Florida is a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts. The weather is wonderful all year round, and with the exception of occasional showers, it is conducive to enjoying the open road. Since Florida is also a popular retirement destination, you will see many older motorcyclists in the Sunshine State.

Unfortunately, the 50-year-olds and above are prone to severe personal injuries if involved in a motorcycle crash. Studies show that there are several risk factors for senior bikers.

Carrying medical baggage

A study published in the journal Injury Prevention showed that older motorcyclists had more severe injuries and were in for longer hospital visits than younger riders between the ages of 20 to 39. Outcomes for riders 60 and older were less positive because they have much longer and more involved medical histories than their younger counterparts. As a result, treating senior motorcyclists is a more complex effort.

Normal aging issues

Despite being in fewer crashes than younger bikers, seniors face more serious injuries simply because of the physiological effects of aging. There is a natural decrease in bone strength as well as brain size. Older bikers also have to deal with altered balance, failing vision and delayed reaction time. These changes, which are normal during the aging process, can contribute to loss of control, which is a leading cause in the accidents of older motorcyclists, many of whom prefer riding big, heavy bikes like Harleys.

Improving their chances

According to the study, it is not unusual for older riders who suffer accident injuries to spend at least 24 hours in intensive care, partly because pre-existing conditions like infections or heart problems complicate the recovery process. This could be a tragedy for a retiree who may have waited for years to purchase a motorcycle. Medical professionals urge new riders, however, to attend safety courses before venturing out on the open road. Refresher courses are also a recommendation for experienced riders whose skills may be a bit rusty. Simple precautions like these could greatly improve the chances for a safe ride when senior motorcyclists head out on a beautiful Florida day.