Older drivers may be more at risk of causing accidents

A variety of physical and mental factors can affect an older person’s ability to drive safely. Many elderly people are involved in fatal accidents each day.

It's understandable that an older driver may not want to give up the keys and restrict his or her independence. However, statistics have shown that as people age, there is an increased chance of getting into a car crash. Whether the cause is from declining mental or physical abilities, it can be a good idea for senior citizens in Georgia to regularly evaluate their driving abilities to avoid a tragedy.

According to Consumer Reports, drivers over the age of 80 are six times more at risk of being in a fatal accident than their younger counterparts. About 15 elderly drivers are killed throughout the U.S. each day while an additional 500 are injured in car accidents, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Common causes of accidents among elderly drivers

NIH Senior Health has listed numerous factors that can affect an older driver's abilities to drive safety. These include:

  • Declining vision and hearing.
  • Physical health conditions and restrictions.
  • Deteriorating mental and cognitive function.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services recognizes these risks, while also understanding that senior citizens want to continue enjoying their freedom and independence. As a result, Georgia residents over the age of 64 will need to pass a vision exam at each driver's license renewal. Those who do not pass will need to take a vision report form to their optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Elderly man causes serious freeway accident

In April, a 91-year-old man driving the wrong way on Interstate 75 near the Florida and Georgia border crashed into another car head-on, reported Click Orlando. The drivers of these two cars were both killed, and a Greyhound bus and two other vehicles were also involved. Thirteen of the bus's passengers were injured.

To avoid this kind of tragic scenario, older drivers in Georgia may wish to speak with their doctors, says HelpGuide. There are numerous ways that elderly drivers can extend the time they are able to drive safely, such as improving their medical conditions with medication or treatment; driving a vehicle that is accommodated for their restrictions; and making sure to get plenty of sleep before getting behind the wheel.

Contacting an attorney

Despite the best precautions, there comes a time in nearly every driver's life when it is best to give up the car keys. Unfortunately, many older drivers put off giving up their right to drive as long as possible, which puts everyone else on the roads at risk. If you've been injured by a senior driver or another type of car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Keywords: traffic, accident, personal injury