It is motorcycle season in western Missouri. While it is intuitive and well known that car accidents involving motorcycles are more likely to cause serious injuries to the biker than other types of crashes, one contributing factor is often overlooked: The rising age of the average motorcyclist.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries Tend to Be Serious
Given the lack of protective equipment that bikers have, it should come as no surprise that motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal or to cause serious injuries than normal car crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,014 motorcyclists were killed on the roads in 2019. That was 13.89 percent of the total number of roadway fatalities that year. However, the NHTSA estimates that motorcycles only traveled 19.688 billion miles that year – or 0.6 percent of the total number of miles logged by all vehicles.
This produces a startling comparison: In 2019, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was 25.47 per 100 million miles traveled. For car occupants, it was 1.10. Motorcyclists were more than 23 times more likely to die on the roads, per mile driven.
Growing Proportion of Killed Bikers are Older
Back in 2007, the NHTSA found that 30.5 percent of motorcyclist fatalities were bikers under the age of 30. By 2016, though, that figure had dropped to 28.1 percent, and had been replaced by riders over the age of 50. These older riders suddenly accounted for 36.7 percent of motorcyclist fatalities.
Those trends continue to slowly separate. In 2019, motorcyclists over 50 had increased to 37.3 percent of the total killed, while those under 30 fell to 27.46 percent.
Older Victims Tend to Be Slower to Recover
One possible reason for this discrepancy is the fact that older accident victims tend to struggle to recover from the trauma of an accident, at least when compared to younger victims. Anyone who has had the misfortune of getting old knows that it takes more effort to do the same things, and it takes longer to recover from doing them. The same applies to recovering from a serious motorcycle or car accident.
Missouri’s Eggshell Skull Rule: Negligent Drivers Take the Victim as They Are
Missouri’s personal injury law, however, has taken the discrepancy into account. The eggshell skull rule makes a negligent driver take the victim as he or she is. Old or young, car occupant or motorcyclist, Missouri’s personal injury law holds negligent drivers who cause an accident accountable by making them compensate you for all of your losses from the crash.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve Western Missouri
The car accident lawyers at the Smith Law Office strive to legally represent motorcycle and car accident victims in St. Joseph, Springfield, Kansas City, and the rest of western Missouri. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 for the legal help you need to get the compensation that you deserve.