Being involved in a car accident is always a traumatic and unpleasant experience, and this discomfort can be exacerbated if the other driver is elderly. Nobody feels good about bringing lawsuits or personal injury claims against an older person, but this is sometimes a necessary evil to ensure that you can fund any medical treatments or expenses which arise as a result of the accident.
How Can Old Age Affect Driving Ability?
With old age comes an increased likelihood of suffering from a range of medical conditions which can have an impact on the ability of the driver to safely operate the vehicle. Common conditions and concerns include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes and complications from diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Macular degeneration or weakness
These conditions will vary in severity from person to person, and symptoms will present differently across different people. The fact is, however, that the impacts of these conditions may reduce an elderly person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, and the consequences can be devastating.
Why Are Elderly People More Likely to Cause an Accident?
In addition to being more susceptible to medical conditions, there is a range of other factors which may affect the driving of an elderly road user:
- Joints and muscles can grow stiffer over time, resulting in slower reaction times and an inability to turn the steering wheel quickly or apply the brakes rapidly.
- Eyesight and hearing tend to deteriorate with age. This can lead to road signs being misread, and an inability to hear them honking or warnings of other road users.
- Any medication being taken by the elderly driver could cause fatigue and drowsiness, or impair judgment
- The reflexes of senior drivers tend to be slower, and they have slower reaction times, which could affect how quickly they can respond to a hazard.
It is a statistical fact that from the age of 60, a senior driver is far more likely to cause a car accident and the chances of them being involved in a crash rise every year from this date. When a driver reaches the ages of 70-74, there is a sharp upward trend in fatalities, and these rates peak at drivers over the age of 85.
It is estimated that there will be nearly 10 million seniors ages 85 and over living in the US by 2010— a 73 percent increase to today’s figures. This issue is going to appear time and again, and this is recognized by the requirement of many states for seniors to renew their driver’s license every few years.
Elderly Driver Accident Lawyer: What Can You Do?
No matter the age of the driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation if you are involved in a car accident with an elderly driver. Car crashes can result in severe injury and life-changing circumstances, and it is only right that you should be compensated for this. It can be a good idea to ask an elderly driver accident lawyer for guidance; our team can help you take the first steps towards compensation.