Take a Back Seat: How Dangerous is Elderly Driving?
What to Do if You are Involved in a Car Accident with an Elderly Driver
There are more elderly drivers on the road than ever. The CDC reports that in 2018, there were 45 million licensed elderly drivers, which was a 60 percent increase over the number of elderly drivers in 2000. Thanks to medical advancements, more people are maintaining their health and mental acuity much later in life, which is allowing them to maintain their routines, including driving. Many others simply don’t want to give up their driving privileges because they have lived long lives proving their ability and accomplishment, and they don’t want to take a step backward or admit that their abilities are waning.
But elderly people who continue to drive past the point that they should are putting others around them at risk. The same CDC report revealed that about 7,700 adults over the age of 65 were killed in car crashes in 2018, and more than 250,000 were injured. Those statistics don’t include the other people who were involved in those same crashes who were killed or injured.
The Dangers of Elderly Driving
As people age, their cognitive abilities decline. They have a slower reaction time, which can make it harder for them to break in time or to respond quickly to obstacles, such as swerving if a deer runs out into the road. Elderly people also suffer from declines in their vision and hearing, making it harder for them to assess conditions on the road. They may not properly see the sign that warns them of a road ending, or they may not hear another driver’s horn, alerting them to a danger ahead. Motor control issues can also make it harder for elderly drivers to control the steering wheel or other components.
Knowing When to Stop Driving
Not all elderly drivers are a danger on the road. Everyone is different, and everyone will reach the point that they can no longer safely drive at a different time. Rather than focusing on a specific age, it is more important to focus on the signs that there is a problem to know that it is time to stop driving.
Some of these signs may include:
- Finding numerous dents, dings, and scrapes on your vehicle
- Having trouble properly seeing signs, traffic signals, or pavement markings
- Responding more slowly to unexpected obstacles
- Difficulty switching from the gas to the brake pedal quickly
- Difficulty judging space at intersections, merge lanes, and more
- Noticing an increase in other drivers honking at you or making rude gestures
- Difficult turning to check blind spots
Other signs may appear depending on the person. If you notice these signs in yourself, it might be time to admit that you need to join a ride share or take public transportation instead of driving yourself. If you notice these signs in a loved one, it’s time to intervene – not only for their benefit, but for the benefit of other drivers on the road also.
Getting into an Accident with an Elderly Driver
Not every accident that involves an elderly driver was the fault of the elderly driver. However, if you are involved in an accident with an elderly driver and you believe the accident was no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, time lost from work, and other damages.
Before you can collect such compensation, you will have to prove that the accident was caused by the other driver. Your Glendale injury attorney may be able to do that through a simple analysis of the evidence, such as showing camera footage of the driver running a red light or inspecting tire tracks that show the driver had to have been speeding at the time of the accident.
In other cases, your Mesa injury lawyer will have to look more closely at the details of the accident to prove your claim. That might include consulting medical experts, analyzing the medical records of the other driver, and so on. Your attorney will know what evidence or testimony is needed, as well as how to go about getting it.
Always work with a personal injury attorney after you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. The insurance company will always try to offer you less than you deserve in an effort to save its own bottom line. The personal injury lawyers at Mesa Injury Lawyers will fight to get you the full compensation you deserve after your accident. We’ll work with a team of experts to get all the evidence needed to prove your claims and to ensure you get the compensation that your injuries demand. Call Mesa Injury Lawyers today to talk with one of our auto accident injury attorneys about your legal options.