Daytona Beach Bike Week is right around the corner. And with that being said, it’s time to refresh our driving skills when it comes to driving around motorcycles. There are thousands that will be venturing to the Sunshine State to help to celebrate the event — one of largest motorcycle gatherings in the U.S.
Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers understand that roughly 500,000 people are expected to make their way to this year’s event. During this time, motorcycle enthusiasts get to partake in racing activities, concerts, street festivals and various parties. Daytona Beach Bike Week kicked off back in 1937 as the Daytona 300. It has grown to so much more. Unfortunately, it’s a dangerous festival that sees its share of fatal accidents. In 2011, there were close to 10 people who were killed at the festival because of rider accidents.
This year, we’re focusing on the older motorcyclists. We’re choosing this route because a recent study concluded that they were the age group that was most likely to sustain serious injuries and to be hospitalized in the event of an accident. This age group accounts for all riders over the age of 60. According to USA TODAY, aging motorcycle riders are like aging athletes: When they get hurt, they are more likely than younger enthusiasts to get seriously hurt.
This is a very important thing to know because the age of motorcyclists in the country is rising as Baby Boomers hit their 50s, 60s and older. Back in the 90s, only about 10 percent of riders were over the age of 50. In 2003, this number hit 25 percent. Officials say it’s even higher today — and it’s rising.
The recent study was conducted by researchers with Brown University in Rhode Island. They looked at injury reports of close to 2 million riders. About 90 percent of the reports were male. Most of the injuries (or about 1 million) occurred to riders between the ages of 20 and 39. What’s important though, is that the injury rate increases the most for riders over the age of 60 and their injuries tended to be much more severe. The more severe injuries were actually about 3 times more common among older motorcyclists. For internal injuries, brain injuries were most common.
Officials believe that injuries among older riders were more severe because of their aging bodies. As we get older, we get weaker, our reaction times are delayed, our sight deteriorates and our balance is altered.
The study didn’t look at fatalities, but other research suggests that these rates also are higher in older riders.
Motorcyclists and passenger car drivers are asked to be careful. We all have to work together to make sure our roadways stay safe. Wear your seat belts and strap on your motorcycle helmets. These are both your best bet against injury and death in the event of an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case at 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Motorcycle Accident Raises Questions of Intersection Safety, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 28, 2013
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Seriously Injures Rider, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, November 29, 2012