Klest Injury Law Firm
Driving a motorcycle comes with risks. After all, unlike being in a crash while inside a vehicle, motorcycles offer no shell of protection. Illinois motorcyclists as well as others throughout the U.S. may be interested in recent study findings regarding motorcycle accidents.
A recent study published in the Injury Prevention journal revealed that motorcycle riders ages 60 and over are two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer severe injuries than motorcyclists in their 20s and 30s. Middle-aged riders are 66 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries than their younger riders.
Types of injuries also vary by age group. The over-60 crowd is more likely to suffer internal injuries or brain injuries and have a higher rate of upper trunk injuries. Younger riders are more apt to suffer non-serious injuries such as abrasions, strains, sprains or contusions. Younger riders suffer more arm breaks than the older set. Reasons for the differences may be due to the quicker response time of younger riders who reach out as they fall while older riders often experience deterioration in response ability as they age.
Older riders, aware of their increased vulnerability, may invest in better protective gear, reducing their risk of abrasions. Considering that older motorcyclists have reduced bone density, different body fat distribution and less elasticity in the chest cavity, they are more susceptible to falls and certain types of injuries.
Previous regional studies revealed that injuries among motorcycle riders 65 and older increased 87 percent over a recent six-year period. During this same time period, fatalities related to older motorcyclists increased 145 percent.
The study’s findings regarding injuries in regard to age group also indicate older riders are more apt to be seriously injured. Motorcyclists 60 and over had a 35 percent hospitalization rate while 25 percent of middle-aged riders were hospitalized for injuries suffered from a motorcycle accident. Younger riders involved in a motorcycle accident were hospitalized at a rate of 15 percent.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Older motorcyclists suffer greater injury in crashes, study says,” Monte Morin, Feb.7, 2013