Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Among Older Motorcyclists

Yesterday (December 19) The Wall Street Journal had an article titled “When Heaven Is a Harley.”

The article discusses various aspects of the growing trend among older people to become first-time motorcyclists.

Here are some excerpts regarding safety aspects mentioned in the article:

To be sure, older riders are at risk and account for a rising share of the nation’s 4,000 or so motorcycle fatalities annually. Age 50-plus riders, many of them baby boomers who started in their youth, now represent nearly one-third of all motorcycle-driving deaths, up from about 5% in 1975, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Gray riders’ deadlier road record is partly attributable to their rise as part of the motorcycle-riding population. According to the industry council, the mean age of cycle ownership has climbed to about 40 from 33 in the past decade.


…partially offsetting the physical limitations of some older riders is their mature temperament. Says Mr. Lopez, “They tend to go a little slower and take fewer risks.”


The Illinois Department of Transportation has categorized motorcycle accident fatalities by age and gender; this information can be seen in the “2010 Motorcycle Fatalities” (pdf) document which was discussed in the December 9 blog post titled “Illinois Motorcycle Accident Fatalities For 2010 – Statistics & Categorizations.”


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