Compared to other age groups, senior citizens are among New York’s safest drivers. Auto safety experts say this is due to a number of factors, including the fact that seniors tend to observe speed limits and do not drive after drinking. In spite of that safety record, however, seniors are more likely to be killed or injured in auto crashes than any other age group, except teen drivers. According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2014, more than 5,700 older adults were killed and more than 236,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries. That amounts to 16 older adults killed and 648 injured in crashes on average every day.
Factors Leading to Increased Risk of Death and Injury
A number of factors combine to increase the risk of death and serious injury for senior citizens. For example:
- Bone fragility in seniors leads to more serious fractures and makes recuperation more difficult
- Age-related declines in vision may affect some older adults’ driving abilities
- Roughly 75 percent of drivers age 65 or older report using one or more medications that have potential impact on driving performance
- Some medical conditions, such as arthritis, make the physical act of driving more difficult and more dangerous
- Other medical conditions – such as heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions – make medical treatment following an accident more difficult and generally increase the time of recovery for those injured
Safety Steps That Can Be Taken by Seniors
There are steps that can be taken by older adults to increase their chances of staying safe on the road, including:
- Being mindful of safe following distances behind the vehicle in front
- Driving defensively
- Planning the driving route before departure
- Avoiding distractions within the vehicle, such as eating, cell phone use, and loud music
- Maintaining a regular exercise program to maintain strength and flexibility
- Visiting an eye doctor regularly
- Reviewing medications with a physician so as to understand what effects, if any, they have on driving
- Driving during daylight hours and in good weather conditions
- Avoiding rush hour and other congestion periods of the day
- Utilizing the safest routes for travel (street lights, left turn arrows, and easy parking are important considerations for seniors)
Injured in an Accident?
Have you or a family member been seriously injured in a vehicle crash? At E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy, we understand that a serious accident impacts not only the crash victim, but also his or her entire family. Our lawyers understand the complex issues related to personal injury claims. We offer skilled and compassionate assistance during trying times. Our extensive experience allows us to understand the sort of compensation that you are due for damages and for pain and suffering. We also understand the lifetime impact that injury or death can have on your family. Our goal is to get results for you and your family.
The law firm of E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy is one of the most highly respected law firms in upstate New York and the Capital District. We have represented clients for more than 100 years and are among the top-rated lawyers in the country, achieving the highest ratings from both client groups and our peers. Once we accept your case, we invest all the time and resources necessary to obtain the largest settlement or award possible. Each case is unique, and a positive outcome is not guaranteed, but we have a very successful record of winning cases for our clients. Contact us today to learn how we may be able to help you. Call us now at (518) 274-5820 or complete our online form. The E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy law firm has an experienced attorney available to assist clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – even on holidays.