Accidents Involving Older Drivers
There are several factors that can contribute to a car accident, including age. Accidents among younger, less experienced drivers are most common, but the rate of accidents involving drivers who are 70 years old and older is increasing. Senior drivers face some unique risks on the road that can make them more prone to accidents and to serious or catastrophic injuries.
Age and Driving Ability
Older adults may start to see their health decline, which can impact their ability to drive safely. Aging can affect a person’s vision, hearing, reflexes, and mobility, all of which can make it more difficult to stay on the road and avoid hazards. Chronic health conditions, such as arthritis and cognitive decline due to dementia, can also make driving hazardous. There also are numerous medications that can cause drowsiness or other dangerous side effects.
Senior drivers are on the road less frequently than drivers in other age groups because many elderly drivers travel less during peak traffic hours or choose not to drive at night. Some drivers elect not to drive past a certain age due to difficulty seeing or discomfort. However, when older drivers are on the road, the risk of a serious or fatal accident increases significantly. Drivers who are 65 years old and older are 16 percent more likely to cause an accident than their younger counterparts.
There are no laws requiring seniors to surrender their driver’s license once they reach a certain age. Older drivers do have additional requirements to keep their license in many states, including shorter renewal periods and more frequent vision testing. Overall, it is primarily up to seniors and their families to gauge their ability to drive and make responsible decisions. Senior drivers are on the road less frequently than other drivers, but if their driving results in an accident, they may be held liable for injuries and property damage that occur as a result.
Seniors are also more prone to serious injuries in the event of an accident, regardless of the cause. Drivers over 65 years old suffer fatal injuries at a rate 17 times higher than those who are 25 to 64 years old. Elderly drivers and passengers are more fragile, and accidents that may result in minor injuries for other passengers can be catastrophic when older adults are involved. When a senior is killed in an auto accident, their children or loved ones may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. Wrongful death settlements consider future earning potential and whether the person has caregiving responsibilities to their family, so it may be more difficult to recover higher sums in these cases.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Fight for the Rights of Car Accident Victims and Their Families
If you were injured in a car accident, call one of our Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr today. All car accidents can be serious, but accidents with elderly drivers are often severe or fatal. Our knowledgeable lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is the at-fault driver. Contact us online or call us at 732-537-8570 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we help car accident victims in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.