OLDER RIDERS MORE AT RISK FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
As the number of Americans over the age of 50 increases, so does the number of older motorcyclists on the road in Tennessee. This is due to the fact that they have disposable income to spend on motorcycles. Some take up riding as a new endeavor, while others enjoyed it as a hobby in their youth, but gave it up when they settled down and raised families. Now that their children are grown, they are rediscovering their love for motorcycling.
However, while the Insurance Information Institute reports that overall, motorcycle injuries and fatalities are down, fatalities for riders over the age of 40 are on the rise. Motorcyclists in that age group accounted for 55 percent of fatalities in 2013. In addition, older rides appear to suffer from more severe injuries than younger riders. USA Today reports that this is especially true for riders 60 and over who are two and a half times more likely to sustain serious injuries and three times more likely to end up in the hospital.
The reason for the increased severity of accidents involving older riders is that older bodies are at a disadvantage when it comes to the skills needed to ride a motorcycle. Older people generally have worse balance and poorer vision than younger people. They also suffer from delayed reaction times. This means that older riders are more likely to sustain bone fractures and dislocations, and are also more at risk for head and brain injuries.
This does not necessarily mean that older riders need to give up a beloved hobby. They should, however, be sure to use the proper safety equipment and perhaps take or re-take a training course to make sure their skills are up to speed.