Everyone who rides a motorcycle is vulnerable to sustaining injuries in the event of an accident, no matter if the rider is 20 years of age or 60-plus. However, research shows that the average age of motorcyclists has risen in the past 20 years, and so have injury rates.
Senior motorcycle riders have physiological issues their younger counterparts do not yet share, and as a result, injuries for older riders can be much more serious.
Aging takes its toll
A report published in the medical journal explains that while younger motorcyclists are in many more crashes than seniors, older riders sustain more severe injuries, especially those related to the head and chest. The aging process causes bones to become more brittle, so seniors suffer more fractures and major breaks than younger people do. In addition, the chest wall loses elasticity and vision declines with age. Risk factors for senior bikers include a delay in response time and altered balance, which can be a problem when you are riding a big, heavy motorcycle.
Increased hospital time
Bikers aged 60 and over are more likely to die of their injuries than those who are 40 and younger. Since survivors suffer more serious injuries, they are also three times as likely to require a hospital stay following a crash. In addition, hospital stays are often longer for older riders because medical professionals must manage the treatment they receive around the medical conditions they already have and the medicines they already take.
Tips for survival
Head injuries can be extremely serious, which is why motorcycle riders should wear more protective DOT-approved helmets. If you are a senior, you might also benefit from wearing chest protection. Those new to motorcycle riding can take safety courses, and older riders whose skills may have become rusty can take refresher courses. However, if the unexpected happens and you suffer a serious injury in a motorcycle crash, legal assistance will be important. You will need help in dealing with insurance companies that often demonstrate little regard for motorcyclists, especially older riders who they seem to feel should know better. Remember that you have rights that a skilled, knowledgeable advocate can protect.