How often are elderly drivers involved in car accidents in North Carolina and the rest of the country? Do senior drivers cause more car crashes than younger adult drivers?
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 48 million drivers on U.S. roads who are 65 years of age or older. In their reports, the federal agency emphasizes that being able to drive helps senior citizens stay mobile and independent, however, there are also serious issues that often need to be addressed since studies show that the risk of being injured or killed in a crash increases as a person ages. The following facts appear to confirm those risks:
- Approximately 7,500 elderly victims are killed in car accidents each year.
- Each day, there are 19 senior drivers killed in car accidents.
- More than 250,000 senior drivers are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries they have suffered in crashes.
- Each day, there are 710 senior drivers injured in car accidents.
- Drivers who are 85 years of age or older face the highest risk of being involved in a fatal crash. That risk begins increasing when drivers are in their early seventies.
- Senior male drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes than senior female drivers.
- Between the years 1999 through 2015, the number of senior drivers doubled and that rate continues to increase each year.
How Can Elderly Driving Crashes Be Prevented?
There are steps that seniors can take to help keep themselves and other commuters safe while they are behind the wheel. These include:
- Participating in regular exercise. This will help increase flexibility and strength.
- Periodic review of medications with a primary care physician and pharmacist to make sure there are no medications that could interfere with the seniors driving ability.
- Yearly eye exams and wearing glasses if prescribed.
- Avoiding bad weather driving.
- Avoiding night driving.
- Making sure to leave a lengthy space between the elderly driver’s vehicle and the car in front.
- Planning route before leaving. Look for routes that have wider roads, intersections with left-hand turn arrows, and easy access to parking.
Have You Been Injured?
Unfortunately, it is not just elderly drivers who may pose a risk on the roads. Drivers of all ages can behave in a negligent or reckless manner, resulting in crashes and injuries to others. If you have been injured in a crash, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled North Carolina car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today for a free case evaluation.