Older Motorcycle Riders at Greatest Risk of Injury

According to WECT Channel 6, a North Carolina man was killed in early March when he backed his motorcycle out of his driveway into the path of an oncoming truck. The driver was 44-years-old and was hit by the truck as he reversed out of his driveway. Authorities reported that there was no suspicion alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash, but that the man likely failed to see the truck driver coming. 1301095_motorcycle_stunter_tyre_burnout_.jpg

Unfortunately, this motorcycle accident was not the first of the year in North Carolina and it won’t be the last. Motorcycle accidents, like car accidents, happen every day. Our Charlotte injury attorneys urge all drivers to be aware of the potential dangers associated with riding a motorcycle. A new BBC Study also indicated that older riders may be at the greatest risk of injury in a motorcycle crash so we especially urge drivers ages 60 and up to exercise caution when making the choice to ride.

Older Drivers in Danger of Motorcycle Accidents
In mid-February, BBC published the results of a study in the Injury Prevention Journal. Researchers had analyzed data from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) from 2001 to 2008 in order to get a better understanding of motorcycle accidents and injuries.

The study showed that:

  • 1.5 million drivers ages 20 and older had to seek medical help after a motorcycle accident from 2001 to 2008.
  • Drivers ages 60 and over were three times as likely to be admitted into the hospital for treatment when compared with younger drivers in their 20’s and 30’s.
  • Drivers ages 60 and over were two-and-a-half times as likely as young drivers to suffer a serious injury as a result of a motorcycle accident.

These statistical differences between older and younger motorcycle riders are very significant and are cause for concern for motorcycle riders everywhere. One spokesman from the Motorcycle Action Group indicated that the number of older motorcycle riders was on the rise in Britain and the number being injured was also increasing. BBC pointed out that the same is true in the United States.

Why Are Older Motorcycle Riders at Greater Risk?
There are lots of reasons why older motorcycle riders may be hospitalized for motorcycle accidents more frequently than younger drivers. BBC reported on several of these reasons including the fact that:

  • Older drivers often have faster bikes than younger drivers because older motorcycle riders often have more financial resources to buy a fancy bike.
  • Older drivers may suffer from impairments that make them more likely to become involved in a motorcycle accident, especially if they do not ride regularly and haven’t kept up their skills.
  • Older drivers tend to have more health problems to begin with, which means they can be more susceptible to being seriously hurt as a result of the accident. For example, an older driver with bone loss might be more likely to break a bone than a younger and healthier driver.

For all of these reasons, it is very important for any older driver considering buying or riding a motorcycle to tread carefully and to put safety first. Hopefully, if all motorcyclists- including older drivers- are aware of the risks they face, accidents like the one that cost the life of the North Carolina man can be avoided.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Report: Carolina Drivers Don’t Think Safety Rules Apply to Them, Feb. 17, 2013, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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