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Old Riders Pay More For Accidents

By Devaki

Aging motorists are at a greater risk of having injuries and death in road accidents compared to the younger counterparts, says a new American study.

The experts say that the proportion of injured riders above the age of 40 has increased around 50 percent over 34 years. The riders aged 20 to 29 years are rapidly declining over the time. The experts remind that their observation is in the national level.

The injury severity, length of stay in hospital or Intensive Care Units and the mortality rates are also higher for the riders above the age of 40. The risk of dying was one-and-a-half to two times more likely for them, based on the severity of the original injury.

It was also noted older riders are more likely to die from less severe injuries than younger riders, to spend at least 24 hours in the intensive care unit. They will also develop more complications including heart attack and infections, that contribute to longer hospital stays.

The increase in injury severity for older riders may be related to the reduced capacity to withstand injury as the body ages. Age-related changes, such as decreases in bone strength and brain size, may make older riders more susceptible to injury.

Other factors associated with aging, such as impaired vision, delayed reaction time, and altered balance contribute to motorcycle crashes in this population, explaining in part the researchers'' finding that older riders crashed more often as a result of loss of control than younger riders.

So old riders should take an extra measure of caution, as they will have to suffer more for the accidents, says the researchers.

The study, conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, appeared in the March issue of the American Surgeon.

Story first published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 15:20 [IST]
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