There are about 42 million drivers in the U.S. who are 65 or older. This comes to nearly 20% of the total driving population and represents more than a 30% increase from 2009 as well as nearly a 60% increase compared to 1999. The unfortunate thing is that many of these seniors are unsafe drivers. New York residents should know that their state has the 10th highest number of car crashes involving seniors.
This is according to a study from The Senior List, which utilized data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its conclusions. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and North Carolina saw the highest number of crashes with seniors while the lowest numbers were in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii and North Dakota.
It should be kept in mind that traffic fatalities involving seniors have gone up despite a decrease in traffic fatalities overall. Nearly 7,000 seniors died in traffic crashes in 2017, making up 18% of that year’s traffic fatalities. However, 2017 saw a 1% decrease in traffic deaths compared to 2016.
Various signs can help determine whether a senior is still fit to drive. Signs that he or she is unfit include being hard of hearing, losing the thread of conversations and having slow reaction times.
Too often, seniors will ignore these signs and continue driving. If they cause a motor vehicle crash, they will be held liable, and their auto insurance company will likely have to face a claim from victims. For their part, victims may want to hire a lawyer before moving forward. Injury lawyers might bring in investigators, medical experts and other third parties to build up a case before they strive for a settlement out of court. As a last resort, lawyers may litigate on behalf of car crash victims.