Although driving helps older people retain their independence, the risk of getting into an accident increases as a driver ages. In 2012, there were 36 million drivers at or over the age of 65 who were licensed to drive in the United States, which was an increase of 34 percent since 1999. Drivers between the ages of 70 and 74 and those at or above the age of 85 tend to be the most at risk of dying in an accident.
This is because those in these age groups tend to have diminishing vision as well as diminishing cognitive functions. Furthermore, drivers in these age groups are more vulnerable to injuries and other medical complications after being involved in an accident. However, there are steps that older drivers take to avoid an accident or suffering serious injuries in one.
First, elderly drivers tend to drive fewer miles than their younger counterparts, and they are more prone to only drive during the day and during times of good weather. An older driver also is more likely to wear his or her safety belt and is less likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Eliminating distractions and leaving plenty of room between other cars are other ways that seniors can avoid getting into a car accident that results in injuries.
Those who have been injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of another will often face high medical expenses and long recovery periods during which they are unable to earn a living. A personal injury attorney can often be of assistance to an injured victim in seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist for the losses that have been sustained.