Codgers getting hurt


Peter Jacobs: old doesn’t mean safe. Photo: Codger Thornton

An article in says the
number of motorcycle riders injured in crashes is rising fastest in
an older population.

The article by Cathal Kelly focusses on
the results of a survey by the University of Rochester Medical
Center, which found that the fastest-growing group of riders
suffering injuries was in the 50–59 age range. The riders who
showed the largest drop in injuries were in their 20s.

In Canada, Kelly says, riding habits
are more cautious, though the effect on crash statistics has
apparently not been measured. More helmet use and less
drinking-and-riding likely reduce injury numbers.

But Baby Boomers are at risk, says
Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada president Peter Jacobs. "You’re
never too old to be a novice," he said.

See the whole story at


  1. In my 60’s here, riding nearly 10 yrs now, over 150,000 kms. Day before doing license test, I had an accident, slid thru a rainy intersection trying to make a sudden stop…no notable damage to bike or me. Successfully got license next day but lesson learned…ride with open mind based on the conditions: road, weather, traffic and partners. Have now ridden to both Canadian coasts. This summer riding Toronto to New Orleans via Smoky Mtns. You can bet, I will ride with proper speed, great alertness and much caution…all the time. Older yes, but ride with open mind, learning more each time out.

  2. Same in the UK. ‘Born again’ bikers getting back into it and failing to take into account the massive performance hikes in the last 30yrs. I’m 52 but have had a bike since I was 16. Most people I see at bike gatherings are close to my age. It costs a lot to run a bike nowadays.

  3. Don’t be so quick to blame the cagers. It’s true that in the majority of motorcycle-auto collisions, the car driver is at fault; however, many motorcycle collisions involve only the bike and an unmovable object and are the result of a motorcyclist’s attention lapsing, causing panic at the approach of a corner, and then a bad control input or no control input at all.

  4. You think age means anything to the biotch in the mini van on her cel phone ?
    My understanding is that the majority of fault is with the cages. Old riders just don’t bounce like they used to. Ask Larry and Steve.

  5. I would have to agree with the comment about older riders getting back into ridind,I am 51 and Know my reaction times are getting slower,but have been riding for 35 yrs straight (1,000,000kms)and feel my experience makes up for it,but have met many people my age that have started riding again after a 20-25 yr break and they scare the crap out of me,twist the throttle and have no idea what to do.

  6. I think there’s a common story in these cases: a former motorcyclist gets back into it after 40 years driving cars, thinking he’s got the skills all wrapped up, and then rides off the road in a curve because his handling abilities and visual alertness are not up to the task of riding a modern bike. As Peter said, you’re never too old to be a novice.

  7. I think the first poster asked a couple of very good questions. I’d like to add – How many kilometers per year have these corpses ridden? I’ll bet the only experience a whole bunch of them have is riding to Starbucks or some pub to sit on the patio to watch pedestrians admire their chrome boats…

  8. The reason why more older riders are getting injured is because there are fewer younger people riding motorcycles. When I started riding at 19 years old insurance was about $200.00 per year for a sport motorcycle. A 19 year old seeking M/C insurance in todays insurance climate would have to fork over a few thousand dollars per year to insure a motorcycle; thusly there are fewer younger riders and fewer injury’s incurred by younger riders.

  9. How about if the numbers (there are numbers aren’t there???) were tied to some scale… Kinda like: 50-65 year old riders experience 3.3 more crashes per hundred thousand dollars spent on chrome or some other measurable commodity.

    I would hazard a guess that a large part of the ‘shift’ would have something to do with the Billions of $$$ the insurance companies make off those willing (able) to pay.

    30 years ago, I paid 5% of what I pay now, mind, it’s not the same bike, but I’ve got lots more experience, and still no accidents… ( :upset touch wood and hope I didn’t speak too soon.. 😉 )

  10. “But Jacobs accepts the study’s core finding: that with an aging bike population comes greater risk, and therefore greater need for caution.”

    Then I think they’re both morons. Being in a group that is statistically more likely to get into an accident doesn’t make me a less safe rider than I was last year. Now, if they attributed the increase to slower response time or less agility or something like that, it might be meaningful.

  11. I’d be curious as to the type of bikes involved. Sport? Standard? Cruiser? Dual purpose? Advneture Touring?

    Also, length of time the rider has held a licence.

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