More Motorcyclists Over 50 Years Old are Getting Killed in the USA

Media excerpt:

“[In the USA, there] were 1,661 motorcycle deaths of people 50 and older in 2015, according to a November 2016 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s an increase of nearly 7 percent, up from 1,553 deaths the previous year. That age group accounted for 35 percent of the total 4,693 motorcycle fatalities, the most for 2015.

Photo of U.S. skull-cap-style crash helmets, which clearly cannot be as effective in preventing head injuries.
U.S. skull-cap-style crash helmets clearly cannot be as effective in preventing head injuries as those which cover the ears and base of the skull.  The most protective, full-face helmets tend only to be worn by younger riders on fast, racing-style motorcycles. It’s an image thing (& a copyright image!).

“In the early 1980s, the proportion of fatally injured motorcyclists who were 50 or older started to increase, rising from 3 percent of all rider deaths in 1982 to 13 percent in 1999, and 35 percent in 2015, the IIHS study said.”  [End of excerpt]

Source: Safety takes spotlight as fatalities rise among older motorcyclists, by Press of Atlantic city

ADoNA comments:  Clearly this is an important topic, however there are other factors which undoubtedly affect the trend.

  • In any walk of life, older people who are badly injured are less able to recover from those injuries than would be a younger person, and death is more likely;
  • The fact that some states have laws which permit people to ride motorcycles without helmets is undeniably a major factor, as is the fact that some designs of American helmets cover a remarkably small area of the wearer’s head and are therefore not as effective as they could be (see the above photograph);
  • Sadly, the USA has a very poor level of road safety and an overall death rate around four-times worse than that in the leading developed nations.  This unarguably affects motorcyclists just as much as it does any other category of road user.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor – Advanced Drivers of North America

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at:

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