Jones & Swanson

Crash Rates Drop for Elderly Drivers

In order to operate a motor vehicle properly, one must have suitable motor controls and skills so that they are not a danger to themselves and others around them. Many citizens of the United States have questioned the safety of allowing older citizens to continue to drive in their later years. Many claim that regardless of physical fitness, as people age their abilities to react and operate a vehicle failed so much so that they should no longer be allowed to drive. Others suggested requiring these drivers to re-take drivers’ exams, just as teens do when first obtaining a driver’s license.

While there may be some truth to the suggestion that an elderly person’s reflexes may diminish, therefore causing an inability to react properly while driving an automobile. Other issues, such as declining health and eyesight, could also negatively affect one’s ability to safety operate a vehicle. It is important to note that although aging may pose a significant risk to one’s ability to drive, all elderly citizens are not that same. Their mental and physical capacities differ from person to person, so it must be determined on an individual basis. To maintain safety, we must simply be able to determine the level at which elderly drivers become dangerous.

Number of Fatal Accidents Involving Elders Drops

A recent report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that older drivers are much less likely to be involved in an auto accident than they were in years past. When compared to drivers between the ages of 35 and 54, those above 70- years-old have been involved in fewer fatal wrecks per driver and miles traveled since 1997. Between the years of 1997 and 2012, drivers age 70 to 74 were involved in 36 percent fewer fatal crashes. The percentage rose to 46 in the age group 75 to 79, and to 49 for drivers 80 and over. These numbers are despite the fact that elderly drivers increased their mileage driven annually in those years.

Perhaps some of the reason behind this decline in number of fatal crashes is that automobiles are safer nowadays. The study also shows that in addition to elderly drivers being involved in fewer crashes, they are also injured or killed in crashes less often than in the past. This can be attributed to their higher levels of physical fitness and wellbeing, as well as a better ability to reach hospitals and medical treatment in the event of a crash.

Regardless of the cause of the lower number of fatalities as a result of car crashes, this is good news. At Jones & Swanson, we often hear from Georgians who have been injured or lost loved ones in auto wrecks. We are pleased to hear about this drop in the number of people injured or killed as a result of automobile crashes.

Unfortunately, there are still many victims of crashes in the state of Georgia every day. For those in this situation, we are readily available to offer our aid in any way that we can. Even if we are unable to represent you in a legal claim, we are always happy to provide advice and legal insight for Georgians who contact our office. For more information, visit our website at or call us at (770) 427-5498 today.

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