Incase you didn’t know, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration carved out the days between December 2-6th to raise traffic safety consciousness as part of Older Driver Awareness Week. Last year alone, 5,560 individuals over the age of 65 died, and 214,000 more suffered automobile accidents injuries, representing a 3% and 16% increase for these respective statistical fields. With more baby-boomers entering the 65+ demographic everyday, elderly drivers will be an issue of great importance for years to come. With this in mind, the NHTSA has announced a new plan of action for keeping this growing populations as safe as possible.
To address concerns regarding this issue, the NHTSA’s strategic vision focuses on the following areas:
1. Vehicle Safety-There are already a multitude of advanced automobile technologies in the works to reduce the risk of death and injury to older occupants in the event of an accident. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, collision avoidance systems, and crashworthiness may all be able to play a part in making vehicles safer for all drivers, but some could have to potential to offer special assistance to older drivers and address their specific vulnerabilities in crashes.
2. Improvement of Data Collection-Another aspect of the NHTSA’s plan is to refine their collection of data to better evaluate rash ratings, injuries, and other forms of physical, cognitive, and perceptual factors in driving behavior. As part of this endeavor, the agency will also increase their efforts in conducting naturalistic driving studies in clinical settings, which may lead to better understanding of the effects of age-related medical conditions, such as Dementia.
3. Driving Behavior-Obviously age isn’t the only factor when it comes to safe driving, so it will be important going forward to focus on continuing efforts to educate the public. The NHTSA believes this is particularly crucial for functional changes, like vision, strength, flexibility, and cognitive ability. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
It is important to note that older drivers are often times some of the safest drivers on our roads, but data has also shown that this elderly population is at a much greater risk of dying or suffering serious injuries than other individuals on the road, even when the severity of an accident is relatively low. Aspects of the recovery process are also exacerbated with age, making it much harder for individuals to return to their normal way of life or take care of themselves without the aid of others.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers are committed to helping the victims of negligent or reckless drivers gain compensation to aid them in recovery. If you think you may have a case, contact our attorneys for a free legal consultation.