Senior drivers tend to be more cautious than drivers of other age groups, but still get into far too many collisions. Physical and mental challenges can make it harder for seniors to drive safely, thus putting themselves and others in danger. As the population ages and more drivers in Denver pass the age of 65, this could have a big impact on traffic safety.
Victims of a collision with a senior driver should consult with accident attorneys in Denver about their right to make a motor vehicle accident claim. If the senior broke the law or was unreasonably careless in a way that led to the crash, the older driver’s insurance company should be held responsible for the damages.
Understanding the Risks Presented by Senior Drivers
Today, one out of every six U.S. drivers is aged 65 or older. Senior drivers are going to make up an even larger portion of motorists on United States roads in coming years, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently took a close look at trends related to senior drivers.
According to the AAA report:
- Around 84 percent of Americans aged 65 and older have driver’s licenses. This is a dramatic increase from the 1970s when just over half of people aged 65 and older still had a driver’s license.
- Among male drivers aged 85 and older, 75 percent drive their vehicles five or more days per week.
- Among female drivers 85 and up, 60 percent drive their vehicles at least five days per week.
- Just 10 percent of women and five percent of men aged 85 and older report that they drive once per week or less.
- Drivers between the ages of 65 and 69 are two times as likely to have a medical condition when compared with younger drivers.
- More than 90 percent of senior drivers aged 65 and older take at least one prescription drug. Among the drivers who use prescription pills, 2/3 take at least three medications on a regular basis.
- Female drivers between the ages of 65 and 69 are much more likely to limit night driving if they have low incomes (below $13,000) as compared with women with high incomes. Women in the lower income group were 62 percent more likely to limit driving at night as compared with those who had incomes of $70,000 or higher annually.
Unfortunately, the medical conditions that senior drivers experience can cause a decline in flexibility and in mental capacity. Seniors may have slower reaction times, less mental focus, impaired cognitive abilities or impaired physical abilities that make them more likely to become involved in accidents. These older drivers could thus hurt themselves or harm other motorists if they cause collisions by driving when it is no longer safe for them to do so.
Seniors need to ensure that they speak to their doctor about whether any of their medicines or medical problems make driving unsafe. Family members whose relatives are getting older also need to ensure that their loved ones don’t continue to drive after it is no longer safe for them to be on the roads.
Contact Bell & Pollock at (877) 744-5900 or visit http://www.bellpollockinjury.com to schedule a consultation with an accident lawyer in Denver.