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Understanding the Impact of Car Accidents on Senior Drivers

why do car accidents happen?

Baby boomers are Americans born between 1946 and 1964, after the world wars and during the mid-20th century baby boom.

Because there were so many, an estimated 76 million were born, and they greatly impacted U.S. society during a time of increasing affluence and profound political instability.

Those boomers are aging, and it’s predicted that by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65, considered to be elderly.

Insurance statistics show that more men than women are involved in fatal car crashes yearly, and those between the ages between 25 and 34 are the most likely to be involved in crashes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies teen drivers, ages 16-19, as having the highest rate of fatal car crashes.  

The CDC reports your chances of being injured or killed in a car accident increase as you age, likely due to increased vulnerability and changes in physical functioning.

Impact of a Car Crash on a Senior

The senior driver may experience guilt upon causing an accident. Even being in a near-accident has caused many older drivers to give up their cars. 

Unfortunately, other elders become a statistic.

The CDC reports that in 2020, about 7,500 older drivers were killed in traffic fatalities, with approximately 200,000 taken to emergency rooms. 

Every day, 20 older Americans die, and 540 are injured in car crashes.

Some of the common causes of a senior driving accident include:

  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Misjudging speed, either theirs or another
  • Misjudging the space between cars
  • Missing lights and signals at a busy intersection
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way
  • Impaired vision and hearing, causing a slow reaction time.
  • Sore muscles and arthritis limiting movement to turn one’s head and steer the wheel
  • Medications
  • Some medical conditions may make it harder to drive

The AAA RoadWise Driver Course may help seniors adjust to age-related body changes and driving ability.

For seniors injured in a car accident, the body may take longer to heal physically and psychologically, and the older driver may be more likely to suffer a broken bone, injuries from the seat belt, or head trauma. 

Minimizing Senior Car Accidents 

To minimize the impact on the senior driver:

  • Always wear a seat belt and insist your passengers do as well.

  • Drive during good weather conditions, preferably in daylight. A driving rainstorm can increase the likelihood of a crash, injuries, and death.

  • Do not drink and drive. Alcohol impairs judgment, and some medications do as well. Even a drug you’ve taken in the past can cause side effects now or in the future.

Watch for a loss of balance and awareness, a loss of vision, muscle weakness, fainting, or passing out. 

The CDC provides a fact sheet to refer to if you take personal medicines, over-the-counter medicines, or even dietary or herbal products that can impact driving, such as:

  • Opioid or narcotic pain meds, 
  • Antidepressants, 
  • Anti-anxiety medicines 
  • Over-the-counter sleep aids 
  • High Blood Pressure or heart medicines
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Anti-psychosis or mood stabilizers

Your Alabama Car Crash Attorney

Attorney J. Allan Brown realizes that the insurance company for the other driver will attempt to blame a senior driver for any car accident. 

In Alabama, the contributory negligence statute prevents you from seeking compensation if you contributed to the car crash. If it can be determined the senior driver was impaired in any way, the other side will try and make it count against you.

That’s where the experience and compassion of personal injury and trial attorney J. Allan Brown counts. He will quickly see through that pretense, and with more than two decades of experience in dealing with insurance adjusters, Mr. Brown will gather all of the elements of the crash to analyze its cause.

A senior driver was frequently the cautious one, and someone else was the negligent, at-fault driver. Their insurance is responsible for your compensation, including your vehicle and physical injuries, medical costs, the cost of rehabilitation, and pain and suffering, considered economic and non-economic damages.

Contact the Mobile Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. at (251) 473-6691, so he can review the facts of your case. 




Sources:
CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/older_adult_drivers/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/older_adult_drivers/meds_FS/

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html#:~:text=Who%20is%20Most%20at%20Risk,among%20any%20other%20age%20group.

Census
https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/12/by-2030-all-baby-boomers-will-be-age-65-or-older.html

AARP
https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2018/census-baby-boomers-fd.html#:~:text=All%20boomers%20and%201%20in,adults%20is%20expected%20to%20rise.&text=By%202030%2C%20the%20United%20States,Census%20Bureau%20projected%20this%20week.

AAA
https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/senior-driver-safety-mobility/aaa-roadwise-driver/

NIH
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/older-drivers#:~:text=Stiff%20joints%20and%20muscles.,wheel%20quickly%2C%20or%20brake%20safely.

Law.com
https://lawyers.law.com/legal/alabama-car-accident-lawyers/compensation.html#:~:text=Can%20I%20get%20money%20for,have%20a%20specific%20dollar%20amount.

J. Allan Brown, LLC
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