The BMJ Group recently published a study that found that “older bikers are up to three times as likely to be seriously injured in a crash as younger motor bike enthusiasts.”
The results of the study were from an analysis of motorcycle accidents between 2001 and 2008. During this time there were approximately 1.5 million motorcycle crashes involving adults over the age of 20. The greatest rate of increase in injuries was for bikers over 60 years old whose injuries rose 247%.
It makes sense. As bodies age, muscle mass and bone density go down leaving riders more susceptible to injuries.
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The NY Times reported that the number of motorcyclists over 50 rose from 1 in 10 in 1990 to 1 in 4 in 2003. That number has definitely gone up. Our motorcycle lawyers noted in our analysis of our own current cases that nearly 1 in 3 (32% to be exact) of our current active clients were 50 years old or older.
What are the practical consequences for motorcyclists?
- Insurance: If you’re an older rider – make sure you have enough insurance to protect you if you get hit. You should have at least $100,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. You cannot control how much insurance the guy who hits you has but you can control how much insurance you purchase for yourself.
- Gear up: wear protective gear when you’re riding – a helmet, pants, protective jacket, gloves and boots all contribute significantly to reducing motorcycle accident injuries – we see it every day, our clients who get hit who are geared up suffer less injuries than our clients who are not well protected.
- Insurance companies: it is possible that insurance companies could argue that an accident was caused by a motorcycle rider’s age rather than their insured’s negligence. For example, as a person ages, his/her reaction time may increases and his/her vision may get worse. An insurance adjuster/defense attorney might argue that innocent older riders are more responsible for accidents going forward than are younger riders.
If you’re an older rider – BE WARE.
Feel free to contact the motorcycle lawyers at Kass & Moses with any questions or comments or if you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident.