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Elderly Drivers at Increased Risk for Car Crashes

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there are over 36 million drivers over the age of 65 who are on U.S. roads today. However, senior drivers are also more at risk of being injured – or killed – in a motor vehicle accident than younger drivers.

Each year, there are approximately 5,500 senior drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes – 15 fatalities every day.  Another 215,000 are injured every year. That is almost 600 elderly drivers injured per day.

Issues with older drivers typically begin around the age of 70. In fact, in 2013, over 4,000 of the elderly motor vehicle fatalities were 70 years of age or older. The dangers increase as drivers enter their eighties. The reasons for these increased numbers are linked to a senior’s increased risk of medical complications, as well as their increased risk for sustaining an injury in a crash, compared to a younger driver’s risk.

There are other physical factors that also increase the risk of an elderly driver being involved in a car crash. These factors include a decrease in a person’s cognitive functioning ability as they age. This can affect a person’s memory or reasoning skills. Decline in a senior’s vision, as well as other physical issues, also can play a role in causing a car crash.

There are steps an elderly driver can take to help alleviate those risks. These include:

  • Going over all medications with physician and/or pharmacist to ensure that none of these medications have side effects which can affect or hamper a person’s ability to drive;
  • Regularly exercising, which helps maintain a person’s strength and flexibility;
  • Having regular eye examinations and wearing any corrective glasses that are prescribed;
  • Driving only during good weather and during the daytime;
  • Planning the route he or she is going to take before actually embarking on the destination;
  • Taking the route that is the safest – least number of intersections, available parking, etc.;
  • Making sure to leave at least two car lengths with the vehicle in front; and
  • Always wearing a seat belt.

The good news is that statistics show that the numbers of car crashes senior drivers are involved in are decreasing, however, the risks are still high. If you have been injured in a crash which involved an elderly driver, contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for you pain and loss.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/older_adult_drivers/

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/older-drivers/topicoverview

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/unexpected-findings-on-elderly-drivers/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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