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Are some motorcycle riders too old to ride?

Motorcycle enthusiasts like to ride in groups, but this can be dangerous if some of the riders present a higher risk and could cause an accident. Though there is no law against elderly people riding -- though they do have to get the proper motorcycle endorsements, just like younger riders -- some have suggested that they could pose a significant danger.

old man motorcycle.jpg

One reason is simply a lack of body strength. A motorcycle is more physically demanding than a car, and riders have to be strong enough to handle the bike, the hold it up at stop lights, and the like.

Reflexes are another concern. Though they may lack experience, younger riders do tend to react faster to changing conditions. Remember, the bike may be traveling at 70 MPH down the highway when a hazard pops up ahead. Riders must be able to react quickly and safely, and they must do it right away. Someone who doesn't have good reflexes any longer could make mistakes or fail to act when needed, leading to a crash.

The risk with slowing reflexes is that many riders don't even know that their reflexes are deteriorating. It takes an emergency situation to find out, and, by then, it could be too late.

It can be tough to bring up the age issue with someone who has been riding for decades. At the same time, though, you don't want to put yourself into a dangerous position.

If an older rider makes a mistake and causes an accident, though, you do need to know your legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation if you're injured in the wreck.

Source: Motorcycle Rider Basics, "Too Old to Ride? Who Says So?," accessed Nov. 30, 2016

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