July 5, 2012

It’s Motorcycle Season

By Debra Carney
Driver License Supervisor
Office of Driver Services
Davenport, Iowa

NEWS FOR YOU…. from the Iowa Iowa Department of Transportation

Motorcycles have been a part of transportation for a very long time. They were once a more prevalent form of transportation, until automobiles could be mass produced. Today’s rider may use the motorcycle for commuting, everyday use of if they don’t own a car. Some are weekend-only riders or may take long vacations on their motorcycles.

Many people are returning to riding now that their kids are grown or they have retired. Or, they may have been riding for years but are now increasing their riding time with fewer demands in their life. Nearly six out of 10 Iowa licensed operators are age 45 or older.

With that increase in ridership is an increase in the number of crashes among older drivers. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reported fatal crashes from 1975-2009. But in 2009, it was the first time that the percentage of drivers killed for the over-50 group was higher than those under 29 years of age.

That increase may have more to do with the motorcycle rider’s age than the type of crash. There are two times in people’s lives when injuries peak, one in adolescence the other in their senior years. Unfortunately, the ability to recover from injury declines with age and the medical baggage you have racked up over the years. An injury you may have sustained during your teen years requires far less recovery time than the same injury several decades later.

If you are already a rider, or considering becoming a rider, there are a number of motorcycle safety groups and organizations around the state. For more information about Motorcycle Rider Education follow the links at: www.iowamre.com.