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Older Adults At Greater Risk For Car Accidents


The recent coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on everyone, particularly older adults. After months of being cooped up at home, people over the age of 65 are eager to resume their normal activities as restrictions in Florida are slowly lifted. Unfortunately, there is another major threat that people in this age group face, which they often are not aware of. Car accidents become more common the older you get and the injuries suffered have the tendency to be more severe. Just as with the recent pandemic, it is important for older adults to be aware of the risks and the steps they need to take to protect themselves.

Car Accident Risks Among Older Adults

May is designated as Older Americans Month, which seems fitting in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Sponsored by the Administration for Community Living, it highlights the valuable contributions older adults make as well as some of the concerns they face.

Car accidents are a serious problem for older adults and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that the risks increase as you age. Each year, crashes and collisions claim the lives of close to 8,000 people over the age of 65  while leaving more than 275,000 other older adults suffering potentially life-threatening harm. Unfortunately, the reckless driving behaviors of others on the road are often to blame. Common causes include:

  • Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
  • Running red lights and not stopping for stop signs;
  • Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and failure to yield;
  • Distracted driving, such as using cell phones or texting;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Reducing Your Car Accident Risks

While there is little you can do to change the driving behavior of others, there are steps older adults can take on their own to reduce their car accident risks. The National Institute On Aging (NIA) warns that impacts you suffer as a result of aging affect driving abilities. Being aware of these impacts and taking the appropriate precautions can help you protect yourself:

  • Impaired vision: Problems with depth perception and night blindness are common in older adults. Get your vision checked regularly and limit driving to daytime hours.
  • Impaired hearing: Age-related hearing loss can cause you to miss the sound of horns blaring or other signs of an impending car accident. Have your hearing checked and limit background noise in your vehicle.
  • Reduced coordination and reflexes: Stiff joints and weakened muscles leave you unable to respond as quickly to sudden, unexpected events. Driving at a reasonable speed and not following others too closely reduces risks and gives you additional time.
  • Medication use: Older adults are more likely to be on medications which could affect driving abilities. This is an important issue to discuss with your doctor.

Let Us Help You Today

Car accidents involving older adults often result in serious personal injuries. At the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely, we help you get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim. Reach out and contact our Bradenton car accident attorney to request a consultation today.