If you are over the age of 60 and own a motorcycle, chances are this is your pride and joy, something you have wanted since you were a teenager, admiring the older guys with Harleys. Your spouse may ride with you or even have a motorcycle of her own. Life is good on the open road – unless you are involved in a crash.
The fact is that although older motorcyclists have fewer accidents than younger riders, their injuries are more serious.
As reported in Injury Prevention, a medical journal, the serious injuries that senior bikers sustain are often due to the natural physiological effects of growing older. For example, as we age, there is a decrease in bone strength and chest wall elasticity. Older motorcycle riders who are crash victims are three times as likely to be hurt as younger riders, and they often suffer head and chest injuries.
The risk factors
Members of the over-60 motorcycle crowd may have a few impairments to handling a bike: delayed reaction times, vision that is no longer as sharp as it once was, even visceral fat distribution that could one cause of altered balance. Age may even affect judgement and the ability to make the proper move in a road emergency.
What you can do
There are several ways to enjoy a safer ride. You can wear bright colors that catch the eye, such as a vest or helmet in high-visibility yellow or orange. If you ride after dark, put reflective tape in places on your bike that are away from a light source, such as on your front forks and panniers. Consider investing in LED turn signals, which are very bright and available in plug-and-play form.
Who can help
You certainly do not expect to be in a motorcycle accident, but they still happen, even if you take every effort to stay safe. After such an incident, your physical and financial recovery are of paramount importance. A personal injury attorney can handle the legal issues so you can concentrate on recovering your health and getting back to riding your pride and joy.