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Do Older Drivers Cause More Car Accidents?

Our Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Safer Driving Practices

Age has long been a factor in discussions about driving safety. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), older drivers do have higher rates of fatal crashes per mile driven than middle-aged adults. However, this statistic fails to tell the full story. While older drivers may be more at risk for certain types of accidents, such as those occurring at intersections, they tend to be involved in fewer accidents overall compared to younger age groups. This perspective challenges the notion of blanket culpability among older drivers.

What Do Other Statistics Show?

Statistics from different sources shed more light on the relationship between older drivers and accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers aged 65 and older accounted for 19 percent of all traffic fatalities despite representing only nine percent of the population.

A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report confirms that older drivers are involved in fewer crashes per capita than younger age groups. Additionally, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers aged 75-84 had a lower crash rate per mile driven compared to middle-aged adults.

What Factors Contribute to Older Driver Accidents?

These factors can increase the risk of older drivers getting into accidents:

  • Physical limitations: As individuals age, changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time can impact driving ability. Conditions like arthritis may also affect mobility, making it challenging to operate a vehicle safely.
  • Medical conditions: Age often leads to chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, affecting driving performance.
  • Medications: Many older adults take medications with side effects like drowsiness or impaired coordination, potentially impairing driving ability.
  • Cognitive decline: While not inevitable, some older adults may experience cognitive decline, affecting decision-making and spatial awareness while driving.

How Can Older Driver Safety Be Improved?

Addressing the safety of older drivers requires an approach that balances their independence with public safety. Providing them with access to refresher courses and informational resources can help them stay informed about changes in driving laws and best practices. Modifications like larger mirrors or adaptive steering can make vehicles more accommodating for older drivers with physical limitations.

It is also wise for older adults to undergo regular medical check-ups to identify health issues that may impact their driving ability. Transportation alternatives like ride-sharing services can provide older adults with alternatives when driving is no longer feasible. Finally, open communication between older adults and their families about driving concerns can encourage discussions about potential limitations and alternative arrangements.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

If you are involved in an accident, ensure everyone is safe, exchange information with the driver, and contact the authorities to report the incident. Seek medical attention for injuries and gather evidence, including witness statements and photographs. We also suggest consulting with a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Our Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Safer Driving Practices

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle collision, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We offer free legal consultations. Call 302-888-1221 or complete our online form today. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, Newark, and Middletown.