The baby boomer generation is getting older with this large segment of the U.S. population bringing the amount of senior drivers over the age of 65-years old to an all time high. Starting in 2011, it is estimated that 10,000 more people will turn 65-years of age every day for appropriately nineteen years. These drivers, while experienced, are at high risk for auto accidents, with 15 fatalities and over 500 injury accidents happening every day in 2008. With the amount of senior drivers increasing daily, these numbers may be escalating as the baby boomers enter their golden years.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represents people injured in Chicago auto accidents caused by elderly drivers. If you or your loved one sustained injuries in an accident of this type contact our office for a free case review.Factors Contributing To Senior Driver Auto Accidents
Senior drivers have experience on their side; however there are diminishing physical factors that can effect their driving. It is a fact of life that as people age, time can take its toll on the body. Reaction times can decrease, due to reduced sense ability. Some of the contributors that may pose a risk for auto accidents in senior drivers include:
- Vision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vision impairments in the elderly is associated with a higher risk for auto accidents. This can be particularly dangerous during driving times when visibility is already low, such as nighttime and bad weather. In a survey cited by the CDC, 40% of drivers above 65 admitted they had restricted their own driving due to vision issues, especially at night and poor weather.
- Physical and cognitive impairments. Other risks associated with elderly drivers is impairments that limit physical and mental abilities. While these can happen at any age, it is more common as people begin aging beyond 65-years.
- Medications. Another factor affecting senior drivers is an increase in medications that may affect their ability to drive.
Even though senior drivers are susceptible to physical and cognitive issues that may affect their driving ability, they can be safe drivers. Older drivers tend to use their seat belts more, are less likely to drive under the influence and are often more cautious when driving in poor conditions. The CDC recommends the following tips to increase senior driving safety and to reduce the chance of an accident.
- Check medications. To be safe while driving, discuss medication side effects that may affect driving with a doctor or pharmacist.
- Annual exams. Have hearing and vision tests annually as well as physical exams to ensure that senses are adequate for driving.
- Extra precautions. Planning driving routes, leaving extra space between vehicles and limiting driving during poor visibility conditions can help reduce the risk of accidents.
Even with precautions, senior drivers, like all drivers, can and do cause accidents every day. They must carry a minimum of liability insurance to drive in Illinois. Due to higher risk, senior drivers should consider carrying higher coverage for bodily injury and property damage to cover them financially if they cause an accident. For those who are injured due to a senior driver, having an experienced auto injury attorney on their side can help ensure that they get the compensation they deserve, including medical costs, lost wages and other expenses.Did an elderly driver cause a Chicago auto accident where you were injured?
Chicago car accidents caused by elderly drivers must be aggressively prosecuted to ensure your legal rights are preserved. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully prosecuted auto accidents caused by elderly drivers where other motorists, passengers and pedestrians have been injured. While we are respectful of a senior’s right to drive we are also mindful of the rights an injured party. In order to secure the testimony of a senior driver, we regularly file suit and depose the driver so that the underlying case may be prosecuted even if the driver becomes ill or deceases during the course of the lawsuit. Contact our attorneys anytime to discuss your auto accident case involving a senior driver.
Senior Driver Accident Statistics & Accident Information: