As Americans are living longer, more and more elderly drivers are on the road. In 2009 alone, 187,000 people over the age of 65 were injured in car accidents, and over 5,000 died as a result of their injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Elderly drivers may often have less mobility, slower reflexes, lack of concentration, confusion, or other physical problems that may impair their driving abilities. If you have been injured in an accident and you believe an elderly driver is responsible, call a car accident lawyer in Newnan today to assess your case and the possibility for reimbursement.
Just because you are getting older, does not mean you necessarily have to give up your driving privileges. However, to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road safe, you must do a regular, honest self-assessment of your ability to safely continue to operate a motor vehicle. The NHTSA has offered a list of suggested questions an elderly driver should regularly ask to determine their driving abilities:
- Do you have trouble looking over either shoulder to check for traffic or change lanes?
- Do you have knee, hip, or other leg pain that makes it difficult to sit or change your foot from pedal to pedal?
- Do you have symptoms of declining vision?
- Do you feel overwhelmed at intersections by other vehicles, signs, signals, and pedestrians to which you must pay attention?
- Do you experience dizziness or seizures?
- Are you not confident that you can properly handle a motor vehicle in heavy traffic or at high speeds?
If an elderly driver answers “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to relinquish their driving privileges. However, if an elderly driver assesses him or herself to be in strong physical and mental health, there are certain steps to take to ensure continued safety on the roads and to avoid car accidents. First and foremost, the driver should make sure the motor vehicle is the right size for them, and that they keep the vehicle maintained and know how to work all devices and read all the gauges in the vehicle.
If you are involved in a car accident at the fault of an elderly driver, and you suffer injuries, you can likely get reimbursed for those injuries. It is important to call an experienced Newnan car accident lawyer, such as the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999, in order to fully examine your case and receive a fair settlement.