Elderly driver facts: How much of a threat are they to others on the road?

Jan 30, 2015 Car Accidents    Uncategorized

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Many Toledo drivers associate elderly people with poor driving and hazards on the road. The following elderly driver facts examine the truth of this statement and assesses just how much of a threat senior drivers are to others on the road.

Risk of Fatality Higher amongst Elderly Drivers

One thing is certainly true about elderly drivers on the road: they’re more likely to be in a fatal accident than drivers in any other age category. A study by RAND Corporation found someone in an elderly person’s car was 573 percent likelier to suffer a fatal injury than was someone in an adult driver’s car. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,560 older adults (65 and older) died in car accidents in 2012 and an additional 214,000 suffered injuries.

Fatality rates are higher amongst the elderly in regards to car accidents for a number of reasons, though not only because elderly drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. Instead, fatality rates are often higher as elderly drivers’ bodies are typically less resilient than are young people’s bodies.

Is there a danger of elderly drivers to others on the road?

The RAND study cited above made another interesting conclusion: while elderly adult drivers were more likely to be involved in an accident when they did drive and are likelier to cause an accident, “the risk they pose to overall traffic safety is actually much lower than that of other drivers.” This is because they drive comparably little compared to other drivers.

When they do drive, the following risk factors make older drivers a hazard on the roads.

  • Medical complications
  • Deafness
  • Partial blindness
  • Decline in cognitive and physical functioning

What can be done to reduce the number of accidents caused by elderly driving?

There is much debate about reducing accident risks that elderly drivers may pose to themselves as well as other drivers on the road. While there have been talks of more intensive screening during licensure and license renewal, doing so would be an expensive process. For now, exercising caution, keeping a safe distance, and always wearing a seatbelt while in a car is the best way to keep yourself and others safe.

Check out our blog for more topics of interest to Toledo drivers. And if you’re in a car accident in Toledo and suffer injuries, speak with an attorney, especially if your injuries are severe or you suffered significant damages. Like other drivers, elderly drivers are liable for damages they cause to others. You can contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 800-HURT-NOW.