Despite the state’s notable rider safety campaign, Arizona continues to have a motorcycle accident problem. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 3,000 motorcycle crashes in the Grand Canyon State. Many of these involved collisions with distracted, negligent or careless motorists.

If a car smashes into your motorcycle, you do not stand much chance of staying on your bike. Instead, you are likely to smash into the pavement, potentially causing your skin to develop road rash. While often treatable, road rash can lead to some potentially serious complications. Here are four of them.

1. Infection

Road rash happens when exposed skin grinds against a rough surface. Anytime you have an open wound, you must worry about developing a bacterial infection. After all, bacteria from the road, your bike, your skin or other places can easily contaminate your bloodstream.

Bacterial infections range from minor to severe, with the latter being potentially life-threatening. While antibiotics are usually effective at treating many types of bacterial infections, they do not always work. This is especially true if you have certain underlying conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension.

2. Edema

The human body goes through a healing process after a person sustains a serious injury. While swelling near the road rash wound site is common, it can also be problematic. Edema is a medical condition that occurs when excess fluid disrupts blood flow.

In addition to causing considerable pain, edema can be deadly. That is, accumulated fluid may interfere with both organ and muscle function. In extreme cases, edema can cause muscles to atrophy and organs to fail.

3. Scars

Many motorcycle enthusiasts wear scars as a badge of honor. Scars are not always purely aesthetic, though. Rather, scarred skin may be increasingly vulnerable to future injuries. Scars may also drastically alter your appearance, causing you to experience mental or emotional consequences.

If someone else’s bad driving causes you to develop road rash, you may expect to have a scar to show your friends. You should not, however, take road rash lightly. Instead, you must closely monitor yourself to ensure you recover completely.