Older Motorcycle Riders, Watch Out!

People of all ages ride motorcycles — it’s not solely an activity for tattooed young males anymore. In fact, 25 percent of all motorcycle riders today are age 50 and older. The segment of older motorcycle riders has more than doubled since 1990. While it would seem intuitive to believe that older people riding motorcycles would be safer and suffer less injury than the young reckless riders, that does not appear to be true.

According to a recent Brown University study, motorcycle riders age 60 and over were two-and-a-half times more likely to experience severe injuries requiring emergency room treatment than were riders in their 20s and 30s. While middle-aged riders made out a little better, they were still 66 percent more likely to sustain serious injury than were younger riders.

Further, older and middle-aged motorcyclists were more likely to suffer more severe injuries like brain injuries, broken bones and severe internal injuries. Younger riders, on the other hand, were more likely to suffer more minor injuries such as sprains, abrasions and contusions. According to the study, the greater severity of injury among older bikers may be due to “physiological changes that occur as the body ages.”  The study noted that as age increases:

  • Bone strength decreases
  • Fat distribution changes
  • The chest wall becomes less elastic
  • Reaction times are delayed
  • Balance and vision worsen

All of these changes lead to a perfect storm for older bikers to suffer more injuries or injuries that are more severe in nature.

If you are an age 50-plus motorcyclist, the best way you can protect yourself is to follow the law, attend specialized training for riders your age, use protective chest and head gear, and stay alert. However, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, working with experienced Tucson motorcycle accident attorneys who know the law and will work to get you the compensation you deserve is your best bet.

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