Many California residents who are older know that one way to stay mobile and independent is through driving, and the 34 percent growth in drivers at or over the age of 65 around the country from 1999 to 2012 reflects this. There are currently almost 36 million older drivers. However, as people age, the risks related to driving increase.
The risks older drivers face that can result in serious car accidents are due to a variety of reasons. These can include decreased visual and cognitive functioning as well as physical changes that might make it more difficult for the older person to drive and that might also result in the older driver being more susceptible to injuries and serious medical complications. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,560 older people lost their lives in car accidents in 2012, and approximately 214,000 were injured. Fatal accidents rise noticeably starting with drivers aged 70 to 74, with the highest rate of fatal accidents happening with drivers who are 85 and older.
Though the risks are higher for older drivers, there are many things they can do, and already do, that can help to prevent car crashes, such as driving when the conditions are safest, using their seat belts and not driving while under the influence. Older adults can also help prevent accidents by getting regular eye checkups to review their prescriptions and having their medical prescriptions checked by pharmacists to try to decrease any possible side-effects. Driving at a safe distance from the next car, driving during the day and when it is not raining and even planning the driving route before starting a trip can be beneficial.
Even when older adults follow all prevention suggestions, they might still cause a collision that results in a serious injury to another person. In such an event, the injured victim might want to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist with the assistance of an attorney.