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Older Riders More Likely to Be Severely Injured in Motorcycle Accidents

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on February 18, 2013

James O. Cunningham and other Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers are alarmed at the findings of a recent study published in the journal Injury Prevention. The study compared the motorcycle accident statistics and severity of injuries of riders over 40 years of age with younger riders and found that older riders are three times more likely than younger riders are to suffer severe injuries in an accident. This is of particular concern to Orlando personal injury attorneys, as an increasing number of older people are purchasing motorcycles and the Orlando metropolitan area, like most of our state, is home to a larger percentage of older people than most states.

The authors of the study found that from 1990 to 2003, the number of motorcyclists over 50 rose from roughly 1 in 10 to about 1 in 4. They also found that the average age of riders involved in motorcycle accidents rose correspondingly. From 2000 to 2006, motorcycle accident injury rates of riders aged 65 and older jumped an astonishing 145 percent.

The sharp increase caused researchers, including Tracy L. Jackson, a graduate student in the epidemiology department at Brown University who led the study, to take a closer look at injury patterns in older riders. She and her colleagues pored over data from a federal database of motorcycle crashes serious enough to require emergency medical care. They found around 1.5 million cases involving injured riders aged 20 and older from 2001 to 2008. The researchers then separated riders into age groups: riders in their 20s and 30s, another group between 40 and 59 and those 60 and older.

They found that injury rates for all three groups were increasing, but the steepest increases affected the oldest riders. The data suggested that riders aged 60 and older who were involved in accidents were two and a half times more likely to be severely injured and three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital than riders in their 20s and 30s were. Riders aged 40 to 59 were twice as likely to be hospitalized with severe injuries as younger riders were. Researchers found that riders 40 and older were also more likely to suffer serious bone fractures and dislocations, as well as injuries to internal organs and brain damage.

Law enforcement officials in Florida have recently stepped up efforts to educate drivers on being more aware of riders to reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries across our state. Since we rank second in the country behind California, there is plenty of room for improvement, but any efforts are a step in the right direction. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver and you have questions about your rights and legal options, call 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) today to schedule a free consultation with Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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