In the past, older drivers were thought to have exceptionally poor driving skills. Now, this perception is changing with new statistical data. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) posted an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study that shows that drivers who are 70 years old and older are less likely to end up in fatal car accidents compared to those between 35 and 54 years old.
Consumer Reports claims that there are 40 million people in the United States over the age of 65 years old who have a driver’s license. Much of this can be contributed to them being healthier compared to previous years. Improved vehicle safety and the tendency to avoid riskier driving behaviors, including distracted driving, than their younger counterparts also contributes to less accidents.
With so many improved auto features available, the best advice for senior drivers is to get the safest vehicles they can afford. Warning systems that alert drivers about cars in blind spots, adaptive headlights, collision warning systems, and lane departure warnings all help to prevent accidents. These newer technologies are another reason why motor vehicle accident fatalities among all ages have been decreasing. Car accident driver fatalities decreased by two percent in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Car Accident Risks for Senior Drivers
Drivers over 65 years old are more physically fragile than younger motorists, so when they do end up in auto accidents, their fatality rates are higher. Senior drivers are also more prone to having medical conditions, like failing vision, chronic pain, and arthritis, which can make it more difficult to drive. Cognition problems like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia also make it challenging or impossible to drive.
Driving may seem like an easy task, but it can be difficult for some motorists, and driving requires good flexibility, healthy cognition, and motor skills. For aging adults, those abilities can deteriorate slowly. When family members or friends notice that an older driver’s skills are diminished, they need to speak up. It may be helpful to go to a doctor.
Senior motorists are often reluctant to give up their driving privileges, even when their health begins to worsen. Driving allows them to remain independent, and in many areas, public transportation is not widely available. Without viable alternatives, some older motorists keep driving, even though it could be dangerous for themselves and others. If one is involved in an accident, they should seek legal counsel.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Offer Sound Legal Guidance to Collision Victims
Even the safest drivers get into car accidents, no matter their age. If you were involved in a collision and need legal advice, speak to a trusted Brooklyn car accident lawyer at Eaton & Torrenzano. We will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 718-332-7766. We have offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York, as well as Hillsborough, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan, Kings County, and Richmond County.