There seem to be two distinct groups of motorcyclists on the road today: young folks who are just starting out and silver riders — the folks who put away their bikes when their children were young but are dusting them back off again and making them part of their retirement plans.
If you fall into the second category, you might not fully understand just how rusty your skills have gotten over the years with disuse. You also may not realize this (or want to face it) — but you’re a bit more breakable than you were when you were young.
Statistically speaking, older riders are three times more likely to be hospitalized than younger riders after an accident, more than twice as likely to be seriously injured and at an increased risk for internal injuries, especially brain trauma.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up returning to the open road on your motorcycle — it just means that you need to plan your re-entry a little more carefully. Consider the following tips:
- Think about a smaller bike. You may be surprised at how different today’s motorcycles handle and the amount of power they pack compared to the models of your youth. If you have any doubts about your ability to handle a full-sized motorcycle, consider a smaller model or scooter instead.
- Take a training course. You probably remember the rules of the road just fine, but some of the finer points of riding a motorcycle are only going to come back with practice. A training course can jog your memory, provide valuable time for you to hone your skills and help you get acquainted with how the newer models work.
- Get a new helmet. Don’t pull out your old helmet (if you had one) and put it on — there’s been a lot of advancements in the science behind those things. A new helmet that’s properly fitted to your head offers your brain protection that’s well worth the money.
- Respect your limits. If you know you have trouble driving a car after dark these days, stick to daylight driving on your motorcycle as well.
If you do end up injured in a motorcycle accident despite your precautions, you may face extended healing time and age-related complications you can’t avoid. That makes it important to discuss your case with an attorney to see if someone else is potentially responsible.
Source: Motorcyclist, “8 Safety Tips for Returning Motorcycle Riders,” Ken Condon, accessed July 28, 2017