As baby boomers get older, there are more seniors on the road, choosing to continue to drive to stay mobile and independent. Older drivers tend to avoid driving under the influence, speeding and driving at night, but they are more likely to be involved in other common types of accidents. Additionally, while the rate of crashes for drivers older than 65 is decreasing, older drivers are more susceptible to injuries and fatalities during a crash.
Preventing injuries and deaths from accidents
Vehicular safety over the years has improved. Cars have more features to prevent severe injuries, and roads are safer as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that seniors tend to drive when conditions are the safest, avoiding nighttime driving or being on the road during bad weather, which helps to prevent injuries and fatalities. Even with safer conditions, better equipment and healthier seniors, according to the CDC, seniors who are in an accident have a much higher risk of a fatality than other age groups. The CDC makes these recommendations for older drivers:
- Get your eyes checked annually and wear corrective lenses as needed.
- Exercise regularly to improve strength and flexibility.
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure there are no adverse side effects.
- Take safer routes; avoid dark streets, intersections without left turn arrows and difficult parking situations.
- Avoid distracted driving. Turn the radio down, do not use your cell phone or eat and drink while driving.
- Make sure to follow the laws regarding license renewal.
- If you have been drinking, allow plenty of time before getting behind the wheel or call a cab to get home.
- Enroll in a defensive driving class for seniors to help you avoid an accident.
Taking legal recourse
Even the best senior drivers may suffer an accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car crash, you might want to consider speaking to an experienced attorney before talking to the insurance company to get the most out of your claim.