Protecting Individuals from Elderly Drivers
Ten years ago, one of the worst car accidents in the history of the United States occurred. In less than a minute, an elderly gentleman drove through a farmer's market and killed 10 people while seriously injuring 63 others, states AOL Autos. Since then, few efforts have been made to keep tabs on elderly drivers, leaving the choice of driving up to the elderly individual and their family members.
Why elderly drivers pose a threat to others
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, elderly drivers constitute only nine percent of the driving population but cause 14 percent of car accidents that result in fatalities and 17 percent of fatal accidents with pedestrians.
There are a variety of reasons why elderly drivers are responsible for such a significant percentage of fatal accidents. As individuals begin to age, they often experience issues with their eyes such as glaucoma or cataracts that can diminish their ability to see while driving. Medications and diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes can impact an elderly driver's ability to judge safe driving conditions.
Elderly drivers should take several precautions while driving in order to keep the road safe for themselves and other drivers. Elderly drivers should:
- Have their eyes checked regularly and wear necessary glasses or contacts while driving.
- Get into an exercise routine to increase flexibility and strength.
- Refrain from driving at night or during bad weather.
- Always keep a safe distance from other drivers on the road.
- Focus on driving and avoid distractions such as the radio or cell phones.
- Consider alternatives to driving like walking or taking public transit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that after an individual turns 75, their potential for getting involved in a fatal crash increases significantly. Elderly drivers should pay attention to their abilities as a driver to protect themselves and others on the road.
Reporting an unsafe driver
Individuals in Boone County MO should be aware of unsafe drivers on the road and report them to ensure the safety of others. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, individuals can fill out a Driver Condition Report form if they have observed the unsafe driver and know the driver's information in order to fill out the form. However, only psychologists, chiropractors, physicians, other medical professionals or an immediate member of an elderly person's family can request that an elderly person be tested in order for them to be assessed on their ability to drive safely.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident that was caused by an elderly driver, speak with a Missouri personal injury attorney to determine what your rights are in the aftermath of the accident.