According to data from AAA, senior citizens tend to be safer drivers when compared to other age groups. Most seniors are careful to wear safety belts, they observe the speed limit, and they do not drink and drive. Even so, the data also shows that seniors are more likely to be killed or injured in a traffic accident than their younger counterparts. This is largely due to age-related issues, such as other diseases which make recovery more difficult and fragile bones that have weakened with age.
How can seniors reduce their risk of injuries?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends many ways to increase safety for seniors on the road:
- Always use seat belts
- Avoid driving at night or during bad weather
- Keep exercising to maintain strength and flexibility of your body
- Have your eyes checked annually
- Plan your route before you get on the road, especially when going to new places
- Avoid distractions while driving, such as using a cell phone, eating or listening to a loud radio
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist to reduce side effects and to know which medications might make it difficult to operate heavy machinery
- Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you
More seniors on the road today
According to the CDC, there are 40 million licensed older drivers on the road today. This is a huge increase from two decades ago, and the numbers are only expected to go up. AAA suggests that many older drivers are outliving their ability to drive safely by about 10 years. While it is true that Americans are living longer and are healthier than ever before, people over 70 who are still driving should talk to their doctors about minimizing their risks. Age-related vision problems and cognitive functioning ability often affect the ability of seniors in regards to their driving skills.
The CDC reported, on average, 648 senior citizens injured in vehicle accidents every day, with another 16 killed. Those most at risk are drivers 85 and older. Whether you were driving or you were a passenger, you may have more medical bills than someone younger. Don't let the insurance companies intimidate you. Get the information on your insurance policy and the other driver's to make sure you can take care of your injuries. If you are a senior citizen who has been injured while driving, seek legal assistance to ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries.