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Risk of serious motorcycle injuries increase with age

Motorcycle enthusiasts include riders in any age group. Getting in the wind on a motorcycle to commute to work, enjoy the open road in times of leisure, or for basic transportation continue to be economical and enjoyable reasons many Texans choose to ride. At any age, riders are vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash. The average age of motorcycle riders has increased in the past two decades.

Fatalities Have Increased

It is important to note that older riders tend to suffer injuries that are more serious, or catastrophic, than the injuries that younger riders may experience. AAA says that deaths among riders age 60 and over rose from 2,000 nationwide in 1998 to 8,000 in 2007. For riders in their 50s, motorcycle fatalities soared by 150 percent in that same time frame. More recently, motorcycle fatalities in motorcycle accidents spiked in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While motorcycle registrations rose slightly that year, fatal accidents hit their highest level in eight years.

One study, published in the journal, Injury Prevention, found that as people age, they become more susceptible to serious injury. The study authors note that younger riders are involved a larger percentage of overall motorcycle accidents. However, older riders suffered far more head and chest injuries in wrecks. Older riders are three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital than riders in the 20- to 40-year old age group. Fatalities were also higher for riders who are middle-aged or older.

The Impact Of The Aging Process

Physiological changes related to the aging process are likely a primary reason that more mature riders suffer more serious injuries, according to the conclusions of the research. The study authors say other factors may also be at play in increased risks for older bikers, such as:

  • Slower reaction times with aging
  • Issues with balance in older adults
  • Decreased vision
  • Pre-existing health conditions

It is important to note that the reports and studies discussed above focused on the severity of injuries -- not causation. Riders of all ages are vulnerable to the negligent actions of other motorists on the road. When other drivers fail to yield to a motorcyclist, fail to see a biker, or engage in other forms of negligent driving that leads to a motorcycle crash, victims may be entitled to compensation.

Insurance companies and negligent drivers often try to cast blame on the motorcyclist to reduce exposure to liability and damages. It is critical for motorcycle accident victims to seek guidance and representation from an experienced lawyer who knows how to investigate the facts and build a compelling case to maximize compensation after a wreck.

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