A 77-year-old motorcyclist recently died in a Maine motorcycle accident in Greene, after colliding with a pickup truck.
Maine State Police report the pickup truck driver pulled out of a parking lot onto the road – and directly into the path of the motorcyclist. The truck was reportedly driven by a 40-year-old man who was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. There was no mention in news reports of a potential civil action for wrongful death, but that could be within the realm of possibility, assuming survivors of the victim have standing to bring such an action under Maine’s wrongful death statute.
The motorcycle accident underscores the risk of serious injury and death to older motorcyclists – the fastest-growing group on two wheels.
One study revealed bikers over the age of 60 were three times more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident as compared to their younger counterparts. Part of the reason this is a major concern is because motorcycles are rapidly gaining popularity among older people.
Injuries to older riders tend to be more severe than what we see for younger riders, and they are more likely to suffer death. This is generally not because they are poor operators, but because they are more frail, less likely to bounce back after a serious crash.
Back in 1990, only about one in 10 motorcyclists were over the age of 50. However, as baby boomers have continued to age, that figure rose to one in every four motorcyclists by 2003. And between 2000 and 2006, the crash rate of motorcyclists over 65 rose 145 percent.
Today, older motorcyclists account for more than half of all motorcycle accident fatalities, with 55 percent being over the age of 40. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that while overall motorcycle deaths have risen by three percent in recent years, motorcycle deaths among those 40-and-older rose by 17 percent.
Common motorcyclist injuries include:
Older riders were more susceptible to chest injuries and injuries to the rib cage, as well as internal organ damage and injuries to the brain. Older bikers with injuries to their head and chest tend to have the lowest rates of survival. Furthermore, riders who are older may have a higher risk of complications due to pre-existing disease or illness or susceptibility to hospital-acquired infections.
Over-60 riders have a higher likelihood of poor vision and slowed reaction time. Additionally, many older riders tend to favor larger, bulkier bikes, and these have a greater tendency of rolling over in a crash. A rollover on a motorcycle is extremely dangerous, and there is a high likelihood of suffering serious injuries.
Study authors called for increased training of older motorcyclists, particularly those who may be just starting out or becoming re-acquainted with riding after years without a motorcycle.
The NHTSA reports nearly 5,000 people died of motorcycle accidents just in 2015 alone, and another 88,000 people were injured.
As of last year, motorcyclists were nearly 30 times more likely than occupants of passenger cars to die in a collision and almost five times more likely to suffer a serious injury in a motorcycle accident.
The Federal Highway Administration reports there are nearly nine million motorcycles registered in the U.S. – a figure that has been growing steadily over the last several years.
If you are injured or a loved one was killed in a Bangor motorcycle accident, let us help you navigate your legal options.
If you are a victim of a Bangor motorcycle accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Turner man dies after his motorcycle collides with truck, Sept. 3, 2017, By Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News
More Blog Entries:
Maine Distracted Driving Bill Gets Lawmaker Approval, July 12, 2017, Bangor Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog