In recent months, several older motorcyclists have suffered severe personal injury and even death in accidents throughout California, according to a lawyer in the state. Just a few weeks ago, a 78-year-old motorcycle rider was critically injured in a fiery crash in Palm Desert. The rider sideswiped a BMW sport utility vehicle while rounding a curve and then collided with a GMC pickup truck and a Mini Cooper. The Desert Sun reported that the man’s injuries required a significant amount of transfused blood and that his family was asking the public to donate. The frequency of such serious crashes among this population has prompted many to wonder if older riders have a higher risk of accidents.
Statistically, older motorcyclists have accounted for more fatal accidents than younger ones. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent Michigan Car Accident lawyer information https://www.eliaandponto.com/michigan-car-accident-lawyer/, 4,462 motorcyclists were killed and 90,000 were injured in traffic accidents in 2009. That year, motorcycle riders between the ages of 45 and 54 accounted for the majority, 1,097 of the fatal accidents, followed by riders aged 35 to 44 with 978.
A December report by NPR aligned with this data. The news organization claimed that not only have motorcycle fatalities increased but also that an increase in older riders on the road may be at least partially to blame. According to the owner of a motorcycle dealership, older people are more financially equipped to purchase the bikes and have been doing so with greater frequency in recent years. Moreover, the economic recession and weak job market for young people have minimized their consumer role in the industry.
Multiple studies have attributed the high incidence of fatal motorcycle accidents involving older riders to the decline in faculties that accompanies aging, as well as inexperience. NPR cited a University of Michigan study that suggested that older, novice riders may be more susceptible to crashes. A study by the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) indicated that the impaired vision, delayed reaction time, and altered balance associated with aging contribute to older motorcyclists’ higher risk of accidents. URMC also found that older riders have a greater chance of dying from moderate injuries, to spend longer in the intensive care unit, and to suffer medical complications than younger motorcyclists.
Riding a motorcycle-regardless of the person’s age-is significantly more dangerous than driving a car, as the latter provides more protection in the event of a collision. To reduce the risk of accidents resulting in serious personal injury or even death, riders should take training courses. The California Highway Patrol has a safety program offering them to new and experienced riders, according to a lawyer in the state. Moreover, all motorcyclists should wear the Department of Transportation-compliant helmets and avoid risky behaviors, such as speeding and drinking and driving.