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Older motorcyclists more likely to be injured in a crash
Motorcyclists beware: motorcyclists over the age of 60 are three times more likely to be seriously injured in an accident compared to younger riders, according to a new study. This could be a big safety concern as motorcycles are becoming more popular among older people.
The number of older motorcycle riders has significantly increased during the last decade. In 1990, only one in 10 motorcyclists was over the age of 50. In 2003, the number of motorcyclists over the age of 50 increased to one out of every four motorcyclists. The number of motorcycle accidents increased by 145 percent for riders over the age of 65 in the last 10 years.
Safety experts are concerned with the increase of older people riding motorcycles because if they are involved in a motorcycle accident, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries caused by the accident.
Researchers analyzed bike injury rates between 2000 and 2008 from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. They broke down the data by age groups of 20 to 39, 40 to 59 and riders 60 and older. They found that motorcycle injury rates increased for every age group.
What’s surprised researchers was that bike injury rates significantly increased for riders over the age of 60. The number of injuries for riders over the age of 60 increased by 247 percent over a seven-year period, according to the study. Riders over the age of 60 were three times more likely to be hospitalized after a motorcycle accident and were almost three times more likely to have a serious injury after an accident.
Common injuries from motorcycle accidents included fractures and dislocations. Older riders were more likely to have chest and rib cage injuries as well as internal organ damage and brain injuries after an accident.
Researchers said that older riders should receive more injury prevention and safe riding training, especially if they are inexperienced or new motorcycle riders. They noted that older drivers who are experienced can still benefit from additional training since their strength, balance, vision and hearing may have changed.
Source: CBS News, “Older motorcycle drivers three times more likely to be seriously injured in crash,” Ryan Jaslow, Feb. 7, 2013