As the population ages, so does the number of aging drivers. Although traffic statistics do not show that 75-year-old drivers present a menace to highway safety, older drivers are more likely to be involved in an automobile crash. By age 85, older drivers are more likely to crash than all drivers except 16-year-olds, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). If these older drivers are so likely to crash, why don’t the statistics show that? Self selection limits when older drivers are on the road: they drive less, they avoid rush hour, they wear seat belts, their crashes tend to be fender benders.
In spite of what the statistics may reveal, older drivers are dangerous, both to themselves and to other drivers and pedestrians. The best time to deal with the issue is before it becomes a problem. Although a sense of independence accompanies a driver’s license, safety issues outweigh that independence.
Friends and family should be alert to warning signs that someone’s age has affected their driving abilities. According to AARP, some of the warning signs include:
- Stops in traffic for no reason
- Confuses gas and brake pedals
- Fails to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Gets lost in familiar territory
- Becomes confused at exits
- Has trouble staying in lane
- Slow response in unexpected situations
- Trouble with turns
- Fails to notice traffic signs
- Scrapes on the car or mailbox, or in the garage
- Hits the curb
- Can no longer park well
- Doesn’t use correct signal
- Has medical conditions or takes medications that may affect driving.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries in connection with an automobile accident, please contact us on-line at Regan Zambri & Long or call us at (202) 463-3030 for a free consultation. If you would like to receive our electronic newsletter, please click here.