Published on:

Older Driver and Occupant Safety in Traffic Accidents: What We Can Do

Statistics tell us that automobile accident rates differ from age group to age group, and when it comes to traffic collisions injury rates are subject to the fluctuations, especially in the case of older drivers. According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers and passengers over the age of 75 are much more likely to sustain injuries and die in less serious crashes.

As a person ages, their body naturally grows more fragile, and this not only makes them more susceptible to accident injuries, it also reduces the chance of them recovering from their injuries. Even when older drivers are able to make a full recovery, the process is slower and more arduous. In 2014, many members of the baby boomer generation are approaching their 60s and 70s, and that means there will be more elderly drivers on the road in the years to come. With this in mind, it is important to educate ourselves and do what we can to reduce preventable injuries and fatalities among our older vehicle occupants. Here are just a few of the ways that people can make a positive impact:

What Older Drivers Can Do-As drivers get into their advanced years, it is important that they honestly assess their visual, physical and cognitive capabilities, and judge whether they can operate a vehicle safely. Even when older individuals are fully capable of driving, their bodies are far more likely to suffer in the event of an accident. If possible try to plan trips during times when traffic is the lightest, and do most driving during daylight hours.

What The Family and Friends of Older Drivers Can Do-It can be difficult confronting your parents, grandparents, and older friends about their driving, but it’s important to begin talking about these concerns before they are an immediate problem. Use everyday situations to open the discussion, and emphasis that it is a person’s performance, not age, which determines their fitness to drive.

What Health Professionals Can Do-As is the case for family and friends, it is important to talk about driving fitness early, and in a way that doesn’t make a patient feel like they are being attacked. Another crucial role of health professionals is to ensure that their patients understand how their medications may affect their ability to drive.

What Communities Can Do-At the state and federal level, we need to make more of an effort to focus on the traffic issues presented by our aging population. Communities should take advantage of any chance to educate their citizens about driver fitness and create an ongoing and open discussion. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Our attorneys don’t just handle lawsuits surrounding serious car accidents; we have also made a significant impact in lawsuits stemming from cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, those involving medical malpractice, as well as various other pressing issues related to the safety of the elderly. If you or one of your loved ones has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, our attorneys will help you navigate the legal process, and ensure that you get the compensation and care that you deserve.