National Senior Citizens Day is a time to honor the senior citizens in our lives and show appreciation for all of their achievements and contributions. It is also an opportune time to raise awareness about the dangers senior citizen drivers face behind the wheel and offer some advice about safe driving habits.
It is a common misconception in the U.S. that senior citizen drivers (those who are 65 years and older) are more likely to be involved in a collision. But in fact, teenagers and young adults hold the unfortunate title of causing or being involved in more car crashes than all the other age groups.
Senior citizen drivers, for the most part, are safe drivers who follow the rules of the road. They are less likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they tend to avoid hazardous driving conditions, and they are more likely to take their vehicles in for regular service checks. However, according to a study published in the journal of Traffic Injury Prevention (2006), senior drivers are more likely than their younger counterparts to be involved in collisions at intersections. The authors of the study found that senior citizen drivers were more apt to disregard the traffic signal or fail to yield the right of way, especially on left-hand turns. They found a correlation between these intersection collisions and potential impairments due to age.
While senior citizen drivers may be one of the safer groups of motorists, they are definitely more susceptible to being seriously injured in a collision. Because of their age, a senior driver may have more brittle bones or over-extended joints. Also, they cannot recover from physical injuries as quickly as younger drivers. This means that if a senior citizen is involved in a vehicle collision, their injuries could be worse or longer-lasting than if a younger driver was involved in the same crash.
With this in mind, senior citizen drivers should take some safety precautions when they are behind the wheel. In addition to following the rules of the road and having their vehicle regularly serviced, senior citizen drivers should: always wear their seatbelts, avoid driving late at night or during unsafe weather conditions, and make sure that they are physically capable of operating the vehicle (regular vision and hearing checks). Taking the appropriate safety measures now can help drivers avoid serious injuries in the future.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision and need help with your personal injury case, call Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group at (404) 436-1529 to schedule a free personal injury consultation.