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Senior Drivers in Gwinnett County Face Increased Risk of Auto Accidents

Georgia Auto Accident Attorney Shane Smith Explains Why Seniors are More Prone to Auto Accidents

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, senior citizens, those aged 65 and older, are prone to being involved in auto accidents. Based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were more than 32 million senior drivers in 2008 and by 2020, the projected number of senior drivers is expected to reach 40 million. In 2004, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that senior drivers have double the chance of being killed in an auto accident compared to drivers aged 55 to 64 years old. For drivers aged 75 and older, the risk is 2.5 times greater and 4 times greater for those 85 and older.      

One reason that senior drivers are at a greater risk of being involved in an auto accident is because they have reduced abilities through no fault of their own. The three abilities that are reduced are the ability to see, process information and exhibit ideal motor function.

Vision is critical to driving, but with age, it naturally declines. Since it takes more time for senior drivers to adjust to light and glare and impaired contrast sensitivity impact senior drivers more than less experienced drivers, senior drivers need to take more care when they take to the road.

Cognition or the ability to process information mentally is essential to driver effectively. When it comes to remembering and applying traffic rules, keeping and eye out for distractions and other cars and pedestrians and making driving judgments, seniors need to be sure they are drivel safely.

Ensuring proper motor function is another essential part to drive safely. Having ample dexterity, flexibility and endurance to drive a vehicle and keep up with traffic is required to stay safe and keep others safe on the road. Senior drivers with medical conditions are unfortunately put at a disadvantage because they have diminished abilities due to their age.

If you have been injured or have had a family member killed due to a negligent driver or one that should not be driving because of a medical condition, you may have a personal injury claim. If you have suffered physical and emotional damages due to the recklessness or negligence of a driver, you may have a personal injury claim. The only way to determine what your circumstances merit is by speaking with a Gwinnett County auto accident lawyer. The Law Offices of Shane Smith will be able to answer any questions you may have about your accident-related circumstances.

In addition to senior drivers involuntarily losing their natural abilities, the American Medical Association says senior drivers are more prone to suffering fatal injuries because they are physically weaker compared to less experienced drivers. In response to these circumstances, states are putting restrictions on the ability for senior drivers to operate motor vehicles. Private organizations including AARP and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have formulated programs that help senior drivers stay as safe as possible:

  • Showing senior drivers what their options are for transportation
  • Increase monies that go into more visible traffic signs (through bigger letters)and pavement markings
  • Inform auto makers of improvements that will help seniors drive more safely.

Although there are many types of government and private sector efforts to minimize the impact of drivers who are not at their best to drive, auto accidents do happen and innocent victims become injured. If you or a loved one has become injured, it is essential to speak with a Gwinnett County auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith to see what your legal rights are. Call us at (770) 487-8999 today!


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia