Riding a bicycle can involve greater risk for seniors. A risk that includes those involved in easy riding. For seniors, the multiplier effect is huge.
Why Are Seniors More Apt To Get Hurt Or Killed?
The record does not reflect a difference. There are few records kept regarding bicycle accidents. Usually a motor vehicle needs to be involved before a report is filed.
Texas requires the car being towed before a report is filed. In many cases, it is the hospital’s report that allows for the collection of any information concerning bicycle accidents.
There are bike riders, and there are senior bike riders. This is not an attempt to put all seniors into one group or dismiss those who are serious riders. Many have ridden since their youth.
A Personal Story
As a kid, I rode a ten speed bicycle when there were few doing so. I rode around town, sometimes wandering ten or fifteen miles from home. I was involved in easy riding.
I had a friend who was a serious rider. He rode across the United States on his ten speed.
It was a sanctioned event that included many riders. He had maintenance help and safety personnel following with vans and station wagons. As far as I know, nobody got hurt.
Seniors Have Sanctioned Rides
Where I live, there are dozens if not hundreds of riders that suit up in their bright, colorful Spandex, don their helmets and riding gloves, and take off on a fast paced ride through town.
Great exercise for sure and probably a wonderful social outing.
Where I live, most of the population is old. The community was developed for retirees. We don’t have school buses.
If I were to ride a bike here, it would not be anywhere near motor vehicles. I saw a couple recently. It caused me to think. It is something that I see often. They were riding in the right lane of a four lane road. Two lanes in each direction separated by a grassy median.
They have every right to be there. They were doing nothing wrong and probably never do. They probably observe all the safety rules. The point of course is, they have no control over the drivers who surround them.
Where I live, most don’t see well. Many have hearing deficiencies, and others could suffer a serious medical event at any moment. I don’t thinks it’s safe to be on a bicycle in the midst of that type of vehicular traffic.
Especially when that type of the traffic is the majority of the traffic.
Why would anyone want to be in the roadway, unprotected, knowing the shortcomings of their neighbors? Those driving around them.
I am reminded of the horrible accident involving the former professional golfer and now an NBC television golf analyst, David Feherty. He was pinched to the curb by a truck attempting to avoid colliding with a car. He was struck by a mirror and suffered three broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Like most bike riders involved in an accident, it was not his fault. He said, “I’m lucky to be alive.”
There are few dependable stats on injuries in bicycle accidents. Only the fatal ones are certain to be reported. That number seems to be around 2% of all traffic fatalities.
Seniors are at great risk when riding a bicycle. If or when they are struck by a motor vehicle, they are far less likely to survive. Their age is their greatest liability.
I Have Written Of Other Risks
Riding a bicycle is unique. The risks can be nearly eliminated. While accidents can happen to anybody, being struck by a car requires attempting to blend in with traffic. Ride where there are no cars makes a difference.
I won’t insult riders by suggesting a stationary bike. See my review here. There is a certain joy that comes from riding. With it however, is a bit of arrogance. Riders understand they can ride on streets and have the right-of-way over motor vehicles.
The arrogance comes when they sense being denied their right-of-way. Unfortunately every close call does not come from drivers trying to deny that right.
I make no attempt to deny the right to ride. I yield when I see them. The danger lies with the driver that simply is unaware of their presence. They don’t see the bicycle. Being struck becomes a very real possibility for a bike rider.
Riding a bicycle is risky. The risk includes those riders only wishing to have an easy ride. If you are determined to ride, pay attention to all the traffic. Understand that the guy coming up behind you may not even see you.
Your blaze orange riding outfit is not a force field. Not everybody is going to see you.
As alway, if you have a question or a comment, drop a note in the comments section below.