Older drivers can cause more accidents

Older drivers may have certain physical or mental impairments that can increase the danger for them and others on the road.

At a certain age, it may no longer be safe for people to continue driving, but that age can vary for everyone. Even so, many drivers on Ohio roads are likely to be suffering from age-related physical and cognitive impairments that make it unsafe for them to be behind the wheel. It can be difficult to make the decision to give up the right to drive, or to ask a loved one to hand over the keys. However, continuing to drive when it is no longer safe will often have even more unpleasant results. Elderly drivers are at least six times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those who are younger, says Consumer Reports.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that every day about 15 seniors are killed and 500 are injured in car accidents across the country. Some of these accidents are caused by factors that are common among older drivers.

Causes of crashes involving elderly drivers

According to NIH Senior Health, numerous medical conditions and other difficulties related to aging can affect driving ability, particularly for drivers over the age of 75. These may include:

  • Eyesight and hearing that's not as good as it used to be
  • Cognitive and concentration impairments
  • Chronic physical health conditions, illnesses or injuries

Older drivers who wish to continue driving safety for a while longer can take certain actions that may help, says HelpGuide. These include talking to a doctor about treatments or medications that can improve physical conditions, driving an impairment-accommodated vehicle and getting enough sleep before driving.

Some states have enacted regulations for older drivers that can screen for difficulties or other warning signs that they may not be as safe to drive as in years past. These methods include shortening the length of time between driver's license renewals or requiring physical or mental exams. Senior citizens may also be required to retake some parts of the driver's license test after a certain age. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that Ohio currently does not have any restrictions or rules for older drivers or for renewing their licenses.

Elderly couple killed in Ashville

A recent tragic accident illustrated the increased risk of crashes among older drivers. WBNS-10TV News reported that an 86-year-old woman turned left on a yellow light on a country road in Ashville, hitting an oncoming van. Two of the van's passengers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. However, the elderly woman and her husband, who at first appeared to only have minor injuries, both died at the hospital.

Accidents involving elderly drivers are unfortunate, but anyone who is injured through the negligence of another has the right to see if they are entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help.

Keywords: car, accident, injury