For the past couple of years, I have written legal blogs for law firms all over the country. The topics run the gamut from personal injury to estate planning. Here is an example:
Older motorcyclists risk far more than bumps and bruises
A motorcycle rider is obviously more vulnerable than a motorist if an accident occurs. For one thing, the motorcyclist does not have the advantage of a protective steel framework.
Older riders aged 60 and above are most at risk for serious injuries. A university study of motorcycle accidents spanning seven years explains why senior riders suffer more severe effects from a crash.
The study by researchers from Brown University used data from 2001 to 2008 about motorcyclists aged 20 and above who were in accidents and required emergency medical care. The researchers put the riders into three age groups: 20 to 39, 40 to 59 and 60 and above. While those in the youngest group were in far more crashes, the 60 and over group suffered the worst injuries, especially to the head and chest, and were three times more likely than their younger counterparts to require hospitalization.
The researchers concluded that the serious injuries senior motorcyclists suffer are largely the result of the aging process. They noted that as people age, there is a decrease in bone strength and in chest wall elasticity. Older bikers must also contend with worsening vision, changes in balance and delayed reaction time. Add to these any pre-existing health issues, and you can see why older riders may require more hospital care than those in the other two groups studied.
Ironically, by the time people reach senior citizen status, and can finally afford to buy the types of motorcycles they always wanted, they often choose big, heavy bikes that roll over more easily than the sleeker models—an easy route to broken bones and serious head injuries.
A bit of advice
Bumps and bruises are the least of the problems a motorcyclist can expect in a crash. Some older riders are motorcycle novices, and some just need to brush up on their skills. Many safety courses are available for new bike owners as well as refresher courses for the more experienced. If an accident does happen, a motorcyclist should also remember that a personal injury attorney can be a valuable ally, especially in insurance compensation negotiations and to ensure that the rider’s rights are protected.