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Hospital stays may be longer for injured senior bikers

The average age of motorcycle riders has increased over the past couple of decades. Perhaps you are a member of the over-60 group who enjoys the freedom of a breezy, two-wheel approach to the open road.

You do have to keep the possibility of an accident in mind, however. Unfortunately, age is likely to play a part in the severity of any injuries you might sustain in a crash, and you could be in for a lengthy hospital stay.

The effects of aging

Aging is simply a fact of life. There is nothing you can do about it. Older motorcycle riders experience a lot of head and chest injuries, and this is partly due to changes in the body as the years go by. According to medical studies, the physiological effects of aging that impact motorcycle riders include loss of bone strength and reduction of elasticity in the chest wall, which is why seniors ought to wear some kind of chest protection. Aging also brings blurrier vision and slower reflexes. 

Fewer accidents but more injuries

Younger riders are involved in significantly more accidents, but older riders suffer far more serious injuries. Riders who belong to the over-60 crowd are three times as likely to have to go to the hospital following a motorcycle crash as their younger counterparts. In addition, the typical senior biker carries a long medical history, which often makes treatment a more complicated task -- and the hospital stay longer -- since any existing health issues can play a part in recovery. 

Protecting yourself

In addition to donning a helmet and wearing apparel that can offer some protection in the event of an accident, you should carry a suitable insurance policy, such as $100,000/$300,000 coverage at a minimum. If you should be in an accident with an uninsured or under-insured motorist, you will want to have every advantage possible. Being prepared for the unexpected is always a wise idea, but the best move you can make is to enjoy your time on the open road and steer clear of the hospital altogether.

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