The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Friday, March 11, 2022

Older Driver Safety Concerns

If you have a loved one who is an older driver, you likely worry about them on the road. You may also worry about others on the road as well. These worry can stem from a number of factors that many of us will experience as we age. There are some specific safety concerns that come with being an older driver. Many can be managed fairly well so that the older driver can retain the freedom and flexibility that comes with being able to drive. Other times, you may need to have the difficult talk about having your older loved one stop driving. After all, we are in this together and need to work to make each other as safe as possible out there on the roads.

Older Driver Safety Concerns

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that drivers aged 70 and older have higher fatal crash rates per mile than that of middle-aged drivers. This is concerning. Especially considering that the number of drivers in this age group is growing. The population consists of more older people than before and people are keeping their driver licenses longer. It should be noted, however, that despite the growing number of older drivers on the road, IIHS reports that the number of older drivers involved in fatal collisions is actually in decline. It has been speculated that this is in large part due to older drivers restricting some more of the dangerous driving behaviors they could engage in.

For instance, many older drivers limit the time and length of their drives. Older drivers are making shorter trips and also avoid driving at night. Many of these drivers have come to put self-imposed restrictions in place that also include making fewer trips out. Some do not drive in inclement weather, such as ice, snow, or rain. Additionally, some states have put the requirement in place that older drivers must renew their licenses in order to help identify those individuals who should no longer be driving or who should have restricted licenses.

It is simply a fact that aging can impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safety. As we age, there is more likely to be a decline in our physical and cognitive functions. Our eyesight and hearing may decline. Our reaction time can slow. These are impairments that can make driving stressful for an older driver and put everyone at greater risk of accident involvement as a result. The IIHS reports on several studies revealing that higher levels of physical, cognitive, or visual impairment among older drivers are associated with a heightened risk of crash involvement. On top of these impairments, many older people take medication that can further impair their ability to safely operate a vehicle. If a medication comes with such restrictions on vehicle operation, the older person needs to be made aware of this.

New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys

Unfortunately, giving up driving or restricting your driving ability can be difficult. It can be, however, the best way to keep everyone safer on the roads. If you have been injured in a crash, talk to the personal injury team at Cassidy Law Firm about your options to recover monetary compensation for your losses. Contact us today.


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