Elderly Drivers Are Fastest Growing Group on the Road | KNR
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Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
October 31, 2016

The fastest growing segment of drivers in America is over the age of 85, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. In fact, the number of drivers over the age of 85 doubled between 1998 and 2013. There are now 3.48 million drivers over the age of 85 on the road. The prevalence of elderly drivers is significant because age-related declines in visual and cognitive functioning along with physical changes can impact the driving abilities of elderly individuals.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal crash rates markedly increase beginning at age 70, and drivers age 85 and older have the highest fatal crash rate involvement of any group. In 2014, the Ohio Department of Transportation reported that 19 percent of Ohio’s licensed population were drivers age 65 to 100. This group was responsible for 7.9 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. The year prior, that same age group caused 15 percent of all fatal crashes.

Ohio Driver’s License Renewal Policies for Elderly Drivers

Although 1 out of every 5 people living in Ohio will be considered an elderly driver by 2040, the state does not subject senior drivers to any special requirements when it comes to license renewal. Instead, Ohio requires that all drivers undergo a basic vision test and in-person renewal every 4 years. Drivers who disclose a physical or mental disability may be required to provide a physician’s statement or undergo an additional medical exam.

Health Conditions that Can Impact Driving Ability

As we age, our minds and bodies undergo changes that can affect our reaction times and abilities to ignore distractions while driving. While visual, cognitive, and physical deficits can impact any age group, there are certain conditions that become more prevalent as we age. The following medical conditions are more common among older individuals and can negatively affect driving ability:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Dementia
  • Strokes
  • Arthritis
  • Hearing loss
  • Knee or hip replacements
  • Weaker muscles and reduced flexibility

Elderly Drivers at Greater Risk of Injury and Death

The risk of injury or death in a motor vehicle accident increases with age. In 2012, 5,560 senior adults were killed in an auto accident and another 214,000 were injured. According to the American Automobile Association, older drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash because of age-related vulnerabilities such as fragile bones or medical complications.

Some of the steps older drivers can take to enhance their safety on the road includes the following:

  • Have an eye exam at least once a year
  • Avoid driving at night, during heaving traffic, or in bad weather conditions
  • Discuss medication interactions and potential side effects with your physician
  • Plan routes ahead of time
  • Make sure to leave a large following distance behind the car in front of you

Contact an Experienced Ohio Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our talented team of lawyers has helped countless motor vehicle accident victims secure the compensation they deserve. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.

Call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation and learn what KNR can do for you.