Motorcycles, One Size Does Not Fit All, and Not All Ages Are Created Equal

In 3 wheel motorcycle for sale, where there are fewer months with dry road surfaces and warmer air, it’s hard not to notice an increase in news stories about personal injuries and fatalities due to motorcycle crashes during the summer months. Add to that the nearly steady increase in motorcycle registrations in the state over the past 10 years, often with a more than 5% increase from the previous year, and that means an onslaught of motorcycles on the roads for a limited amount of time. Increases in these motorcycle accidents could mean an increased need for motorcycle injury attorneys. But the numbers also reveal something else. In recent years, motorcycle deaths among people in their 40s to 60s have increased, likely due to the fact that there are larger numbers of older drivers, but also because as people age, the physical and mental functions needed for safe driving can deteriorate.

Between 1998 and 2008, the most recent data available from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, fatality rates of motorcycle crashes increased steadily across the board, even as car crash fatalities decreased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2008, car fatalities were at an all-time low while motorcycle fatalities were at an all-time high. Whether or not these motorcycle crash fatalities were a result of wrongful death, therefore requiring a wrongful death attorney, is unclear. Some of the crashes can be attributed to the fact that motorcycles are more likely than other vehicles to crash with a fixed object – opposed to another moving vehicle – according to the NHTSA. However, there’s another clear piece to the puzzle: Age.

The NHTSA and the CDC have conflicting data about the various ages of those fatalities, perhaps because of their different areas of focus. According to the CDC, the age group with the most motorcycle fatalities has long been riders in their 20s. The NHTSA tells a different story, though. According to their data, motorcycle fatalities in 1998 were more common for riders in their twenties. But by 2008, riders older than 40 were more likely to die in motorcycle crashes, and by a larger margin.

In Oregon, the numbers support those of the NHTSA. In 2011, motorcycle crash deaths disproportionally affected people between the ages of 45-64, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation, with more deaths in that age range than all other age ranges combined. Of all the motorcycle crashes in Oregon that year, nearly twice as many did not involve another vehicle. This category includes accidents caused by overturning, colliding with a fixed object, or others classified as “non-collision.” Fatalities in those categories were five times higher than fatalities of motorcycle crashes with other vehicles involved, and more motorcyclists died in collisions with fixed objects than any other kind of collision, according to ODOT. But why is there such an increase in fatalities with age?

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