Senior citizens at increased risk of being involved in fatal crashes

Senior citizens usually have decades of driving experience, but as people age, it can become more dangerous for them to drive.

When the topic of risky drivers comes up, most people might think about teenagers. It's true that teen drivers are less experienced than others and tend to take risks. This combination often results in accidents. However, older people may also be involved in more car accidents than others. With the large population of senior citizens residing in Washington, this may give many people cause for concern. Each day throughout the United States, about 15 senior citizens are killed in car crashes and 500 more are injured, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Age-related complications that can affect driving

According to Consumer Reports, drivers over the age of 80 are six times more likely to get into a fatal car accident than younger drivers. This may be due to a number of factors that are related to age. It is true that drivers who have many years of experience are often safe and conscientious; however, declining health and other limitations might make it necessary to give up the keys before causing an accident that results in serious injuries.

These factors, states NIH Senior Health, can include:

  • Declining vision and hearing that can make it difficult to see nearby traffic or hear emergency vehicles
  • Age-related illnesses or physical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes or injuries
  • Reduced cognitive function, including early the stages of dementia or complications from a mild stroke
  • Other mental or physical factors

Some states have addressed these problems by requiring vision or health screenings before a driver's license renewal after a certain age, or by having senior citizens renew their driver's licenses more frequently. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are no special licensing regulations in Washington State for older drivers.

Older driver strikes multiple cars in Seattle, injuring many

An older driver was involved in a shocking multi-car crash in Seattle last Halloween night. According to King 5 News, the man was driving a pickup truck at speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour during busy rush hour traffic. Authorities and witnesses said he struck car after car, including hitting another pickup so hard that it flipped on its side. After the incident was over, 15 cars had been involved and 10 people, including two children, were injured and six were hospitalized. Law enforcement was investigating whether alcohol, drugs or intentional reckless driving were factors in the crash. The man claimed to have hit the gas by mistake when he had thought he was applying the brakes.

Nobody can predict or prevent all accidents, regardless of how safe they drive. This also applies to older drivers who may have been safe drivers all their lives. If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent older driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Keywords: car, auto, accident