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Motorcycle Accidents More Likely to Injure Older Riders

In Boston, there are lots of motorcycle riders who enjoy using their motorcycles for pleasure riding or for commuting. As soon as we hit the spring thaw, the diehards will be on the road. Thousands of others will soon follow, as people enjoy motorcycles and scooters as an economical alternative for making their way through city traffic.  Unfortunately, these motorcycle riders are at serious risk of injury if they become involved in a collision.

Our Lowell, MA injury attorneys know that drivers of any age can be seriously hurt or even killed as a result of a motorcycle accident. Recently, however, a new study indicates that older motorcycle riders may have a significantly greater risk of becoming involved in a serious motorcycle accident than younger riders.

Older Riders More Likely to Suffer Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Information about the recent study that addressed the added dangers of motorcycles for older riders was published by BBC News. Originally published in Injury Prevention, the study was based on data from the United States National Electronic Injury Surveillance System - All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP).

The NEISS-AIP collects information from more than 100 hospitals throughout the U.S. Researchers reviewed information in the NEISS-AIP from 2001 to 2008 to identify incidents where motorcycle accidents necessitated a trip to a hospital or admission to a hospital. There were 1.5 million cases identified in NEISS-AIP where adults ages 20 and older sought treatment at a hospital after a motorcycle crash.

Based on the data collected from hospitals, the study revealed that:

  • Riders ages 60 and up had a 2 1/2 times greater chance of getting seriously hurt because of a motorcycle crash than did younger drivers in their 20s and 30s.
  • Riders ages 60 and up who rode motorcycles had a three times greater chance of seriously injuring themselves badly enough to be admitted into the hospital than drivers who were in their 30s or younger.
  • Adults ages 60 and older had a far greater chance of having medical conditions that made the risk of serious injury or hospitalization more likely. These conditions include bone density loss; cardiac problems; hypertension and diabetes.

In fact, the added risk to older adults comes from a number of potential bodily changes. Older riders, for example, may have a different fat distribution that makes them more susceptible to injury. They likely have a less elastic chest wall that can exacerbate the dangers of a crash.

The changes to their bodies that older drivers face may also increase the likelihood not only of serious injury but also of getting into an accident in the first place. An older driver is more likely to have balance difficulties; vision problems and delayed reaction time. These factors, too, contributed to a greater risk of accident and thus to a greater risk of being hospitalized for a motorcycle injury.

Finally, one last factor stems from the fact that older drivers are often more well-off than their younger counterparts. An older motorcycle rider may be able to afford a better bike, which is faster and has more power. If he rides faster or takes risks, then the older driver again ups his chances of becoming involved in a crash.

If you've been injured, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with one of the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.