Study Finds Older Motorcyclists More Likely to Sustain Serious Injuries in a Crash

It’s not just young adults who enjoy the thrill of riding a motorcycle on the open roads. New research shows that the number of older motorcycle enthusiasts is growing.

At the same time, older adults on bikes have three times the likelihood of sustaining serious injuries in a motorcycle crash compared to younger riders, according to a study by researchers at Brown University. Older adults were also three times more likely to be hospitalized for their injuries compared to adults in their 20s and 30s.

Risk of serious injury was 66 percent higher for middle-aged riders compared to younger riders, and two-and-a-half times higher for older riders. Middle-age and older riders were found to be more likely to suffer internal organ damage, such as that involving the brain.

Government data collected between 2001 and 2008 shows there were 1.5 million motorcycle accidents requiring emergency care involving riders 20 years and up. Overall, the majority of crashes involved riders between the ages of 20 and 39 (921,000). There were 466,000 crashes involving 40 to 59 year olds and 65,000 involving riders ages 60 and up.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Since injuries from a motorcycle crash tend to more often be catastrophic, it’s helpful to understand some of the common causes.

Although left-hand turn accidents are common between vehicles, motorcycles have an especially significant disadvantage. They are oftentimes more difficult to see, and this can be especially challenging when a vehicle is making a left turn as a motorcycle is approaching.

Another common cause relates to the motorcyclist’s behavior. Lane splitting—driving between two lanes of vehicles—is generally done when traffic is moving slowly or has completely stopped. Motorcyclists may try to take advantage of the ability to maneuver between cars, but this can be very dangerous.

Other causes include speeding, impairment, reckless driving, road debris and inclement weather. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help victims of accidents caused by another’s negligence and who would like to learn about their legal rights after the motorcycle accident (800) 246-4878.

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