Recent data, compiled by the National Institute for Highway Safety, shows that currently, at least 35 percent of all motorcyclists who die in crashes are at least age 50 or over. This is a significant shift from the same data compiled in 1975.
Back then, 80 percent of motorcyclists who died were age 29 or under. The most recently compiled data also suggests that at least 91 percent of all motorcyclists who die in motorcycle crashes are men.
Fatal motorcycle accidents also reportedly account for 14 percent of all motorist deaths in the United States. In 2016 alone, data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that at least 5,286 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes. This number marked a 5 percent increase from the prior year. It was at least double that rate from back in 1996.
The Insurance Institute suggests that the reason for the increase in motorcycle fatalities among this older population is two-fold. On one hand, the 50 and older population in this country is sizeable. At least 76 million people were born during the 18 years leading up to 1964 in the U.S.
On another hand, many of these individuals, if they rode motorcycles before, did so back in the 1970s. Many think that they can easily just get back on their bikes and that riding one will simply come back to them. Few take into account that their skill set may have diminished since then.
Officials with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) also point out that individuals belonging to this 50 and older group often lack the ability to respond as quickly as younger motorcyclists can. Young or old though, it seems both have a similar tendency to get distracted by their smartphones and other electronic devices.
Since motorcycles don’t offer many of the same safety features that other vehicles offer, motorcyclists are likely to suffer more significant injuries or die if they’re involved in crashes as well.
If you’ve been seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, then a Los Angeles attorney may advise you of your right to recover medical or funeral bills or lost wages in your case.
Source: The Herald Tribune, “Most likely to die in a motorcycle crash: Men 50 and older,” Mary Wisniewski, Dec. 7, 2017