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Fewer accidents but more injuries for older motorcyclists

There is nothing better for avid Seattle motorcycle riders than a beautiful day and an open road. The objective is to enjoy the ride and arrive at the destination they had in mind, rather than the emergency room.

Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially for older motorcycle riders.

Older riders and their injuries

The results of a study that appeared in the journal Injury Prevention indicate that while riders in their 20s and 30s are involved in more accidents, riders who are 60 years of age and older suffer more serious injuries. Physiological changes are mainly to blame. Aging brings a decrease in bone strength, for example, and the elasticity of the chest wall begins to decline. A motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than someone driving a closed vehicle, susceptible to severe head injuries, spine damage and broken bones.

New wearing apparel innovations

Fortunately, there are many safety innovations in motorcycle gear, including safer helmets with rear-view cameras and other types of wearing apparel. Vest and jackets are now available with built-in airbags. When the sensors embedded in these garments detect an impact, the airbags deploy, protecting the chest as well as vital organs. Three-wheeled motorcycles have also become popular, especially with older riders since they provide more stability and balance than traditional bikes.

Reconstructing events

Here in Seattle, most vehicle-motorcycle crashes are caused by the vehicles; the motorcyclist is usually the victim. Motorcyclists have the same rights as any other drivers, but they often do not get the same respect. A motorist may try to redirect the blame by saying he or she simply did not see the motorcycle, an excuse that is just not good enough. Professionals can reconstruct the events leading up to a crash, evidence will be carefully examined and negligence properly assigned so that an injured motorcycle rider can look forward to fair compensation, full recovery and the next ride on the open road.

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