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Older motorcycle riders may be in greater danger

Naturally, anyone on a motorcycle can be involved in an accident, regardless of age. However, a study of fatality trends carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that older riders were seeing the biggest increase in deadly wrecks.

In 1991, the study found that "older" riders only made up 15 percent of the fatalities. By 2004, the same group made up 46 percent of the fatalities -- more than three times as many. That's not only a huge jump, but it happened in just over a decade, so it was also a rapid increase.

When looking specifically at those 49 years old and older, the study found that age group saw the biggest increase. It also found that the mean age at which deadly injuries were suffered was 37.9 in 2002, having risen all the way from 29.3 in 1990.

These three different pieces of information all paint the same picture: Older riders are being killed in motorcycle accidents at an increasing rate, while younger drivers are seeing their own rates fall.

Why is this? The NCBI pointed to a few different potential factors. Helmet laws may come into play. An increase in engine size may also have a role. In 1990, the mean engine size was just 769 cc, but it climbed all the way to 999 cc by 2002.

If you're related to an older rider, it's important not only to know that this risk exists, but also what options you have if he or she is fatally injured. When another driver causes the accident, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: NCBI, "Injury Patterns and Severity Among Hospitalized Motorcyclists: A Comparison of Younger and Older Riders," Patricia C. Dischinger, accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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