Unlike shutting off the television or ending a phone conversation, there is one thing that will never stop: time. It is inevitable that we will all grow older, hopefully of course, in wisdom and in age. Just like how we change from childhood to adulthood through mental and physical changes, the same will continue from adulthood to older adulthood.
According to research conducted by the AARP in 2005, the population of adult drivers age 65 and older has been increasing rapidly. In 1980, about 61% of drivers were over the age of 65, which has drastically increased to 80% in 2003. At that rate, about one in every four drivers will be older drivers by 2029.
So should we be in chaos over this growing epidemic?
No, just more self-conscious as a driver at any age. Older drivers as a whole are comparatively safe drivers with lower car accident rates than young drivers and have the highest seatbelt use rate compared to other age groups. Although older drivers tend to practice safer driving behaviors from years of driving experience, they are still more at risk as a driver or passenger.
If an older driver or passenger is in a car accident, there is a higher chance of severe injury or death because of fragility. A car accident that a younger person may be able to survive won’t necessarily be true for an older person that does not have the same physical strength that they use to. Other factors that put an older driver at risk of an auto accident can also include deteriorated vision, slower reaction time, and loss of hearing.
Now that we know what can put older drivers at risk, what can be done to reduce this risk?
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week was created to help bring more awareness of safety for older drivers and mobility independence, while also exploring ways to reduce the risk they face in a vehicle. Here are some ways to reduce the risk elderly driver’s face on the road:
- Get checked regularly by the doctor for overall health, hearing, and eyesight.
- Take a driver safety refresher course in a classroom or online specifically for older drivers, which will cost between $12-$20 dollars.
- If you can determine through evidence that an older loved one is a risk to him- or herself and others on the road, look into alternative forms of transportation for them.
- Seek evaluation with an occupational therapy practitioner to determine if operating a vehicle safely is still an option. Special driving equipment and car adaptations are available to help older drivers stay safe on the road.
Contact our experienced San Diego auto accident elderly injury lawyers at the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for more information. If you or an older loved one was involved in an auto accident, let us help you get the compensation you need through this difficult time at (888) 233-5020.