motorcycleBaby boomers are getting hurt more often and injured more severely in motorcycle accidents than younger riders, according to a study published in Injury Prevention.

Researchers examined the differences in motorcycle-related injuries across age groups by checking data from hospital emergency rooms.

An estimated 65,660 patients 60 years and older, 466,125 patients aged 40–59 years and 921,229 patients aged 20–39 years were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes from 2001 to 2008. The number of injuries increased in all groups from 2001 to 2008, with the greatest rate of increase (about threefold) occurring in the oldest age group. Middle age adults nearly doubled their rate of hospitalization compared with younger adults.

The study concludes that older adults involved in motorcycle crashes are prone to more severe injuries than younger adults.

“The increased number of older adults riding motorcycles should put further focus on risk of injury to this population,” note the authors.