Older Drivers Safety

Older Drivers Safety

Older Drivers Safety

Older Drivers Safety – As people age, their body changes with them. During the elderly years, this could mean a loss in visual acuity, a decrease in reflexes, and issues with memory. This all plays a role in someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and may impact the chances of an auto accident occurring. Whether it is bumper scratches or a serious multi-car accident, every car accident carries with it the opportunity of sustaining multiple injuries. According to some statistics published by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2016, between 35,000 and 40,000 people were killed in car accidents.
  • This was close to a 6 percent increase from the year 2015.
  • About a third of these deaths were due to distracted driving, such as talking on the phone or sending a text message.
  • Another third of these deaths were due to alcohol intoxication that was greater than the legal limit.
  • Speeding also played a role in about a third of the deaths.
  • More than one of these factors can play a role in the same accident. For example, someone could be drunk and speeding at the same time.

Car accidents are a multi-faceted issue, and one of these is the issue of age and driving.

The Elderly and Driving: A Study

A study was recently published regarding car accidents and elderly drivers. Researchers conducted a review of the electronic database to determine if accidents were more common in the elderly population. According to the study:

  • Elderly drivers had an accident rate that was twice that of their peers per mile traveled.
  • The crash rate in elderly drivers is similar to that of teenagers, which is significantly higher than that of their younger middle-aged adults.
  • The fatal crash rate has been improving in recent years among elderly drivers, possibly due to policy implementation in some states.

The implementation of policies regarding elderly drivers has been controversial because some people have labeled it discriminatory. However, there are changes that people’s bodies go through as they age which could place themselves and other people on the road at risk. Some of the issues include:

Visual Acuity: As people age, their eyesight could start to fail. Of note, they could have problems seeing at night that might make it hard to spot obstacles and other drivers. This could place them at risk of having an accident.

Mental Impairment: The elderly are at risk of developing dementia. This makes it easier for them to forget where they are going. Roads that they have been driving on for years might seem brand new. This could place them at risk of a collision.

Reflexes: As people age, their reflexes start to slow as well. Reflexes are essential for reacting to quick changes in road conditions, such as a pedestrian crossing the street.

Watch YouTube Video: The Dangers of Elderly Driving. This video from the talk show “The Doctors” reveals why it’s dangerous for older drivers to be behind the wheel.

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Stockton Car Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Car Accident Lawyer. Age-related changes could lead to a serious auto accident accompanied by injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at  209-227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Older Drivers Safety: AutoAccident.com

Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Older Drivers Safety.

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