Nobody wants to tell their parents what to do. But as our parents age, they experience changes to both their bodies and their brains. These normal changes can make their activities a little more dangerous than they used to be.
At some point in time, it can become downright dangerous for your father to drive a car. But he is even more vulnerable when he is riding his motorcycle. If Dad has a motorcycle accident, his injuries could be much more severe than if he were in a car — or if he were a younger version of himself.
Motorcycle fatalities rose as average age of riders rose
Whether your father has been riding for years or has taken it up later in life, you both should be aware that motorcycle riding becomes more dangerous with age. The motorcycle injury rate for men over 50 years of age has been increasing in previous years, and for males 65 years and older, the rate of motorcycle fatalities has more than doubled in the last ten years.
There are a number of reasons for this trend – let’s take a look.
Your father’s reaction time will decrease as he gets older.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the two cognitive functions that are most affected by age are memory and attention. If your father isn’t paying attention like he used to, or seems easily distracted, the time it takes for him to react to a road hazard might be increased. Delayed reaction time can also be caused by some medications, so it’s a good idea to find out what medications your father is on and research them.
Your father may start making poor choices.
You would probably agree that it’s best for your father to ride during the daytime and in good weather, when visibility and road conditions are the best. Your father may forget to take these things into consideration, or may neglect to wear protective gear or maintenance his motorcycle regularly. All of these things could lead to a potential accident.
Accidents can be particularly hard on seniors.
Thinning bones and aging bodies can mean more damage done to someone your father’s age, and can also lead to a longer recovery time if he were in an accident. It could also be hard on him mentally and emotionally if he has to file a personal injury claim and spend hours meeting with insurance agents and attorneys.
You want your father to enjoy his golden years, but in a safe and healthy manner. Discussing these issues with him, and making the hard call when the time comes, will ensure that he does.