It is difficult to put an exact number on how many people are killed by elderly drivers since the agencies that compile these statistics do not track fault and liability. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported there were 7,433 people killed in accidents involving older drivers across the United States in 2018.
The rate of injury and fatality accidents varies by age group. According to the AAA Foundation, fatal accidents most commonly occur among young drivers, decrease during middle age, decrease further in your sixties, and then go up again at age 70. The fatal accident involvement rate for drivers between age 70 and 79 was similar to drivers in their twenties and significantly higher than drivers between 30 and 59.
IIHS Elderly Driving Statistics
The IIHS has statistics that look at senior driving accident numbers in two different ways: per capita and per mile driven. When you consider only the per capita numbers, older drivers have relatively low rates of traffic accidents, including fatal accidents. The per capita total of elderly driving fatality accidents is lower than it is for other adults. However, not all seniors with a driver’s license drive and many do not drive every day like someone who commutes to work might.
For this reason, it may be more accurate to look at the per-mile-driven numbers. Seniors generally do not drive as often or as far as younger people. When you view the per-mile-driven statistics, fatal accident rates begin rising when the driver reaches age 70.
Seniors Are More Likely to Die from Their Injuries
Elderly drivers, specifically those who are 75 and over, have a higher fatality rate from traffic accident injuries than younger drivers. This is mostly because they are more likely to suffer severe injuries in an accident. In addition, they are more likely to have existing health conditions that contribute to delayed healing and other complications.
According to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, there were:
- Almost 7,700 seniors over the age of 65 killed in car accidents
- More than 257,000 seniors treated at hospitals for car accident injuries
This equates to 20 elderly drivers dying each day and 700 suffering injuries from auto accidents nationwide.
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Risk Factors that Increase the Dangers of Elderly Driving
Seniors may be at an increased risk of causing an accident because of physical and cognitive factors related to the natural aging process, as well as additional medical issues. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the most common driving error elderly drivers commit that can cause an accident is a failure to yield the right-of-way.
Seniors also receive more traffic citations for failure to yield than younger drivers. The reason for this may be a combination of factors that occur as a result of aging. This includes:
- Low vision
- Hearing loss
- Slowed reflexes and reaction time
- Slowed decision-making ability
- Poor judgment of distance and speed
- Reduction in strength, flexibility, and coordination
Pursuing a Case After an Elderly Driving Accident
If you were the victim of an elderly driver traffic accident—either as a passenger or as a driver in another vehicle—you may be able to recover compensation for your accident-related expenses, including medical care, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and more. You may also seek intangible losses, including pain and suffering damages.
At the Morris Bart law firm, we represent our clients throughout the insurance claims process. We build a strong case with evidence to show what a fair settlement might look like for our client. We also handle wrongful death cases for the surviving family of those who passed away in an accident.
Occasionally, we have to take car accident cases to trial. When that occurs, there will be a deadline to file the paperwork. How time limit we have depends on the state where the accident occurred, but it is sometimes as short as a year.
Let Morris Bart, LLC Review Your Elderly Driver Traffic Accident
If you suffered injuries in a traffic accident due to someone else’s negligence, we may be able to help. Call (504) 613-4771 now to connect with our team. We offer free case evaluations to get you started.
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