According to statistics, more Americans over the age of 50 are turning to motorcycles as a fun hobby. According to some sources, the mean age of motorcycle owners increased from 33 to 43 between 1998 and 2003 alone, as more older riders joined the ranks or motorcycle owners. Trade groups estimate that one in four American motorcycle riders are at least 50 years of age.
While it’s great news that people over the age of 50 are enjoying better health and pursuing their passions, the fact is that more riders on motorcycles can mean more risk of motorcycle accidents. Since Florida has a large population of seniors, motorcycle accidents in Miami Gardens and other Florida communities involving older riders can be an especial concern.
There may be more bad news for older riders involved in traffic accidents in Miami Gardens and other communities: at least one study has concluded that motorcycle passengers who are at least 60 years old were sent to ERs with serious injuries 2.5 times more often when compared with younger motorcyclists. The study found that middle-age and elderly motorcyclists are more likely to suffer internal injuries and head injuries in Miami Gardens and other communities after a motorcycle crash. The researchers concluded that this may be because older adults are more likely to be affected by balance problems, vision issues, lower bone density, and other problems. In older adults, reaction time may be slower and the chest wall may be less elastic, increasing the risk of an accident and serious injuries from the accident.
For motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages, the number of fatalities related to motorcycle accidents is increasing – even as car accident fatalities have been decreasing. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4, 502 motorcycle fatalities in 2010, up from 3, 197 in 2001. In 2010, 82,000 motorcycle riders were injured, compared to 60,000 in 2001. In 2001, riders who were at least 40 years of age or older accounted for 39% of fatalities. In 2010, that number had increased to 56%.
According to some experts and medical studies, elderly passengers injured in traffic accidents (including car accidents) in Miami Gardens and other communities may take longer to heal. Bones do not heal as quickly in more advanced age than they do when a patient is younger. Older patients are also more likely to have underlying medical conditions that can affect their recovery. With a motorcycle accident, the results can be even more dire than with a car accident, since the motorcycle offers fewer layers of protection.
If you have sustained any serious injury in a traffic accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney in Miami Gardens or your community. If the accident was caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness, you may be able to pursue compensation that can help pay for medical care, property damage, lost income, and other expenses related to the injury.
Do you think you may have a case? Contact the Flaxman Law Group to know for sure. The Flaxman Law Group is pleased to offer free, no obligation case evaluations so that you can get legal advice about your situation.