ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 5 (UPI) — More baby boomers still ride motorcycles as they age but middle-aged riders run a higher risk of dying if hurt in motorcycle crashes, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center said conventional wisdom suggests most injured motorcyclists are thought of as young adults. However, between 1996 and 2005, the average age of U.S. motorcyclists involved in crashes increased from approximately age 34 to age 39, while the proportion of injured riders age 40 and older increased from 28 percent to almost to 50 percent.
Those ages 50-59 were the fastest growing group involved with crashes, the study said. The study, published in the American Surgeon, found the risk of dying was one-and-a-half to two times more likely in riders age 40 and older.
“Treating a 60-year-old who has been in a motorcycle accident is very different from treating a 21-year-old who has been in a similar accident — 60-year-olds bring a lot more medical baggage with them and impact outcomes,” Dr. Mark Gestring, director of the trauma program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a statement. “As people start to dust off their motorcycles this spring, older riders should take an extra measure of caution; if an accident happens they’ll often pay a higher price than younger riders.”
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