Auto Accidents and Senior Drivers

March 17, 2016 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Auto Accidents Personal Injury Wrongful Death

A shattered car windshield after an auto accident caused by a senior driverAccording to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, approximately 23.6 million of the estimated 30.1 million Americans aged 70 and older were licensed drivers in 2013. This means that, at that time, elderly drivers comprised about 11 percent of the drivers in the United States. Does this make drivers of other ages more vulnerable to auto accidents, or are our roadways just as safe when we share them with drivers in their golden years?

At the law firm of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, we handle auto accident cases of all types, including those involving auto accidents and seniors. While our Provo, UT personal injury attorneys acknowledge that there are many senior drivers out there who operate their vehicles perfectly safely, we have the skills, tenacity, and experience to take legal action against any driver whose negligence causes injuries to innocent drivers and passengers.

If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured in an auto accident caused by a senior driver, or if you have lost a family member in such an accident, our personal injury lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please contact our law firm to arrange for an evaluation of your auto accident case today.

About Auto Accidents and Older Drivers

Many older drivers are vigilant and cautious, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon. However, some of these older drivers struggle with diminished abilities due to:

  • Vision problems that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Problems with memory, reasoning, or judgment.
  • Arthritis or loss of muscle strength.
  • Prescription medications and their side effects.

Yet, at present, there are no laws requiring that drivers be retested at a certain age in order to keep their driver’s licenses. Likewise, the state of Utah, unlike some other states, has not imposed a shorter license renewal cycle for drivers of a certain age (the current renewal cycle is five years for all drivers, regardless of age). Calls to adapt such laws have been controversial, and perhaps rightfully so. Nevertheless, it is important that as our loved ones age, we recognize the signs of diminished abilities to drive and take action to protect them - and those who share the roadways with them - by asking them for their keys when the time comes. It may not be an easy conversation, but it could end up saving lives.

A study conducted by AAA/Carnegie Mellon showed that fatality rates rise significantly among drivers after they pass the age of 65. Drivers between the age of 75 and 84 have a fatality rate similar to teenaged drivers. The fatality rate among drivers above the age of 84 is approximately four times that of teenaged drivers.

Arrange an Evaluation of Your Auto Accident Case

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident caused by a senior driver, or if you have lost a member of your family in such an accident, we urge you to contact our personal injury law firm today to arrange for an evaluation of your case.