What is causing the increase in accidents involving elderly drivers in Kansas? What is being done to protect elderly motorists and others from the potential for a Kansas auto accident? Studies show that elderly drivers in Kansas have a higher rate of fatality causing accidents than other demographics. With 25% of fatality causing accidents in Kansas involving elderly drivers, there is a clear and present danger to motorists in the state. As lifespans increase and people remain mobile longer, the state has responded by issuing new regulations that are designed to help protect motorists and reduce the number of elderly drivers involved in fatal automobile accidents. Eyesight decreases, reaction times decrease and many other dangers occur when people age.
Nationwide, there are more than 46 million Americans who are older than 65. As of 2016, the number of drivers over the age of 65 who have a driver's license rose to just under 42 million. This represents an increase of 38% over the past decade and it is a trend that is expected to continue as lifespans increase and motorists remain mobile for longer. In Kansas, there are 383,346 drivers over the age of 65 which is an increase of 12% over the past four years. In 2016, elderly drivers were involved in 106 fatal accidents in Kansas. Of these fatalities, 72 were the elderly driver themselves. Statewide, roughly 25% of fatality causing accidents involve an elderly driver.
There are many reasons elderly drivers are staying behind the wheel in Kansas. Often, elderly drivers may think they have no other option for getting about than to drive their own vehicle. Additionally, driving habits for elderly drivers are different than those who are younger and still in the workforce. Elderly drivers are more likely to conduct more family trips, shopping excursions, and personal errands than younger motorists which are conducted during late morning and early afternoon when there are a greater number of motorists on the road. This greatly increases the potential for a Kansas auto accident.
Regulations in Kansas require drivers over the age of 65 to renew their driver's license in person every four years. For drivers over 70, individuals are required to submit to and pass both a vision and written test. The vision test can be conducted via the DMV or through a licensed opthalmologist or optometrist. In cases where driver impairment exists, drivers are also required to pass a road test. The DMV can also impose driving restrictions on the motorist. These include requirements for the use of glasses, prohibitions on night driving or the use of the interstate, mileage restrictions, and the use of prosthetic aids. Finally, drivers over the age of 70 are required to submit to unsafe driver investigations that can be requested by family members, caregivers, and others concerned about the individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. These types of regulations are effective and nationwide as it is estimated that 600,000 people over the age of 70 voluntarily give up their driving privileges each year when it becomes clear that they can no longer guarantee their own safety or that of others on the road.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients following their Kansas auto accident. Whether the accident was caused by an elderly driver in Topeka, a speeding motorist in Goodland, or a distracted driver in Liberal, Wichita, Garden City, Kansas City, Salina, Colby, Hays, Emporia, Wellington, Liberal, Dodge City or elsewhere, our firm helps clients secure the compensation they need to recover from accidents that take place in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, or Missouri.
We concentrate our practice in semi accidents, big truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents and vehicular accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
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