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Older riders proving more likely to be in bicycle accidents

Karns & Kerrison

While bicycles have long been a preferred form of transportation for the younger crowd, recent years have seen a significant rise in the number of older riders. Perhaps this is because more and more people realize the benefits of staying physically fit. The fact that riding a bicycle is easier on the joints than most other aerobic exercises is certainly a bonus.

On the downside, between the years 1998 and 2013, there was a marked increase in the number of injuries suffered by older bicyclists. According to a study conducted by a California university, the number of injuries among cyclists over the age of 45 leapt 82 percent.

It is not just the number of cyclists being hurt that is of concern, so too is the severity of the injuries they are sustaining. Research done by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that between 1975 and 2012, the number of fatal accidents suffered by bicyclists who were 35 to 74 years of age rose dramatically.

One of the study's authors pointed out that the increase is due to more bicyclists competing with motor vehicles for space on the roads. He also suggests that having more safe riding classes available and more dedicated bike lanes could help bring down the injury numbers.

Age may bring wisdom, but over time, our reflexes slow and our bodies become more frail. It can take much longer for an older person to recover from a serious accident. These statistics bear out how vulnerable older bicyclists are, and this is especially true when riding near automobile traffic.

The impact from a car or truck could leave a bicyclist seriously or even fatally injured. Negligent drivers who injure bicyclists should be held responsible for their actions. If you or a family member has suffered harm while riding a bicycle, please consider contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorney could perform an investigation and use the evidence gathered to help you get compensation to cover the costs of recovery.

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