Elderly Driver Killed, Shows Dangers Older Drivers Face
Undoubtedly, many adult children dread the time when they have to take away the car keys from their elderly parents. It can be disheartening to see them start to lose the ability to drive safely, and sad to take away something that defines one's independence. However, nobody wants to be involved in an accident that hurts someone else. No one wants to lose an older family member in a crash, either.
Although it can be hard to give up the right to drive, for many senior citizens, it's the safe and responsible thing to do.
Older Drivers More At Risk For Getting Into Accidents
Drivers over the age of 80 are involved in nearly six times as many fatal accidents as younger drivers, says Consumer Reports. Everyone on the road is at risk when an elderly person loses the capacity to drive, including the driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 500 seniors are injured in accidents in the U.S. every day, and approximately 15 are killed.
Failing vision, physical abilities and cognitive function are some of the main reasons it can be dangerous for senior citizens to drive, says National Institutes of Health. After age 75, a driver's risk of being in an accident increases.
In Coventry Township last summer, a 70-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his pickup truck, drove off the roadway and hit a tree, reported 19 Action News. Nobody else was hurt in the crash, but this tragic incident is a reminder of the type of split-second accident that can happen at any time and result in other people being injured.
There are certain precautions that older drivers and their relatives can take to make driving safer and possibly increase the amount of time a senior citizen can drive. HelpGuide.org has provided a few:
- Get plenty of sleep before driving.
- Talk with a doctor about conditions that can affect driving, including medications and physical problems.
- Drive a car that is outfitted to accommodate restrictions.
- Recognize limitations that can make it unsafe to drive.
- Listen to loved ones' concerns and understand that they are trying to help.
When older drivers realize it's no longer safe for them to drive, they're not only avoiding putting themselves in danger when they get behind the wheel - they're keeping others safe on the road.
Getting Help From An Attorney
If you've been in an accident that was caused by an older driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights, which may include compensation for your medical expenses.