Hard as it is to believe as we peer through frosty windows on our daily commute, motorcycles will be hitting the roads in just a few short weeks. And a new report contends older riders may be at greater risk.
Motorcycles are ridden by people of all ages and enjoyed by many throughout the greater Boston area. Unfortunately, while motorcycles can be a fun and effective method of transportation, riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous.
According to one recent study, the risks of a motorcycle accident aren’t equal-opportunity risks. In fact, the study indicates that older motorcycle riders are much more likely to be hospitalized or to suffer serious injury in a motorcycle accident than younger drivers. Our Boston accident lawyers urge all motorcycle riders (and those considering riding) to take a look at the study data and to do everything they can to keep themselves safe and avoid becoming a statistic.
Why Older Riders May be in Greater Danger
The new information on older motorcycle riders was identified in a report published in Injury Prevention, a journal on risk and accidents/injuries. BBC News reported on the Injury Prevention Report, indicating that similar data from the UK also exists to back up the claims made.
According to the report:
- Older motorcycle riders may be more likely to become involved in motorcycle accidents than younger drivers. Older drivers tend to have health issues caused by age, such as reduced vision capacity; slower reflexes that delay reaction times; and difficulties balancing. These and other health concerns can up the chances of becoming involved in a crash.
- When a crash does happen, it is more likely to be a serious one. This may be because older motorcycle riders tend to have faster motorcycles that can result in worse collisions. Older riders, unlike many younger riders, often have more financial resources they can devote to the purchase of a better, faster motorcycle.
- When older motorcycle riders are injured in a crash, they are more likely than younger drivers to suffer major complications or devastating injuries. This is because of the condition of their bodies, which are affected by age. For example, older adults may have less elasticity in the chest wall; a different fat distribution than younger riders; reduced bone strength; diabetes; cardiac issues and hypertension. When someone with these or other medical problems is involved in a motorcycle crash, there is a greater chance of something going very wrong as compared with a young healthy person in a collision.
The study also provided some specific statistics that illustrate the effect of these and other factors. The information from the study was compiled using data on motorcycle crashes from 2001 to 2008. The data came from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System- All Injury Program, which obtains information from 100 hospitals on people ages 20 and older admitted to their facilities as a result of motorcycle crashes. In total, more than 1.5 million hospitalizations occurred after motorcycle accidents during this time. From this data, the researchers determined that:
- Motorcycle riders ages 60 and up are three times more likely to need to be hospitalized due to their injuries after a crash than a driver who is in his 20s or 30s.
- Motorcycle riders ages 60 and up are two and a half more likely to get seriously injured in a motorcycle crash than those who are in their 20s and 30s.
Clearly, as these statistics show, there is a big difference when it comes to older drivers vs. younger drivers involved in motorcycle crashes. Older drivers should take note of the special risks that they face and should do everything possible to avoid accidents and serious injuries, including wearing appropriate safety gear and driving in a safe and cautious manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Greater Boston area, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC for a free consultation. Call 1-877-617-5333.