Road Rash is Real – Lesson Learned
Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles
Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.
Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…
If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at [email protected].
Today our topic is:
Road Rash is Real
Some of us know from the first day we sit behind the wheel that we may be addicted to speed. An unfortunate characteristic but exhilarating one at the same time. The unfortunate aspect of this addiction is the danger that often times accompanies it. I did not uncover this affinity for speed for quite some time. It was my first year out of college, so I found myself surrounded with a lot of ‘firsts.’ My first real job, my first apartment, and all the freedoms that come along with them. At the time, I was lucky enough to have owned several different cars, and driving was second nature. In fact, I had driven my old, 1991 GMC Jeep across the country, from college in the Midwest, to my new home in the Southeast. During my entire driving career, up until then, I actually had no need for speed. I really just wanted to get from point A to point B. A vehicle was thought of as a convenience more than anything for me.
I feel the need, the need for speed
My introduction to my love for speed occurred over the first summer of my first-year post college. The newfound freedom, and cash, I found myself with provided ample opportunity for me to try new things. One of those new things came in the form of an object that had two wheels with a large engine in between them. Yup, a motorcycle. Why not? At the time, it personified the sense of freedom I was feeling. So, in preparation for the summer, I completed a motorcycle driving course. Note that if you are ever in the market for a motorcycle, the absolute worst time to shop for one is the end of spring / beginning of summer. In retrospect, I can clearly see that I was the perfect, gullible motorcycle shopper. I was driven off complete emotion and attempting to make a purchase in hopes to utilize the product in the immediate months to come. As such, I ended up completing the course and purchasing the first motorcycle I could get my hands on. I’ve since had several motorcycles, and although they all were better bikes than my first one, my first bike was by far the most expensive.
We were inseparable
I’ll remember the day driving my first motorcycle off the lot for the rest of my life. I simply couldn’t believe they would allow me to ride this ‘street rocket’ in public. After all, I had just received my motorcycle license. I guess I thought the DMV would create some sort of grace period before you could actually drive a motorcycle on the open road. In reality, there are no parameters surrounding when you can drive a motorcycle after you receive your license. You can essentially go out and purchase one as soon as you acquire proper licensing. The freedom and power were instantly addicting. I had no idea how quick a piece of machinery could be. But at circa 400 pounds with a powerful engine, anything can move at a quick clip. Needless to say, after that first drive home, you couldn’t separate me from my bike. I took it EVERYWHERE; grocery store, friend’s house, gym. In fact, I’d run errands for friends, just to be on the bike.
Hard, and painful lesson
Riding the motorcycle everywhere on one hand provided me with much need practice, but on the other, it also subconsciously built a false sense of security within me. Security that no one truly has operating a vehicle, especially one as dangerous as a motorcycle. This false sense of security is what lead me to my one and only motorcycle accident, and best lesson I could have ever learned while riding. You speak with any motorcycle lover and they’ll tell you ‘everyone lays their bike down at some point.’ Unfortunately, this idiom is probably true. A lot of riders are not able to walk away from a motorcycle accident, which is why when I endured mine, its impact was tremendous.
During motorcycle class we learned that the most dangerous times to ride were right after it rained. The rain would mix with the oil on the road making it hard to notice what is simply wet, and what is oil. One day, after a good rain, I had the courage to take my bike to the gym. It was the summer, so I wasn’t in full bike attire. In fact, I was in my gym clothes; shorts, sleeveless shirt, and gym shoes. I approached the red light ahead of making a left onto the street that my neighborhood gym was on. The left green signal lit up, and off I went. As I entered the left turn, I noticed that not only was I leaning into the turn (typically you want to counter-lean against where you are turning to balance the bike), but as I got deeper in the turn I began to get closer and closer to the pavement. And just like that, my motorcycle literally slid from between legs, across the pavement and hit the curb. I slid right behind it, with my sleeveless left arm taking the brunt of the friction. Adrenaline instantly kicked in, and because I was in the middle of a busy road, I promptly picked the bike up, and drove home. All the while, people were pulling up beside me to make sure I was ok. Once I got home and parked the bike, I could feel while people were pulling over to make sure I was ok. I had never seen an arm like this before. All of the layers of skin on my left arm had been scrapped off by the pavement. What was left was simply pores, that were now beginning to bleed.
Road Rash, huh… lesson learned
Initially, the shock hit me like a ton of bricks as I ran upstairs to my apartment. As I continued to breath, I started to think a bit clearer. I put on a long shirt so people couldn’t see the grotesque nature of my arm, ran downstairs and hailed a taxi to transport me to the nearest emergency room. As I walked into the hospital, before I could even check in, the lady behind the desk said, ‘Road Rash?’ Confused, I replied ‘How did you know it is road rash?’ She then mentioned that because it was the beginning of the summer, she sees several motorcycle riders walk through the doors, just as I did, wearing a long sleeve shirt, with blood speckles starting to stain the sleeve, and a limp arm. Thankfully, the doctors bandaged me quickly, explained that road rash can be just as severe as any other fire-related burn, and that I should be careful about moving and washing it in the days to come.
My love for speed developed at an older age, and thankfully I’ve been able to learn the crucial lessons of the dangers that are associated with this road rash, with just a few scars on my arm. If you too have an affection for speed, whether it be in a car, motorcycle or even e-scooter, make sure you respect the dangers that come along with it. In doing so, make sure you carry proper insurance just in case you too end up making the ‘limp-armed’ walk into the emergency room. Safe Riding!