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The Dangers of Elderly Drivers

There are both positives and negatives born from the presence of elderly drivers on the road. Elderly drivers tend to use a great deal of caution and have more experience driving than many younger drivers. The elderly are also less likely to drink and drive than many younger motorists. Additionally, elderly drivers are more likely to obey the speed limit, posted driving signs, and always wear their seat belt. There are, however, some noticeable disadvantages to elderly drivers. Elderly drivers have a higher risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents than other age groups. Not to mention, elderly drivers are more likely to be significantly injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions. Needless to say, there are some very important pieces of information that the elderly should know about motor vehicle operation.

Statistics Regarding Accidents with Elderly Drivers

In 2001, drivers over the age of sixty five comprised only fifteen percent of the driving population. According to a report issued by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, the number of elderly drivers is expected to rise to twenty five percent by 2025. This study also found that elderly drivers were sixteen percent more likely than younger adults to cause motor vehicle accidents. As a result, elderly drivers pose a unique and substantial problem to the operation of motor vehicles in this country.

Types of Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers

The types of accidents that can result from elderly drivers include a variety of different types of collisions. Although the elderly can be either the victim or the cause of significant motor vehicle collisions, in many cases the elderly are responsible for motor vehicle collisions. Some of the most common types of accidents caused by elderly drivers include the following:

  • Head On Collisions. These collisions often result in catastrophic damages and significant injuries because these accidents involve vehicles coming to rest against one another. These types of collisions are often caused by distracted drivers.

  • Multiple Vehicle Accidents. These accidents involve multiple vehicles. There are a variety of ways that these accidents can be caused.

  • Rear End Collisions. These accidents occur when the front end of one vehicle strikes the rear end of another vehicles. These collisions can be particularly serious and can involve significant injuries and even fatalities. When high speeds are involved, these accidents are often even more catastrophic.

  • Rollover Accidents. Rollovers occur when a vehicle flips onto its side multiple times. These accidents often involve fatalities. Vehicles that tend to flip over more easily like SUVs and pickup trucks are particularly susceptible to these types of accidents.

  • Side Swipe Collisions. This type of accident results when one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. Significant damage is often caused due to these accidents because the sides of vehicles contain the least protection.

Advice If You are Involved in an Accident with an Elderly Driver

There are several particularly helpful tips that elderly drivers can use to make conditions on the road significantly safer. Elderly drivers are recommended to take the following steps to prepare for operating a vehicle on the road:

  • Avoid Peak Traffic Hours. Driving at times when there is the least amount of traffic is a particularly good technique for elderly drivers to minimize the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. By driving only when conditions are favorable, elderly drivers can make sure that they have the best opportunity to arrive safely at their destination.

  • Double Check Some Elements Before Driving. Elderly drivers should make sure that the steering wheel, seat, and mirrors are all properly adjusted before operating the vehicle. Drivers should also make sure that they can adequately check any available blind spots. Before operating a motor vehicle, individuals should also make sure to wear a safety belt even if the planned journey is a short one.

  • Enroll in a Driver Safety Class. These classes provide individuals with the ability to make sure that certain driving skills remain finely honed to prevent some certain types of accidents from occurring while operating a motor vehicle. These courses are often offered by an AAA-certified instructor, which means that elderly drivers might save money by receiving an insurance discount for completion of the count.

  • Exercise. Enjoying an active lifestyle can help improve an elderly driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Elderly drivers should make sure to regularly exercise to make sure that they are strong and reflexive enough to handle roadside conditions that can arise suddenly and unexpectedly.

  • Implement Certain Driving Techniques. Elderly drivers should utilize several types of driving techniques to limit the chances of an accident occurring. These techniques include avoiding driving at night because visibility is low and it will be harder to navigate conditions on the road, avoid driving during rush hours because there is too significant an opportunity that an accident will occur, and avoid risky left turns by instead making right hand turns.

  • Purchase a Suitable Automobile. When senior citizens must buy a new motor vehicle, it is frequently a wise idea to purchase a vehicle with an easy to read instrument panel and an automobile that does not contain confusing or overly complicated technical devices. Many elderly drivers find that it is a wiser idea to purchase a slightly older motor vehicle because these devices tend to involve less complicated mechanics.

  • Recognize Your Limitations and Respond Accordingly. Many elderly drivers experience physical limitations which greatly impair their ability to drive a vehicle. For many elderly individuals, limited eyesight is a particular problem which can make driving at night particularly difficult. Elderly drivers also often experience difficulty in fully focusing on heavily populated roads, which might mean that an elderly driver should avoid traveling in heavy traffic.

The Assistance of a Knowledgeable Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by an elderly driver or if you are an elderly driver who needs assistance in a legal case, consider obtaining top legal representation at The Angell Law Firm LLC who can make fight zealously for adequate compensation due to injuries, deaths, and property damage that might have occurred.

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