Florida is known as a location where older people congregate. With that comes a greater number of older drivers on the road. While there are benefits for people above a certain age to be able to stay active, operate a motor vehicle and transport themselves without having to rely on others, there are also risks. This is clear in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics about older drivers. Those on the road in Florida need to know the potential dangers to themselves and others presented by this portion of the population.
As recently as 2012, there were an estimated 36 million people with driver’s licenses who were 65-years-old and older across the nation. While this keeps older people involved, it also comes with the caveat that people of this age range have a higher propensity to be hurt or killed in a car collision. On average, nearly 600 older people are hurt in an auto accident on a daily basis. In that year, nearly 5,600 older people died and more than 214,000 people were hurt in these crashes. The number of older drivers has risen by 34 percent since 1999.
The risks increase for people starting at age 70 to 74. They are at the highest rate for people age 85-years-old and older. Part of this is because of their increased vulnerability if they are in an accident. Part of it is because of the slowing of reflexes, reduced eyesight, problems remembering and other factors that are unavoidable with age. Men across the board have a higher number of accidents than females. There are ways for older people to be safer. They tend to wear their seatbelts more than younger drivers, will adhere to traffic laws, and are not commonly associated with driving under the influence infractions.
Although older drivers can accurately claim to have experience on the road, it is impossible to overlook the natural breakdown of a person and the potential for serious injury and death in a crash. While the older person might not be in an accident, their actions could cause an accident. Those who are involved in an accident with or because of an elderly driver need to understand how to have a comprehensive accident investigation conducted to determine and prove its cause. They also need to know how to seek to be compensated through litigation with help from a lawyer.
Source: cdc.gov, “Older Adult Drivers,” accessed on July 14, 2015