How can families protect elderly parents from an auto crash? What steps can children and caregivers take to keep their loved ones safe? Americans are living longer and driving longer. However, that doesn't mean it is safe and AAA estimates that elderly drivers are driving seven to ten years longer than they can safely operate a motor vehicle. When an elderly parent can't safely operate a motor vehicle, children and caregivers should take active measures to prevent the individual from driving a motor vehicle.
Elderly Drivers in the US
There are approximately 42 million elderly drivers in the US. This is an increase of 56% since 1999. Each day, 20 drivers over the age of 65 die in motor vehicle collisions and a further 794 suffer personal injuries. By 2030, it's estimated that there will be more than 70 million elderly drivers on the road.
AAA estimates that approximately 80% of drivers over the age of 70 suffer from arthritis which limits their ability to safely grip the steering wheel or operate brake and gas pedals. Moreover, elderly drivers have weaker muscles and limited range of motion. In general, elderly drivers are more fragile due to the effects of aging. As a result, when a crash occurs elderly drivers have a fatality rate that is 17 times greater than it is for drivers under the age of 64.
Changing Driving Habits
Changing driving habits can considerably reduce the risk to an elderly driver. Driving only in good weather conditions, driving only in daylight, and driving at low-traffic times of day can go a long way towards reducing the risk of an auto crash. Elderly individuals should plan their schedules accordingly and should never hesitate to cancel appointments or ask someone to drive them if rain, snow, sleet, or ice prevent safe driving.
Elderly drivers should also closely monitor their medications for any side-effects that can diminish their vision, impair their judgment, or reduce their coordination. Adult children should not shy away from discussing driving habits with their elderly parents and encouraging them to stop driving. If an elderly parent has physical or mental impairments, drinks or consumes medications before driving, or engages in other dangerous behaviors, adult children and caregivers should never hesitate to take their keys, remove the battery, or take other steps to deny access to a motor vehicle.
Call in the Bull to speak with an auto crash lawyer and discuss your motor vehicle accident. Our legal team can help you pursue claims in Wichita, Liberal, or anywhere in Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. You can call us at 1-800-241-BRAD, or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney. You can reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL.