The baby boomer generation is getting older. As the largest demographic group in the U.S. population, the numbers of senior drivers over the age of 65-years old are now at an all-time high. Starting in 2011, it is estimated that 10,000 more people will turn 65-years of age every day over the next 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.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC 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, with age comes diminishing physical factors that can affect their driving. It is a fact of life that as people grow older, 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 of auto accidents. This can be particularly dangerous during driving times when visibility is already low, like during the nighttime and when traveling in bad weather. In a survey cited by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 40% of drivers above age 65 admitted they had restricted their own driving due to vision issues, especially at night and when weather conditions are poor.
- Physical and cognitive impairments. Other risks associated with elderly drivers include impairments that limit physical capacity and mental abilities. While these impairments can occur at any age, they are more common in people 65 years and older.
- Medications. Another factor affecting senior drivers is an increase in taking certain medications that may affect their ability to drive.
Reducing Senior Driving Accidents
Even though senior motorists 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 with a doctor or pharmacist that may affect driving.
- Annual exams. Have hearing and vision tests annually as well as physical exams to ensure that senses are adequate for driving.
- Extra precautions. Plan driving routes, leave extra space between vehicles and limit driving during poor visibility conditions. These safe driving habits 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 liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage to cover them financially if they cause an accident. For those who are injured by a negligent 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 prosecuted aggressively to ensure your legal rights are preserved. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has successfully resolved auto accidents caused by elderly drivers involving the injury of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. While our law firm is respectful of a senior’s right to drive our skilled personal injury attorneys 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 case can be resolved even if the elderly driver at fault for the accident becomes ill or dies 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: