Drivers over the age of 65 may not hit the roads as often as their younger counterparts, but they remain more likely to get seriously hurt in a car wreck. They may also face unique issues related to their senior status that makes driving more challenging. States, legislators, and highway safety advocates have provided safety driving strategies for seniors to ensure the safety for all drivers on the road.
Do Older Drivers Cause More Traffic Accidents?
When thinking about reckless driving, the blame seems to fall on teenage drivers. However, a recent academic study reveals contradictory evidence. After studying fatality rates between teenage drivers and those 85 years old or older, researchers found that the elderly drivers were four times more apt to be in a fatal car accident.
What complicates driving for elderly individuals? A main problem is the way the natural aging process affects the mind and body. When humans get older, they cannot react as quickly as they once could. A lowered reaction time makes certain tasks more difficult, such as braking suddenly or swerving to avoid an object. Another physical issue is diminishing sight which can make driving during nighttime hours particularly difficult or even impossible.
From a mental perspective, older motorists may become more easily confused. Police reports of car accidents that involved elderly drivers frequently noted that older drivers felt perplexed or too overwhelmed during the time the incident occurred.
Elderly Motorists as Car Crash Victims
Older drivers have aging bodies and they tend to experience more severe and long-lasting injuries when they get into car wrecks. Muscle strength, basic flexibility, and bone density tend to decline as our bodies age. By the time motorists are in their 70s, 80s, or beyond, they are at a high risk of suffering more serious health problems and slow-moving crashes.
Regulations Regarding Senior Drivers
Lawmakers across the country continue to discuss the best ways to protect elderly drivers and other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. In Washington D.C., the DMV maintains a special website aimed to protect seniors and their families.
Drivers in Washington, D.C. who are at least 70 years old must renew their licenses in person as well as provide supporting documentation from a physician that certifies that they are healthy enough to drive. This added measure adds a layer of protection to reduce the chances of elderly motorists potentially causing accidents or putting themselves and others at risk.
Alternatives for the Elderly
Although many aging Americans resist to giving up their driver’s licenses, they may have to at least limit their driving. Fortunately, other means of transportation are available, including public transportation, taxis, and ridesharing options like Uber or Lyft. These alternatives allow the elderly to enjoy the freedom of mobility without getting behind the wheel.
Washington, D.C. Car Wreck Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Encourage All Car Accident Victims to Seek Compensation for Their Injuries
If you were hurt in a car accident that involved an elderly driver or if you are an injured older driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Elderly drivers are more apt to get into car accidents and suffer from serious injuries. Our skilled Washington, D.C. car wreck lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King will evaluate your case and will determine if you are eligible to collect damages. Contact us online or call us at 202-331-1963 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., we also serve clients throughout Maryland.