A Chicago auto accident lawyer of ours pointed out an article posted on Forbes.com recently that discussed how an increase in elderly drivers within the next 20 years would pose a threat to other drivers on the road. The article states that, “in April of 2010, there were over 40 million Americans over the age of 65, and in the next ten years, another 35 million will reach that mark.” This huge increase is due to the fact that baby boomers are getting older.
The NHSTA suggest that if you are a member of the 65 plus age group, or have a loved one who is, you should ask these questions: Do you get lost easily, even on familiar routes? Is your car dented? Have you recently received any warnings or tickets? Have you had any near accident experiences recently where you were at fault? Has a health or eye physician asked you to limit, or stop, driving? Do signs, or traffic signals, and highway driving overwhelm you? Do you take any medicines that could impair your driving? Do cars behind you pile up because of your slow driving? DO you have any issues (diabetes, arthritis, glaucoma, etc.) that affect your driving?
If you have answered yes to all, a few, or even one of these questions, our Chicago car accident attorneys encourage you to reconsider your place on the road. The AAA has an online test, called the Roadside Review, which checks to see if you are physically and mentally sound enough to be on the road. The AAA also offers classroom education classes that help older drivers learn skills that can help them to be safer on the road. Some insurance agencies even give a discount if a person over a certain age participates in these classes. The CarFit is a third program that the AAA offers. This program helps older people to find cars that fit them, and have the safety qualities and other features that they need.
We understand that going from being very independent to less independent can be very frustrating and upsetting for many people, and that mobility is extremely important to that independence. However, our Illinois auto accident lawyers are concerned with keeping all drivers on the road safe. Every person will eventually come to a point in their lives when driving could be dangerous, not only to the driver themselves, but also to other people that they share the road with. If you have older family members, keep an open dialogue about the dangers of elderly driving, so that when the time comes for your loved one to stop driving, everyone is prepared for this tough decision.