Number of Senior Drivers Involved in Automobile Accidents Increases with Age
Studies have revealed that the number of vehicle accidents caused by senior drivers is increasing and the number is expected to continue to increase. The number of senior drivers on our roads is the highest it has ever been with almost 37 million licensed drivers over the age of 65 and that number is expected to more than double by 2050.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatal automobile accidents increase when a person is between the ages of 70 and 74. The number of fatal crashes peaks at age 85 and older. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports during 2012, the total number of vehicle fatalities in Florida totaled 3,412 with almost 14% of those fatalities being a person age 65 and older. Seniors are the second highest demographic group for risk of causing a vehicle accident, second only to teen drivers.
Reasons Why Senior Drivers May Cause Accidents
Any driver may cause an accident; however, the normal decline of mental and cognitive functions as we age may contribute to the higher number of accidents caused by senior drivers. Senior drivers and their families should work closely with family doctors to determine when a senior driver should give up driving privileges for his or her safety and the safety of others. It is a difficult decision for everyone involved but more so for the senior driver who must give up some of his or independence by losing driving privileges.
One common reason why senior drivers lose their driving privileges in Florida is failing Florida’s mandatory eyes test for senior drivers. The IIHS and the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a study of Florida senior drivers age 80 and older in 2008. Seven percent of senior drivers in this age group failed the mandatory vision test.
Beginning on January 1, 2004, Florida mandated a vision test for all drivers age 80 and older when they renew their driver’s license. Any person age 80 or older who fails the vision test or fails to provide a Mature Driver Vision Test Form will be unable to renew their driver’s license. Many states have enacted laws or have current proposed bills that shorten the time between license renewals and require mandatory visions tests for senior drivers. Tennessee lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require drivers age 76 and older to take a vision test.
What Can Senior Drivers and Families Do?
Senior drivers and their families can watch for signs that indicate a driver is having difficulty driving. AAA has many tips and suggestions for helping drivers including driver improvement courses. AARP also has a driving resource center as well as a driver safety course. Investing the time to take a safe driving course and read the information provided about safety for drivers can help reduce the number of fatalities and accidents involving senior drivers.
Florida Vehicle Accident Attorneys Who Care
The personal injury lawyers of The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. care about your injuries and your recovery. When you are injured in an automobile accident, you suffer physical, emotional, and financial damages. We want to help you receive compensation to help you during your recovery.
Our accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and skill you need to protect your rights to receive a fair and just accident settlement.