Elderly Drivers a True Danger on the Road
Inexperienced teenagers are often considered the riskiest drivers on the road. However, research shows that drivers 70 years of age and older are actually more likely to get into multiple-car accidents than teens – especially at intersections. Unfortunately, older drivers are also at a higher risk of involvement in fatal accidents.
A 1997 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report found that while the elderly – 70 years and older – make up only 9 percent of the population, they are responsible for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian deaths. The problem compounds as a driver ages. Another NHTSA study reported that drivers 85 years and older are nine times as likely to be in a deadly crash than drivers 25 to 69 years old.
One of the difficult aspects of elderly drivers is that many refuse to give up driving even when they know they should. Unfortunately, many people suffer because of that decision. For example, ninety-four year old Gordon and his 90 year old wife, Norma, died together after Gordon ran a stop sign and plowed into a Mustang driven by a 65 year old and his 60 year old wife.
The driver of the mustang avoided injury while the impact broke his wife’s neck. Five days earlier, Gordon had failed a driving test, lost his license and received a temporary permit. Local motor vehicle department employees ordered the test out of concern over Gordon’s physical condition when he went in to renew his license. But instead of accepting responsibility after failing the test, Gordon claimed he was “set up” to fail. The mustang driver now cares for his wife who still continues to recover, but has amassed over $250,000 in medical bills.
Medical expenses, lost wages and property damage are some of the major concerns for people involved in serious car accidents. Thankfully, victims of negligent driving can recover all of those costs, as well as possible punitive damages for pain and suffering. The trick is to actually recover that money from an insurance company, the responsible party or their estate. Having professional guidance through the process is crucial to receiving some form of justice from a horrible situation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your situation and your options.