When the image of an older driver comes to mind, you might pull up a vision of someone going 35 mph in a 55-mph zone, slowing down traffic, and creating a potentially hazardous situation. Is this image truly accurate though? Are senior citizens more likely to be involved in auto accidents, or is that just a pre-conceived notion based on stereotypes?
There is a direct correlation showing that the older a driver is, the safer the driver is, reaching a peak at the age group of 65-69. After this point, the number of accidents begins to increase with age, but even then, drivers 85 or older show a rate of 745 crashes per 100 million miles driven, compared to 797 crashes within the age group of 20-24 years old. Considering that the same statistics show 2,152 crashes for drivers who are between 16 and 17, you are far more likely to be involved in an accident with a much younger driver than with a much older one. So if you ever find yourself asking the question over whether or not people are too old to drive, you may want to reverse your thinking and ask if the legal driving age is too low.
Even though age causes our minds and bodies to slowly deteriorate over time, safe driving practices often make up for this. Older drivers are far less likely to speed, drive distracted, or drive drunk; all things that account for a larger percentage of accidents in younger drivers. Of course, age affects everyone differently and some 75-year-old drivers perhaps shouldn’t be on the roads due to vision or physical impairments. It’s important to be aware of your own driving ability and also important to speak up to someone you know or love if you feel their abilities behind the wheel are diminishing. The last thing you want is for them to cause a crash or fall victim to the reckless driving of another individual.
Even if senior citizen drivers are safer on the roads, they still face the very real risk of what may happen if they are involved in a crash. Whether it’s from a slip-and-fall or a car crash, senior citizens are more likely to be severely or fatally injured in an accident. As the body weakens over time, bones become easier to break and the overall healing process isn’t easy for some seniors. This is a further reason why it’s important to continue to practice safe driving habits to minimize the risk of being involved in a catastrophic accident. Given the cost of medical treatment and recovery, it’s also important to hire an experienced auto accident attorney to try and help alleviate those medical costs with a potential settlement.
Recovering from an auto accident can be a long process, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Among medical treatment, lost work, and repairing or replacing your vehicle, there are many financial burdens, too. If you’re a senior citizen and been involved in an auto accident, call ELG Law at 623-321-0566 for a free consultation and to see if we can help your golden years stay golden.