Facts About Road Rash in Clearwater

Road rash can come from a wide range of circumstances, including bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. But the most severe cases of road rash usually come from motorcycle accidents

The weight, speed, and power of a motorcycle can result in severe abrasions during an accident — even when you wear heavy leather clothing.

Florida has a poor record for motorcycle safety. More people are killed and injured on motorcycles in Florida than in any other state. If you ride a motorcycle in Florida, you have a strong chance of being in a motorcycle accident.

Here are some facts about road rash, one of the most common motorcycle injuries you can suffer in Clearwater, FL.

Causes of Road Rash

Road rash happens when your skin gets abraded by pavement. The term road rash implies this injury only happens on the road. However, parking lots, sidewalks, and other paved surfaces can also cause road rash.

The wound created by road rash has characteristics of both abrasions and burns. When your skin slides across the pavement, the rough surface scrapes the skin (which can result in open scratches or wounds). The speed and force of the sliding motion can also cause a friction burn.

Symptoms of Road Rash

Your skin is your largest organ. It holds the nerves that provide your sense of touch. It also helps control your body temperature with its sweat glands. It even protects your body from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

Therefore, the effects of road rash will depend on the depth of the skin wound. The skin has three layers:


The outer layer of skin, or epidermis, provides a protective barrier against radiation, debris, liquids, and micro-organisms. At the same time, it holds water in your body so you do not become dehydrated.

If your road rash only damages your epidermis, you will see symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Scraped skin
  • Minor bleeding
  • Redness

As long as you clean the wound, it should heal within a few days.


The dermis contains blood vessels to feed the skin. It also holds the nerve endings that allow you to sense pressure and temperature. The sweat glands and oil glands sit in the dermal layer.

If your road rash reaches the dermis, your symptoms could include:

  • Pain
  • Debris embedded in the abrasion
  • Raw, reddened areas
  • Bleeding

A road rash injury that reaches the dermis could take a couple of weeks to heal. Doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection and aid healing.


The hypodermis contains a fatty layer that insulates and cushions the body. The nerves and blood vessels enter the dermis through the hypodermis. The hypodermis includes the connective tissue that holds the skin to the underlying muscle.

Road rash to the hypodermis can cause life-threatening symptoms. A wound this deep is roughly equivalent to a third-degree burn. 

Symptoms can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Embedded debris
  • Severe bleeding
  • Exposed muscle

Severe road rash will likely require medical treatment. Doctors might treat you with skin grafts to provide a temporary barrier to keep water in and microorganisms out.

Complications from Road Rash

Road rash can cause ongoing problems, such as:


Infection happens when bacteria enter your body. You could become very sick due to the toxins released by the bacteria.

After you suffer road rash, doctors will clean the wound and treat it with antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

Traumatic Tattoos

Traumatic tattoos happen when debris gets embedded into your dermis. The embedded debris may permanently discolor your skin, just like an ink tattoo.


Scars happen when your body produces replacement cells that lack the pliability and flexibility of the original cells. If doctors treat your road rash with skin grafts, you have a high risk of developing scars. The scars can be significant depending on the severity of the road rash.

Coping with Road Rash

Road rash can cause disfigurement and scarring. Doctors can reduce the effects of road rash with dermabrasion and other skin treatments. 

If you suffered a road rash due to someone else’s negligence, you can seek injury compensation to pay for these treatments. Contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options.

Contact the Pinellas County Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg motorcycle accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728