Chance of injury higher for motorcyclists over 60

Statistics show the number of fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents in the United States is on the rise. A recent study has revealed that older riders are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries from such crashes than younger motorcyclists.

According to a study published in Injury Prevention, motorcyclists who are over 60 years of age are three times more likely to require hospitalization after being involved in a motorcycle accident than riders aged 20 to 40. The study also found that the chance of sustaining a personal injury is 2.5 times higher for bikers over 60 years of age than younger riders.

The study looked at a number of factors that could contribute to older motorcyclists' higher risk of injury. Among the potential physical causes suggested by the study's authors include:

  • Decreased bone strength
  • Changes in fat distribution
  • Reduction in the chest wall's elasticity

In addition, the authors point to slower reaction times and decreased visual acuity as people age. The study also discusses the ability of older individuals with more disposable income to buy motorcycles with larger and more powerful engines - which lead to more severe motorcycle accidents.

Prevent motorcycle crashes in New York

Although the risks are reportedly higher for those over the age of 60, it is critical for all motorcyclists to take precautions when on the road. The number of motorcyclist fatalities has been on the rise over the past decade - as over 34,000 motorcyclists died in crashes between 2001 and 2008 in the U.S.

In New York alone, there were over 5,330 motorcycle accidents in 2011, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. Of those, 168 were fatal collisions, resulting in 171 fatalities in total.

One of the most important safety precautions motorcyclists can take is ensuring they always wear a helmet while on the road. All motorcyclists in New York are required to wear helmets that abide by federal safety standards. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 1,830 lives were saved in 2008 due to helmet usage.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that motorcyclists wear clothing that provides protection when on the road, particularly clothes with reflective strips when riding at night. As with all motor vehicle travel, motorcyclists should always refrain from riding when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damage caused. Consulting with a skilled, New York personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.