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Motorcycle riding is riskier for seniors

Motorcycles are not inexpensive, and it is ironic that when you are finally able to afford the Yamaha or Hog of your dreams, the purchase may come with risks you may not have considered. During the past two decades, the average age of motorcyclists has increased, and so has the rate of injuries.

The results of a survey published in the medical journal Injury Prevention reveal that motorcycle riders over the age of 60 are much more susceptible to serious injury than younger riders.

Fewer accidents but greater injuries

Older bikers are in fewer wrecks than those aged 20 to 38, but when they do get into accidents, their injuries are more severe. This is simply physiology at work. As people age, bone strength decreases, along with the elasticity of the chest wall. Consequently, older riders incur more head and chest injuries than younger riders.

Increase visibility to reduce risk

If you are getting on in years, you should take extra measures to avoid an accident when you get on your bike. Some changes in fashion can make your attire more visible to motorists. The most obvious is to let go of black, a long-time favorite look for older bikers, and wear colorful gear. A vest or helmet looks great in high-visibility yellow or orange, for example.

You can also make your motorcycle more visible at night by applying reflective tape. Use it on your front forks, your panniers and even your wheels. Reflective tape acts like an additional light source after dark and makes your bike look larger than it is.

See and be seen

Stay out of cars' blind spots. Although you cannot avoid them altogether, always stay aware of your position in relation to the vehicles on either side of you. Either make a swift pass or hang back a little, to be sure that motorists see you.

If you are new to the pleasures of motorcycling or if your skills are a bit rusty, consider taking a motorcycle safety course. As an older rider, you want to do everything you can to avoid accidents and the possibility of personal injury.

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