Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Old Riders Need to be More Careful

Last year I did a first blog on "Old Age and Motorcycling". It was mostly about how aging could make motorcycling more difficult or uncomfortable. But I did briefly touch on slow reflexes and poor eyesight, which are safety considerations.

This story from Media Newswire is about something I had not considered, which is how much more damage an older person will sustain in an actual crash, and how much longer recovery takes. Apparently bones are weaker and more brittle, the immune system is not as strong, and there are many more complicating conditions, on average, for the emergency room doctors to worry about. Many older people also take daily pill cocktails, and that has to be considered in the emergency treatment.

This article also mentions that contributing to the risk of an accident is "decreased brain size".

So I'm 61 years old, I guess I better use what's left of my smaller brain to be extra cautious about accidents. At the very top of the list of things that can be done with a smaller brain, is to avoid buying a motorcycle that is way too much to handle. That means I should not be saving my money up for a BMW 6 cylinder 155 horsepower sport touring motorcycle. Second on the list is to stay off rocket bikes (the picture), as most rides tend to be short and end in the emergency room without even the memory of the ride as compensation for all the pain.


  1. Well! I'm glad I read this article, first thing on a nice sunny morning with a projected high in the mid-teens. I'd planned to go for a ride, but instead I think I'll put on my slippers and sip a cup of Ovaltine ;-)

    Seriously, though, it's obvious that, as we age, our 'systems' deteriorate. Especially our vision system, which is no longer nearly as acute, and our reflexes in general, which take much longer to react.

    All of which adds up to taking fewer risks than when we were young, not 'pushing' our chances, or our abilities, quite as far.

    When we were young, we knew that we were immortal, that serious accidents only happened to 'other people.' Now that we're older, we know that we're no longer immortal, but realize that, if we let that worry us to the point of giving up riding, we really will be ready for granny jail ;-)

  2. The ideal situation is of course to have a fatal motorcycle accident the day you were going to die of old age anyway. The older we get, the closer we are positioned to the ideal.