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Motorcycling Risks to Older Bikers in Maine

motorcycle-stunter-tyre-burnout-1301096-m.jpgMotorcycles in Maine and elsewhere are often associated with rebellious youth. In 1990, only one out of 10 bikers was over 50 years old. In 2003, one out of every four bikers was over 50 years old. However, a number of bikers today are over the age of 60. From 2000-2006, the number of crashes increased by 145%. This hobby is only gaining popularity among baby boomers.

A 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal examined the injury patterns and the severity of those injuries among younger and older bikers. The study found that bikers over the age of 60 were up to three times more likely to be seriously hurt due to a collision with a car compared to younger bikers. The data for the study found that there were 1.5 million crashes involving adults over age 20. Importantly, injuries to people over the age of 60 tend to be more severe than injuries to younger people. Older people are less resilient, and therefore they take a longer period of time to heal.

The data for the study came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. The program assessed injuries from motorcycle accidents that were handled in the emergency department between 2001-2008. The researchers compared trends among three groups: 20- to 39-year-olds, 40- to 59-year-olds, and those over age 60.

The largest groups were the younger groups, under age 60. There were 466,125 patients between 40-59. There were 921,229 patients between 20-39. The smallest number was patients over 60: 65,660. However the greatest rate of increase between 2001-2008 was in the oldest group, which had three times the rate of hospitalization compared to the younger groups. The number of injuries experienced by those 60 and older increased 247% over a seven-year period. Middle-aged adults had two times the rate of hospitalization as the youngest group. It was noteworthy that adults over age 60 were not only about three times more likely to be sent to the ER after a crash than bikers in their 20s and 30s, but were also 2.5 times more likely to sustain a serious injury.

Older and middle-aged people were more likely to sustain chest and rib cage injuries, as well as internal organ damage. They also had more brain injuries. Brain and chest injuries are more severe injuries, which do not have as high survival rates as a broken arm. If an older person has another medical condition, he or she may also have a higher risk of developing complications. Fatalities also seem to be higher for older riders, according to prior research studies.

Aging can change your strength, vision, hearing, and sense of balance. This may mean that there should be extra training for those who return to motorcycle biking after years not doing it and even for those who are simply older and may not realize the impact of age on their riding skills. Bikers should also wear helmets when they ride, avoid driving in dangerous weather conditions, and never ride after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs.

If you are hurt in a motorcycle biking accident, and it is somebody else’s fault, you may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, damage to your bike or other property, pain and suffering, and reduced earning capacity. You may also be able to get household help for any tasks you are unable to perform because of your injuries.

An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Briggs & Wholey, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced advocate, please contact Briggs & Wholey, LLC at (888) 596-1099 or through our website today.

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Child Safety in Maine: Graco Recall of Car Seats, Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 18, 2014 Attitudes about Speeding in Maine and Elsewhere, Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 11, 2014