The statistics regarding older drivers are eye-opening. Among them, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- More than 200,000 drivers 65 and older were injured in a crash in 2016.
- More than 3,500 drivers were killed.
- Seniors outlive their ability to drive safely by an average of seven to 10 years.
Having The Conversation
Based on those numbers, you might think families and physicians would speak with older drivers about driving safety. You would be wrong. According to the study, nearly 83 percent of older drivers say they have never had that conversation. That’s why AAA urges seniors and their families to plan for “driving retirement.”
“The right time to stop driving varies for everyone,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety. “This research shows that older drivers can be hesitant to initiate conversations about their driving capabilities, so it is important that families encourage them to talk early and often about their future behind the wheel. With early discussion and proper planning, elderly drivers may extend their time on the road.”
AAA recommends families or physicians discuss the issue with compassion by focusing on facts, such as health issues and medications, rather than generalized emotional issues, such as jumping to conclusions about an older driver’s deteriorating skills. To meet this need, AAA offers tips through its Driver Planning Agreement.
Unfortunately, few people discuss “driver retirement” until it is too late. They wait until a driver’s skills erode to the point they can no longer be ignored. Worse, they may wait until the driver has been in an accident. In the meantime, elderly drivers may cause crashes that leave themselves or others injured or result in fatalities.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, your life has been turned upside down. You may be facing a pile of bills while you are unable to work and provide for your family. At worst, you have suffered the loss of a loved one. If the accident was caused by an older driver, the legal issues are complex. How do you prove the other driver should not have been behind the wheel? Were their driving skills impaired by their health or medication? Have they been involved in other accidents, yet continued to drive?
When it comes to putting your life back in order, your first step should be contacting the personal injury lawyers at The McDaniel Law Firm, PLC. Attorneys Bobby and Brett McDaniel have more than 50 years of experience handling cases just like yours. They know how to aggressively protect your rights.
Our firm knows how to handle insurance companies that try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is far less than you need or deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.