As we age, certain things we were once able to do with ease become more difficult. Driving safely can start to become a challenge for drivers who are getting older, due in part to illnesses or medical conditions that may impair quick reflexes or the ability to clearly see and hear other cars on the road. Our population is aging quickly, and statistics show that the number of drivers over the age of 70 will triple over the next twenty years. As the driving population ages, it is important that we keep the issue of safe senior driving in mind.Senior road trip
Many of us have senior family members or loved ones who are not as comfortable behind the wheel as they were when they were younger. Maybe, we, ourselves, are noticing that as we age, tasks such as driving at night and in stressful traffic conditions are harder to manage than they once were. It turns out that drivers over the age of 65 are more at risk to be involved in a car accident, and the risk only increases as the driver gets older. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5% of people hurt in all car accidents are senior citizens, and seniors make up 13% of all traffic fatalities.
So what can we do to help prevent traffic collisions involving senior citizens? For one thing, we need to look out for those around us. As our family members age and become less able to drive safely on the roads, it it up to us to have a talk with them about it. Sometimes, senior drivers can increase their ability to drive safely by going to a doctor to get a medical condition under control or alter a medication, avoiding driving at night, or only making short trips close to home. However, sometimes it is just time for a person to stop driving. When an elderly driver becomes a danger to themselves and other people on the road, it may be time for them to stop getting behind the wheel.
States can take measures to ensure safety for seniors as well. If a driver is suspected of an age-related decline in driving ability, tests should be available to ensure that they are safe to be on the road. A doctor or another healthcare professional can administer these tests that either allow a driver to renew their license, determine if further testing is needed, or even decide that one is indeed unable to drive safely at all. Insurance companies could work with the state to monitor at-risk drivers, and if a senior driver starts becoming involved in a high number of collisions, that driver may need to undergo further testing to ensure it is safe for them to be on the road.
Many drivers do not look forward to giving up the sense of independence that comes with having a license. However, for the safety of elderly drivers themselves, as well as other drivers and pedestrians, sometimes giving up driving is inevitable. We can help our family members by talking to them respectfully and honestly about these issues, and helping them maintain their independence by making sure they still have reliable transportation to take them where they need to go.
Ty Wilson is a Savannah auto accident attorney who provides FREE books and information at tywilsonlaw.com. Visit to order Ty’s free books and to read his blog, articles, and to watch his videos BEFORE speaking to the insurance adjuster, signing any forms, or even before hiring an attorney.
If you have questions for an injury lawyer in the Savannah area, give Ty a call at 1-888-689-5224.