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Severe motorcycle injuries more prevalent in older riders?

Residents in and around Warren County know that a typical excuse for drivers involved in a motorcycle crash is that they "didn't see" the motorcyclist. Although a motorcycle is significantly smaller than a car, it does not excuse drivers' negligence in a crash.

There is undoubtedly an increased sense of vulnerability that comes with riding a motorcycle, which can lead to serious injuries or even death. Although men and women of all ages ride every day, a recent study points out that older age may be tied to a higher risk of injury.

The study looked at injury information from 100 U.S. hospitals which had emergency units. Researchers found that those over the age of 60 were three times more likely than those in their 20s and 30s to be admitted to a hospital after a motorcycle crash and two-and-a-half times more likely to sustain serious injuries.

While young people were more prone to shoulder, arm and hand injuries, likely from a faster reaction time, older individuals sustained more upper body fractures. Researchers believe this has to do with decreased body strength and elasticity in the chest wall, as well as a change in fat distribution. They also cited vision problems, changing balance and delayed reaction time as factors.

Finally, researchers pointed to the fact that older individuals are more likely to buy motorcycles with more powerful engines, which could contribute to more severe injuries.

As we see in the news daily, no one age group is immune from the negligence of other drivers. When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, they have a high chance of sustaining severe injuries or even dying. In cases where negligence is found to be a factor, victims or their families may choose to seek compensation in order to pay for the unexpected costs stemming from the crash.

Source: BBC News, "Older motorcyclists 'more likely to be injured'," Anna-Marie Lever, Feb. 6, 2013

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