Senior Drivers Over the Age of 85 Have Car Accident Fatality Rate 9 times Higher Than Younger Drivers
In 2009, there were more than 33 million licensed drivers over the age of 65 in the United States and that number is estimated to grow to 70 million by the year 2030. Americans are living longer lives than previous generations but that means many are outliving their ability to drive safely by seven to 10 years. Cognitive, visual and physical declines mean that many elderly people are not able to drive as safely as they once were.
Most elderly drivers recognize their limitations and choose to stop driving in the dark, in rush hour traffic or far away from home even if they resist giving up their license. If you have an elderly parent who is still driving but you don’t feel should be, the first step is to have a discussion and ask them to get an evaluation at the doctor.
Senior driver car accident statistics
On average, 700 senior drivers are injured in car accidents every day. In 2014, almost 5,709 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in car crashes. To put this in perspective, older people made up 9 percent of the population in 1997 but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. In a 2015 study by caring.com, 14 million Americans reported having been involved in a car incident caused by an elderly driver in the last year.
Senior drivers do mitigate deadly accidents by following speed limits, wearing seatbelts and not drinking and driving but they are more likely to be killed in a traffic accident because of fragile bones and medical conditions that make it harder for them to recover from injuries. According to the NHTSA, “on the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old.” Other than teen drivers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven, even though they drive fewer miles than younger people.
- As we age our muscles grow weaker and less flexible which can limit our range of motion to press the brake or gas pedal effectively or to grip and turn the steering wheel.
- 80 percent of people in their 70s suffer from arthritis which makes necessary driving motions such as turning, flexing and twisting painful.
- Prescription medications can affect driving. More than 75 percent of people over the age of 65 are taking one or more medications yet less than one-third know that medications could affect their ability to drive safely.
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!