Elderly Related Car Accidents

Elderly Related Car Accidents

With an aging baby-boomer population, we can expect a growing elderly driver population. Along with more and more older drivers on the roadways, we can expect to see a few more crashes too. It’s no secret that age-related cognitive, physical and vision deterioration contributes to wrecks involving elderly drivers in Jackson and around the country. Family members may be deliberating over whether or not it’s time to ‘have the talk.’ If you think it’s time, it probably is, and it could save somebody’s life. Although driving means independence for most elderly drivers, it’s not worth getting somebody killed. If an elderly driver has injured you, you need to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.

Elder Driver Facts

  • In 2011, there were 35 million licensed older drivers in the U.S., which was a 21-percent increase from 2002.
  • In contrast, the total number of licensed drivers only increased by about 9 percent during that time.
  • Older drivers made up 16 percent of all licensed drivers in 2011, compared with 15 percent in 2002.
  • In 2012, 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. were among people ages 65 and older.
  • In 2012, most traffic fatalities involving older drivers occurred during the daytime.

Deteriorating Physical Health

Although you might not think of driving as a particularly physically demanding task, it does require a relatively able body. Elderly drivers have to contend with deteriorating physical health, which could include arthritis, neurological changes, musculoskeletal issues, cardiovascular problems or any host of other age-related health changes. It’s also not uncommon to hear of an elderly driver’s medical emergency being cause for a wreck. In many cases, the driver or family member will be aware of the health risks, so it’s important to get to the bottom of exactly how your accident happened.

Age-Related Cognitive Deterioration

Another important aspect to bring up when talking about age-related changes and how they impact driving abilities is cognitive deterioration. Drivers who are confused or having trouble with memory or other cognitive deficits are dangerous to themselves and other motorists. This is how many wrong-way accidents involving elderly drivers occur. Nobody wants to talk about it, but with age comes a change in cognitive function. Whether the driver is suffering from Alzheimer’s or a more traditional form of dementia, he or she does not belong behind the wheel.

Deteriorating Vision

Finally, another serious issue impacting the safety of elderly drivers and other roadway users is deteriorating vision. How long has it been since the driver’s eyes were checked? Was he or she wearing the appropriate corrective lenses during the crash? Could vision deficits have been to blame for the crash involving and elderly driver that caused your injuries? Your attorney will ask these and other tough questions and get to the bottom of how your accident happened, and how you’re going to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

Different Types of Elderly Related Car Accidents

  • T-bone incidents
  • Side-swipe wrecks
  • Lane-changing crashes
  • Rear-end crashes
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Wrong-way crashes
  • Inappropriate speed contributing crashes

Elderly Related Crashes and Prescription Medications

Another question to ask when elderly drivers are involved in accidents, is what kind of prescription medications were they taking? It’s not unheard of to have elderly loved ones on a variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These different medications could have a variety of interactions and warnings, and many could be dangerous if taken with others. The bottom line is that it may take extensive additional investigative efforts to determine how your accident happened.

Taking Away The Keys

Although it’s an uncomfortable topic for most families, the talk about restricting, cutting back on driving or taking away the keys of an elderly family member is a potentially life-saving subject. If you’re concerned about your elderly loved one’s driving abilities, it’s time to have the talk. It may be helpful to speak with your loved one’s doctor as well. It’s important to note that physical, cognitive and vision age-related changes can make driving dangerous or deadly for your loved one or others.

After a Car Accident Involving an Elderly Driver

For many elderly drivers involved in accidents, especially those involving fatalities or catastrophic injuries, it could be their very first accident on an otherwise spotless driving record. Determining what happened and how your accident occurred will be your lawyer’s top priority.

If you or somebody you love has been injured by an elderly driver, contact the skilled and proven legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a case consultation.


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