Baby Boomers at Increased Risk for Motorcycle Fatalities

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Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. March 01, 2019
Baby Boomers at Increased Risk for Motorcycle Fatalities

The baby boomer generation grew up with a motorcycle as the ultimate symbol of cool. Baby boomers brought motorcycle riding into the mainstream. But people aged 60 and older are also dying in motorcycle accidents at a higher rate compared to other age groups. A study by AAA analyzed federal crash data and found that the fatality rate for motorcycle riders aged 60 and over rose more than 20% in 2016 over prior years. This is 4 times more than the overall 5% increase in motorcycle fatalities. 

Over the past decade, the median age for motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes has increased substantially. This is due in part to the fact that the number of motorcyclists aged 65 and over has increased by 33% over the past decade. If there is a large number of older bikers on the road, the risk of accidents resulting in a fatality is higher. There are other factors, however, that can explain the increase in fatalities.

More Susceptible to Serious Injury

Older motorcycle riders need to ride more defensively than younger drivers to make up for slower reaction times. Older riders are also more prone to serious injury if they are involved in a crash. They are more fragile than younger drivers and are more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries.

Cultural Factors

Many older riders pick the hobby back up in their retirement years. This leads to people who haven’t been on a motorcycle in 30+ years suddenly starting up again. Their motorcycle skills may be rusty. That’s why it’s important for baby boomers who start riding again to undergo retraining to brush up on their skills. In addition, over time, the bikes themselves have become larger and more powerful than they used to be. 

Baby boomers may also be less likely to wear a helmet because helmets weren’t as common back in their day. In states like Florida where helmets aren’t mandatory, this can lead to many helmetless older motorcyclists on the road. Helmets are key to reducing one’s risk of injury.

Contact a Florida Motorcycle Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your consultation.