would matter.

    I went dowh much like this: :muuttjust a whole lot faster.

    I never so much as stuck a hand out. Inspection of the gear showed a tear under the arm pit, and a lot of ground in dust along my side. I think point of impact was shoulder followed by my relatively unprotected side and hence all the broken ribs. Also the speed in which it occurred may not have been sufficient to trigger the airbag.

    I am curious as to whether a pressure suit would have made a difference. I know if i continue to ride at the least I will be using one of those in a big way.
    #21
  2. DavidBanner

    DavidBanner Banned

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    for starters, you'll fall off less often (we hope).
    #22
  3. Rackemcrackem

    Rackemcrackem Unsafe at any speed

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    A pressure suit, by itself, might absorb some of the impact to your shoulder by dispersing it over a slightly larger area of your shoulder and upper arm than a shoulder pad inside a jacket. That's only a guess, of course. Depending on how a person falls, the chest and spinal protectors might also absorb some impact. Like others have said, nearly identical crashes can result in different injuries (or non-injuries), one never knows until you try it. :D

    The airbag vest I wear has inflatable portions that cover the lateral ribcage and it's possible that could make a significant difference in an event like yours. Also, my Knox chest protector wraps around my chest to about the lateral midline, rather than just covering the front of the chest, as some do. Likewise, some pressure suits cover the thorax more completely than others.

    My airbag inflated when I was flicked off my bike in a very slow speed tip over, so I don't see why it wouldn't do the same in a typical higher velocity low-side, high-side, rear-end collision, frontal strike or most other scenarios involving significant force that would detach a rider from a bike. Would it inflate before impact? I don't know but it's rated to fully inflate 0.2 seconds after being triggered.

    In regard to hot weather, I've worn all the gear that I described up to 95 degree temps in relatively high humidity, with a vented jacket and pants. I'm relatively heat tolerant, though. Above that temperature, or riding on challenging trails, I might want to shed some of the gear or wait for cooler temps.

    Also, as someone already suggested, you might talk with your doctor about osteopenia/osteoporosis. Smoking, drinking much alcohol, routinely drinking many soft drinks, etc, can make a person more prone toward having brittle bones. Bone density can be measured fairly easily.
    #23
  4. NesquikNinja

    NesquikNinja Been here awhile

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    Couple things worth mentioning.

    You got lucky. You crashed your motorcycle and are here to tell us all about it.

    You got unlucky. You got pretty messed up. I wrecked doing highway speeds with less than sufficient gear and walked away with nothing more a little blood and some soreness. My father got off in triple digits in a half helmet and a sleeveless and made it off better than you....

    The main thing? You get to decide whether or not your going to continue to ride. What sucks is when the decision is made for you.
    #24
  5. ColdWater

    ColdWater Adventurer

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    Glad your with us!
    Sympathize about the pain meds. They suck donkey balls.
    After my smack and on meds did LOTS of water, yogurt and sauerkraut.
    But they still plug you up like a cement enema!
    Heal well!
    Steve
    #25
  6. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    +1 on the Hitair airbag jacket. I have the Motorrad V2 from crashbounce.com very affordable and extremely effective.

    I have only had 1 off at about 5mph and the Airbag deployed, it was so effective that I can not even recall the impact with the ground.
    #26
  7. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

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    Hey,
    Hope your feeling better. I did almost word for word the same shit. I was standing, touched front brake, and next I heard skid and the front end washed out right and levered me left and next second I'm about to eat dirt. Slammed my left shoulder in hard. Broke clavicle in two places drove in hard thought for sure I punctured my lung. Crushed my left foot, as it did not move off the peg. Dislocated my big toe, and fractured 3 metatarsals. It happened so fast. New TKC 80 on the front. Went from a K60 after 18300km on it. I think the more aggressive tire caused me to flow forward in the light braking and as I levered forward I naturally grabbed more lever causing the washout.
    The SPOT worked well. I walked 2 km or so and got a lift to a main road and met the ambulance (my coworkers) before the helicopter took off to come get me so that could be cancelled. i was not about to sit and wait for help. i thought of how i was going to decompress my chest with a Leatherman, hand sanitizer, and a air gauge. Luckily did not need to, thats why i hobbled to get to help faster. I spent about 5 days in hospital. I also had surgery on my clavicle. A plate 8 screws and some chicken wire. LOL.

    You will heal, physio is your friend. Acupuncture, IMS, the sonic thingy, manipulation. My shoulder feels great, at times the skin feels a bit tight over the plate, SCBA air pack doesn't seem to agrivate it. The foot gets sore and still swells at times. I found the most irritation I had was blowing my nose before the SCM ligament and Scalenes reattached to the collarbone. Felt like a knife stick for about a month after.

    Heal well. I'm rode last week. Felt good. Snow was gone now at -1c and it snowed about 1/2 a foot today. That will be gone by Wednesday I'm sure.

    UG




    #27
  8. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    It sounds like there may have been a hole in the road surface under the new, evenly graded gravel. Your wheel went into the deep gravel at the same time you braked...or maybe something else.

    I wear a Hit-Air vest just in case. You do need to be launched off the bike for it to trigger and inflate. The ninja turtle-like chest and back protectors might be best for the non-get-off smash up, especially until your bones regain full strength.
    #28
  9. Robert_W

    Robert_W Been here awhile

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    Dude glad you're OK. Any consultation.... I love the X-ray pic. That's got to make for great conversation some where down the road. :D
    #29
  10. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    I'm glad you're relatively OK, nice x-ray!

    I did something similar Saturday in Jimmy Lewis' class. We were practicing locking up the front to see what it felt like and how to correct. On my last time around or so I went too fast (I was getting a little frustrated at not being to lock it up like I wanted) and when things started going south I didn't release the brake. duh. Always, always carefully follow Jimmy's directions. Anyways, I hit the lake bed hard on my left side with my ribs, then knee and elbow. My ribs hurt then, but not too bad. However, as the day went on they got more and more painful so I sat out a few times and didn't do as much practice as I wanted. That night I could hardly drive my car to dinner and had a heck of a time rolling over in bed - thought I was screwed for part 2 of the class on Sunday. Fortunately, with some Aleve, the pain let up pretty well for Sunday, but I got pretty sore again driving home.
    Anyways, it wasn't a high side or a low side, but a slam!

    Hope I learned my lesson!
    #30
  11. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    I've heard several racers comment on this type of crash - that at speed you tend to slide and dissapate energy (unless you hit something) but at lower speeds you tend to "stick like a Lawn Dart".

    Sorry to hear you got so broken up, heal well and FULLY - listen to the docs and do all your therapy work, and listen to the Harley guys when they tell you the Front brake is the devil's tool !
    #31
  12. motomuppet

    motomuppet Been here awhile

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    Having raced mx,enduro, road bikes and commuted to work, ridden on and of road for fun/touring etc over the last 25 years or so I have had more than my fair share of crashes. For some reason the worst crashes are often the slowest, and the most painful are often the least 'dramatic'. Dunno why, but often works out that way. Having said that, huge, high speed crashes can end badly to. Unfortunately it seems to come down to luck, or the lack of it. Wayne Rainey hardly crashed compared to Kevin Shwantz and look how that turned out. Hope your healing up ok and sorry for your unlucky crash!
    #32
  13. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Ain't that the truth. I crashed on the highway doing 70mph or so last year and came out with no injuries, other than a couple minor bumps and bruises. Over the weekend, I tipped over nearly at a standstill and broke my fibula. WTH!?!?!
    #33
  14. janeuner

    janeuner Get Some

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    You are very lucky to be alive. The shoulder was collateral damage. Flailed chest has a 50% mortality rate.

    Consider what your gear protects. The helmet padding protects your head from the vertical fall - from top of the bike to the ground. The helmet shell and the leather/textiles - those protect tissues from abrasion during the horizontal slide. And the armor - that protects bones from impacts during the horizontal tumble.

    Spare the helmet, none of this gear is particularly good for providing crush protection. From your description, the bike levered you into the ground. You have heard stories of folk that die of a head wound when simply dropping a bike - the forces in your circumstances were multiplied by the weight and speed of the motorcycle.

    In the instant you hit the ground, your body experienced forces similar to being pinned under a truck. I would not expect to survive.
    #34
  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I agree with that 100%.
    My worst crash was 25 mph or less, 5 ribs, spine, clavicle, scapula, spleen, lung.

    High speed crashes: sand in helmet, a little road rash, sprained finger...

    Never broke a bone at high speed, but I guess it could happen.
    But somehow, I don't think going real fast all the time is a good idea...




    #35
  16. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Not that it's a walk in the park, but the mortality rate for a flail chest injury is far lower than 50%, after considering compounding factors.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564248/
    #36
  17. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Glad you are healing up, my friend. All my crashes (3) have been during practice on my GSA in deep sand. I'm 61 and happy I've yet to break anything playing in the dirt....

    All the best,
    Steve
    #37
  18. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I don't think any gear is going to be super helpful in protecting your torso frame damage after getting pile-driven by a GS. Probably the only meaningful way of increasing safety in these kind of crashes are switching to a much lighter bike.
    #38
  19. tlwood99

    tlwood99 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all of your kind comments, well wishes and insight. I very much appreciate them.

    For those interested as of now I am ten weeks post-injury, seven weeks post surgery. All the bones have healed, my lungs have healed, my shoulder is back in place, and I am "just" down to lots of physical therapy to regain full use of my right arm.

    In addition to two hours of home PT every day, I go to the PT three times a week for about 1.5 hours each time. My PT is a former gymnast. After I have done my warm-up stretches I lie down, she stands over me on a stool, puts me in an arm lock and goes to work. A session with her inevitably reminds me of Big Time Wrestling which was on TV when I was a kid. I am the guy on the mat reaching out in vain to tag my partner to save me.

    As I think I said before I am expected to have 100% range of motion (in another three months or so), so I take it all in stride (and lot of grimaces, many groans, and an occassional scream).

    The comments and my subsequent reading about flail chest have been sobering though. At the time I was almost a bemused observer to how the medical profession treats accident victims. Upon reflection, I can see how close I came to not being here. I am anxious to be able to ride again, but how much, or how, I ride I have yet to figure out.

    The medical community I have dealt with is pretty avidly anti-motorcycle, although one notable exception was my anestheologist who talked about how much he loved his Yamaha YZ450 as he rolled me into surgery.

    From much of the advice I have received here I think off roading the GS will likely be a thing of the past. Not sure whether I will use another lighter bike to offroad, or give that up altogether. I sure like to ride, and giving it up altogether though would be very tough.

    Anyway thank you all again.

    Tom W.
    #39
  20. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Glad you are making good progress!
    I also thought about giving up dirt riding, but decided to just go lighter and smaller.
    #40