The average age of motorcyclists continues to increase, in part because retirees finally have the time and money to put toward a mode of transportation they have long coveted. Unfortunately, riding doesn’t come without risks; and for older riders, these risks could be devastating or catastrophic.
This is due in part to the fact that the older we get, the more likely we are to sustain severe, even life-changing, injuries in a crash. It’s this simple fact older riders need to be aware of, especially because serious injuries oftentimes require more time to heal and compensation to cover their costs.
Older versus younger riders
Findings of a 2013 study compared injuries to motorcycle riders according to age. The study covered information from motorcycle accidents over a seven-year period. Riders in the 20- to 39-year-old group were in the most crashes. However, riders in the 60-and-over age group suffered more severe injuries, especially those affecting the head and chest. They were also found to be three times more likely than younger motorcyclists to require a hospital stay.
Effects of aging
The study concluded that the serious injuries sustained by older motorcycle riders were largely the result of the aging process. For example, advancing age is accompanied by more brittle bones and a reduction in the elasticity of the chest wall. Unlike their younger counterparts, older riders also have medical histories that can be complex and may have an effect on their ability to recover or heal properly after a crash.
Most of the older motorcyclists who sustain injuries in crashes face an uncertain future in terms of medical issues, with many facing difficult recoveries. In addition to head and chest injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and even the need for amputation can accompany a devastating accident.
Often, the driver of the car that caused the accident claims he or she just did not see the motorcycle. That kind of excuse does not play well in a court of law. Motorcycle riders of every age have the same rights as other drivers, and the law entitles them to full and fair compensation for any injuries they suffer.
As mentioned above, however, more serious injuries often involve expensive hospital bills that should be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. In these and other motorcycle accident cases, it’s important for riders to keep this in mind and make sure the compensation they receive covers both current and future medical needs.