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Risks for seniors operating motor vehicles

Posted on in Car Accidents

While many seniors wish to stay independent as the get older, it is important for motorists in California and other states to be aware of the increased risks older drivers face. Across the country, there were nearly 36 million licensed drivers who were 65 and older in 2012, and of them, an average of 15 were killed in automobile accidents each day while an average of 586 were injured.

Older drivers face certain risks on the road because of declines in vision and cognitive function or even due to physical changes. The risk of a fatal crash also increases using the matrix of the amount of miles traveled and starts with those between the ages of 70 and 74. Seniors are not necessarily more likely to get into fatal accidents but are more susceptible to medical complications and injuries. Regardless of age, male drivers have higher death rates than females.

There are some negative stereotypes that exist about older drivers, but many already take steps to protect themselves and others while on the road. Nearly 25 percent of drivers between the ages of 21 and 64 who were involved in fatal accidents in 2012 had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit compared to only 7 percent of seniors. Older drivers also tend to wear their seat belts and limit their driving at night and during bad weather conditions.

There are drivers of all ages who act recklessly and do not use caution when on the road. When a driver's negligent behavior causes an accident, a victim who has sustained serious injuries may wish to consult with an attorney to determine whether seeking compensation through a civil lawsuit against the driver is appropriate.

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